Local news outlets find an unlikely ally in the duopoly

Talk to a big publisher about Google and Facebook, and you’ll hear the strains of a dysfunctional relationship. But there’s one publishing sector that’s surprisingly having a bit of a honeymoon period: local news.

Thanks to regular visits from a Google-funded trainer, Bay Area News Group, a string of local newspapers and sites in Northern California whose flagship is The Mercury News, has become facile in using Google search, Fusion Tables and Maps in reporting. Facebook also recently had the group’s execs over to its nearby headquarters, where it offered them help understanding analytics and using Facebook Live.

“They just seem open to getting more involved in helping the mission of local journalism,” said Neil Chase, executive editor of the Bay Area News Group, adding, “I could use all the help I can get.”

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