Good news from Google News

How do you feel about the news you read? Do you consider it to be accurate? Or maybe sensationalist? Or even untrue? Considering we’re now familiar with the term “fake news”, these are pertinent questions.

In the wake of the scandal surrounding Cambridge Analytica, and the widespread realisation that people can be targeted and influenced through the Internet, Google has overhauled its Google News service. It’s a move that seeks to reassure us that its news is trustworthy. 

In this blog from Blue Whale Media, the web design Warrington based agency, we’ll take a look at how Google News is changing.

What is the news from Google?

Google has redesigned its Google News service, with promises that it will be easier for us to avoid false or misleading reports.

Google News boss Trystan Upstill has said in a blog, “The reimagined Google News uses a new set of AI techniques to take a constant flow of information as it hits the web, analyze it in real time and organize it into storylines. This approach means Google News understands the people, places and things involved in a story as it evolves, and connects how they relate to one another.”

The key phrase in that statement seems to be “a new set of AI techniques”. Google News is an improvement on the previous app, but it shares similar features. So, it still recommends stories you want to read, based on your earlier behaviour.

How does it organise the stories?

Google News starts with five stories, arranged especially for you. These will be a mix of major headlines, local news and articles derived from the user’s own interests. And, in a similar way to YouTube, the site has a special “For You” section. 

The more you use the app, the more it responds to your behaviour, and so the better it gets. But it also has controls built into it, so you can choose to see more – or less – on a particular topic. Or reduce the amount of articles from a particular publisher, for instance.  

What does Google News replace?

Google News is replacing Google Play Newstand on mobile and desktop and the Google News and Weather app. Significantly, it allows users to subscribe to newspapers from within the app. This seems to be an acknowledgement from Google that the paywall models, which newspapers advocate, should be supported.  

At our Warrington web design agency, we welcome the Google News changes. And we can see that it’s part of a wider trend towards accountability from online global companies.

In January, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook would prioritise “trustworthy” news outlets from now on. “There’s too much sensationalism, misinformation and polarisation in the world today,” Zuckerberg wrote on a Facebook post. “Social media enables people to spread information faster than ever before, and if we don’t specifically tackle these problems, then we end up amplifying them.”

But how is Facebook going to define who’s trustworthy? It’s going to ask its more than two billion monthly users what they think via surveys, and each news outlet will be given a ranking.

Call Your Warrington Web Design Agency Today

It’s clear from these developments that discussion about news – and the type of news we receive – has never been more relevant. Here at Blue Whale Media, we’re keen observers of such matters, and we feel that having knowledge of the latest technology issues helps our web design and content writing services be more effective.

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