Google has been toying with the idea of hyperlocal news for a while now. It tested Google Now cards back in 2013 that could display information as close as your neighborhood, for example. The company's latest take, Bulletin, is in testing as an app to create and instantly publish those hyperlocal stories from your phone. Currently only in early access in Nashville and Oakland, Bulletin encourages local journalists and everyday folk to capture a video, take a snapshot and build a story around events wherever they happen.
Google confirmed the project to Slate on Friday. "This is very much in the testing phase and aimed at hyperlocal stories and events for people to share, and for local media to take advantage of," a Google spokesperson explained to Slate. "People everywhere want to know what is going on in their own backyard at a very local level, ranging from local bookstore readings to high school sporting events to information about local street closures."
It's not hard to see a tool like Bulletin as a boon to local reporters and news outlets looking for stories closer to home. While fake news might may be a concern for Google overall, this project seems focused on events and happenings rather than hard news stories. Either way it pans out, putting power like this in the hands of the people just might make a lot of sense for regional communities looking to share what's going on in their own neck of the woods.