Google News undergoes a dramatic makeover bringing new options as well as a new look

Google News

Internet users get their news from a huge number of sources these days. In addition to newspaper websites, RSS feeds and social media, there are also aggregator sites -- including Google News. Google has just unveiled a major redesign for its news service, with a shift in focus as well as a change in appearance.

With the redesign -- which marks the 20th anniversary of Google News -- Google is placing an increased emphasis on local news, but it is also using the revamp to introduce a range of new customization options. The redesign is described as "a brand-new briefing, clear selections, and more picks for you".

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Introducing the changes, Google says: "To help people dive deeper into important stories and more easily find local news from around the world, today we’re launching a redesigned, more customizable Google News experience for desktop".

As part of the shift in focus, local news now appears at the top of the page, and Google has added the ability to have news from multiple locations included in this section.

Increased customization is the name of the game with this update, with the Your Topics section now being open to more personalization. In an age of fake news and "alternative facts", reliable news has become increasingly difficult to identify. To help with this, Google says:

To help you make more informed judgments about the information you come across online, we’ve expanded our Fact Check section in Google News on desktop to provide more context. In addition to headlines, you’ll now see the original claim made along with the fact-checked assessment from independent organizations.

This is one of the many ways Google is helping support media literacy. You can also find more information about sources right on Google Search, called About This Result. Next to related Search results, you’ll see three dots that you can tap to learn more about the result and where the information is coming from. With this extra context, you can follow expert recommendations to check the source and see what others say about a topic, helping you make more informed decisions about the sites you may want to visit and what results will be most useful for you.

Check out the new-look Google News here. If you're not a fan of the redesign, you can change back to the old style in settings.

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