Google is testing a new tool for people to report and publish local news stories, called Bulletin.
The company described Bulletin as a way for others to communicate information of local interest, like bookstore readings, high school sporting events, or information about street closures, for example. The app is currently in a limited pilot, available in Nashville and Oakland.
A website first spotted online Thursday describes Bulletin as “an app for contributing hyperlocal stories about your community, for your community, right from your phone.” It’s designed to make it “effortless” to tell “the stories that aren’t being told” via your smartphone. It’s not just for techie early adopters: “If you are comfortable taking photos or sending messages, you can create a Bulletin story!”, the site says.
Google confirmed the project Friday morning. “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,” spokeswoman Maggie Shiels said. “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.”
At a launch event in Nashville, a Google spokesperson also said that Google wanted to work with local news organizations to help them find and publish some of the stories posted to Bulletin, while giving the author credit, according to Slate.