Google to Make News More Positive with 'Good News'

John Lister's picture

Google is to launch a dedicated "good news" feature on its gadgets and services. It calls it "part of a balanced news diet."

The good news in question is designed to avoid too much subjectivity. For example, the algorithm would have not have reported to Cleveland Indian fans that the Chicago Cubs won the World Series back in November of 2016.

The category will not also cover the more traditional "good news" feature that appears at the end of some TV news broadcasts such as skateboarding ducks or lost kittens being found. While such stories are momentarily uplifting, they don't necessarily have much impact on daily lives.

Solutions In Focus

Instead, the "good news" category will concentrate specifically on news stories that involve people finding solutions to problems. Google gives the example of amateur beekeepers who've boosted the local economy with honey sales while overcoming the problem of declining bee populations (which can lead to less pollination and eventually affect fruit harvests).

The news will come from multiple sources, curated, and then summarized by an organization called the Solutions Journalism network. That's a non-profit group that says its already collated 4,000 such stories from around the world, taken from more than 700 different news sources. (Source:

For now at least the category will only be used in the Google Assistant tool rather than on Google's news website. Google Assistant is a voice controlled tool available on phones and tablets as well as being the driving force behind the Google Home 'smart speaker'.

"Hey Google, Tell Me Something Good"

Users simply have to say "Hey Google, tell me something good" to get a news summary of a solutions-based news story. There will be a new story featured each day. (Source:

Google says the project is designed as an experiment that isn't just about helping users find such stories. It also wants to see if inclusion in Google Assistant can boost audiences for a story enough to make a difference at news outlets that assign and evaluate stories to journalists based on the number of readers or listeners. That can often mean an emphasis on dramatically negative stories that attract more attention.

What's Your Opinion?

Do you welcome Google's move? Should it extend the "positive" or "solutions" journalism category of the main Google News site? Should news "aggregators" such as Google intentionally promote positive stories or simply leave it to click rates to decide which stories are most important?

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Navy vet's picture

So Google will decide what's good news for me? I don't think so.

trbruce_9594's picture

One man's meat is another man's poison .

sirpaultoo's picture

Yawn! I've been using this feature (Good News Bad News skill) on Amazon's Echo for at least a couple of years - 'Alexa, ask good news bad news to tell me the good news'.
And yes, one can ask for both, 'Alexa, ask good news bad news how was the day'.