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Photo by Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Google is testing an app that aims to collect hyper-local news and information from everyday people, like little league scores, that can be shared with local news outlets to make the news-gathering process more cost-efficient for them.

Why it matters: Disruptive technologies, like automated platforms and smartphones, have upended the local news industry, forcing dozens of local news outlets and journalists out of business. Google and Facebook's role in aiding that demise is largely contested, but local publishers seem excited about this opportunity.

  • "We've got an open mind about working with Google on any new tools relating to local news and information discovery," says Matt DeRienzo, Executive Director of Local Independent Online News Publishers.
  • "Google is half of a duopoly that is on some level contributing to the decline of local journalism, and it has tremendous resources and reach to help do something to reverse that trend."

The app is being piloted in Nashville and Oakland and the content will be subject to Google's same news and content standards.

  • Google says local publishers they are working with have been largely supportive of the effort, because they are not covering a lot of this type of hyper-local information due of lack of resources and bandwidth.
  • All the stories are Creative Commons, meaning news orgs will be able to leverage the feed of material for content that they can republish.

Go deeper

Dave Lawler, author of World
1 hour ago - World

Global press freedom deteriorates amid pandemic

Data: Reporters Without Borders; Chart: Axios Visuals

Journalism is seriously restricted in 132 of 180 countries included in Reporters without Borders' annual Press Freedom Index — a particularly dangerous state of affairs during the pandemic.

Breaking it down: Nordic countries are ranked high on the list for having "good" press freedoms, while China, Turkmenistan, North Korea and Eritrea are at the bottom. The U.S. is ranked 44th.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

How anti-greed backlash killed the European Super League

Photo: David Cliff/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The 48-hour rise and fall of the European Super League is the perfect encapsulation of how anti-greed sentiment has changed the rules of capitalism.

Why it matters: The highly-complex structures of capitalism are built from the mostly base motivations of individuals chasing money. That's been condemned and celebrated in equal measure — but has also largely been accepted.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Senate Republicans unveil $568 billion infrastructure counterproposal

Sens. John Barasso and Shelley Moore Capito. Photo: Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Senate Republicans formally rolled out the framework for their $568 billion counterproposal to President Biden's $2.5 trillion infrastructure plan on Thursday.

Why it matters: The package is far narrower than anything congressional Democrats or the White House would agree to, but it serves as a marker for what Republicans want out of a potential bipartisan deal.