Google is testing a new app called Bulletin that allows residents in a community to report and post local news stories.
All that a registered user has to have is a smartphone.
The Google post described Bulletin as “a free, lightweight app for telling a story by capturing photos, video clips and text right from your phone, published straight to the web (without having to create a blog or build a website).”
Those who are “comfortable taking photos or sending messages, can create a Bulletin story.”
The app, however, is on a limited run. It is available in Nashville in Tennessee, and Oakland, California for now.
Those who want to be considered for Bulletin’s pilot, including journalists, or want to know more about the app can ask for access via this link.
Google spokesperson Maggie Shields confirmed the community news initiative to Slate Friday last week saying: “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.”
Shields pointed out that people want to know what happens in their community like “bookstore readings to high school sporting events to information about local street closures.”
Google Product Manager James Morehead, for his part, said in a launch of the app in Nashville that Bulletin is a “progressive web app – a website that looks and functions like an app,” according to the Slate article.
Concern, however, has been raised about the authenticity of the news reports that would be published through Bulletin.
Google is pilot-testing an app that would feature “hyperlocal stories.”
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