According to reports from Quartz, Google is looking to give its local news service a boost by integrating it with Google Now. The search giant's Now service focuses on deliver contextually relevant content via mobile devices. Google Now is built into new Android devices and the Google Search app for iPhone, but the local news "card" is still in beta testing and only available to Google employees.
Quartz says that Johanna Wright, vice president of search and assist at Google, confirmed the program during an interview:
"One thing we're testing right now is a very local hyper-local news card," says Wright. "Which is really useful-it teaches me things about my neighborhood. For example, I found out Miss Mexico came to my son's school, I saw that [the local] Chipotle was giving out burritos, and someone was stabbed in the park near my house. It's very, very targeted to you and your interests."
It remains unclear when (or whether) the local news card will become available to the public, but anyone in the local news business would be wise to start thinking ahead to a future when Google is a major player in the hyper-local realm.