Google Begins Taking Over Local News Markets With Project Compass
Google announced that it will be takeover local digital news in Youngstown, Ohio, on the heels of the town’s major paper closing up shop. The search giant will spend millions of dollars in developing the media to ‘fill a news void’ created by fledgling local news entities. The announcement is creating concerns that Google, a company under fire for alleged content censorship, might be attempting to take greater controlling interests of the information sector.
Youngstown will become the first city whereas Google will create a local news station called. Officially, the Compass Experiment agenda places news in three small or mid-sized cities.
Youngstown’s local newspaper, The Vindicator, announced it would be closing its doors at the end of August. It appears that Google News is locked and loaded to take replace it on some level.
“There has been much impassioned commentary around the closure of The Vindy after 150 years and we are pleased to play our part alongside McClatchy in helping local journalism develop new approaches for the future,” Richard Gingras, Google’s vice president of news, said in a statement to CNBC. “We want to explore evolving business models in local news that can benefit not only the people of Youngstown but communities across the country.”
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Google has been in the Youngstown area for weeks establishing a plan to launch Compass Experiment. A Google representative in charge of the agenda says they’ve found “many allies” in the area.
Google news has $300 million on the table to make this work nationally, or at least in a set of chosen cities. The search giant expects to select two more Compass Experiment cities in the coming months.
The problem, of course, is that Google’s information/news reach is already nearly impenetrable. Google News remains one of the most widely read sources of information in the world. The search giant is consistently accused of censoring news sources considered conservative. If Google is able to gain footing in local news business, that would mean nearly every bit of news in a person’s life would come directly from Google’s algorithm.
Author: Jim Satney
PrepForThat’s Editor and lead writer for political, survival, and weather categories.