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Google News will now highlight local news sources for major stories

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Google's News section will now highlight the importance of local news sources. While Google News has more than 75,000 news sources, it hasn't always done a good job of surfacing hyper-local blogs and sites about specific topics when a major story breaks. "When a local story is picked up by national publishers, it can be difficult for local sources to be heard even after they've done the legwork and research to break a story," admits James Morehead, Google News product manager.

Google is helping with a new change today that will see a "Local Source" tag applied to all Google News instances. Google is tagging local news based on where a publisher has written about previously and matching it to a story location. Tagged articles will be available on the web and in Google's iOS and Android apps, and will serve as a way to highlight a local source on a national story.

Google has experimented with highlighting local news for Google Now previously, but it appears the company has settled on improvements for its core news service. The changes will help smaller and local news publishers who wouldn't typically appear in national news or at the top of Google's news story sources.