The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting different communities in different ways. As cities and towns across the world respond with local policies and guidelines, the need for timely and authoritative local news and information is paramount. To help people navigate these complexities, we’re working across our news products to highlight the latest local guidance and surfacing more content from local news publishers so users can understand how the virus is affecting their Community.
Access the latest guidance in your community with Google News
Find local information on Search and Google Assistant
We’re also working to ensure that reliable local news and information about the coronavirus is easily discoverable in Google Search and Google Assistant. When people look for coronavirus information in Search, they’ll see the existing top stories carousel of articles, in addition to a new dedicated local news carousel highlighting timely, accurate news about their community. We’ve also expanded a new carousel highlighting tweets from local and health authorities so these important and up-to-date announcements are more easily available. This feature is now available in more than 30 countries.
A new carousel in Search surfaces timely, authoritative local news about COVID-19.
With people increasingly seeking out local news to understand COVID-19 in their community, we’ve seen a significant uptick in people tuning into local radio on Google Assistant. To listen, just ask for your local station by its channel name or frequency on any Assistant-enabled device—say something like “Hey Google, play 1010 WINS” or “Hey Google, play 88.5.” With Google Assistant, we’re now also able to provide answers to requests for local COVID-19 information in many cities across the U.S. Just say, for example, “Hey Google, play news about coronavirus in Boston” on any Assistant-enabled smart speaker or Smart Display like Nest Mini or Nest Hub Max, and a mix of stories relevant to your community will begin playing.
The past few months have reinforced the critical role that local news plays in keeping communities informed. Google is dedicated to supporting and promoting local journalism both within and outside of our products. Recently, we provided emergency funding for more than 5,300 local news organizations and launched a Support Local News campaign to encourage people and businesses to subscribe, donate and advertise across local news outlets in the U.S. and Canada. Through our efforts, we hope to help people and communities continue to safely move forward with up-to-date and trusted local information.
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