SAN FRANCISCO - Google began Monday shining a spotlight on local reporting mixed in with the deluge of stories at its free online news aggregation website.
"Local Source" tags were added to Google News to let people opt for reporting done by news agencies that may be closer to the places, people and events involved in stories, according to product manager James Morehead.
"Local reporters are often members of the communities they serve, bringing additional context and perspective to a story," Morehead said in a blog post.
A local section in Google News focuses on content from regional publications and hyper-local blogs that wouldn't appear in national news offerings, according to Morehead.
He cited a Pew Research study last year that concluded nearly nine out of 10 US residents closely follow local news.
"This new feature brings greater exposure for local news outlets reporting on stories that have gone national," Morehead said.
Articles with "local" tags could be seen at news.google,com as well as in Google News and Weather applications tailored for mobile devices powered by Android or Apple software, according to the California-based Internet giant.