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Google revamps news platform to give local titles equal top billing

Regional titles have been given equal prominence to national ones on Google News as part of the tech giant’s upgrade of its news aggregation service.

The tech giant has this morning revealed changes to its Google News platform on desktop computers which aims to highlight local news more prominently.

The move has seen a column showing local news stories appear at the top of the page, alongside ‘Top stories’ from national and international outlets.

According to a Google blog on the subject, the change was “inspired by feedback we received from readers”.

How the top of the Google News site now looks

How the top of the Google News site now looks

The blog states: “We’ve moved our local news section to the top of the page, so it’s easier to find.

“You can now use the filter button to add multiple locations to your local news section, so you’ll never miss important news about the cities and towns you care about.

“This change is just the latest way we’re bringing local news to users around the world. Last year, we expanded a feature on Google search so readers around the world can now see a carousel of local news stories when Google finds local news coverage relevant to their query.

“This helps them easily find stories from local news publishers.”

The change comes after Google in February announced the launch of a new tool to make it easier for users to automatically find news local to them.

Google has also marked the 20th anniversary of Google News by officially opening applications for it Global News Equity Fund, a multi-million dollar commitment to “help bring more diversity and equity to the news industry”.

Independent journalists and small and medium-sized news organizations producing original news for minority and underrepresented audiences are eligible to apply by 21 July for funding to support and expand their news operations.