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Flipboard Expands Local Coverage, Adds Coronavirus Updates for All 35 Metro Areas

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Flipboard, a curated content platform for people around the world, adds deep coverage for 12 new metro areas, including Cleveland, Detroit and St. Louis to its Local initiative, bringing the total number of locales to 35. In each city, Flipboard works with local partners such as Cleveland.com | The Plain Dealer, the Detroit Free Press, and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Additionally, Patch and ProPublica are joining the initiative, expanding local coverage from seven existing local topics—news, politics, real estate, commute, dining, sports, and weather—to include timely coverage of two of the most pressing issues for local communities: the impact of the novel coronavirus and the 2020 election.

With Americans everywhere trying to stay informed about the impact of the COVID19 outbreak on their communities, Flipboard expands its local coverage to cities like Cleveland, Detroit, and St. Louis and adds coronavirus updates for all 35 metro areas. Additionally, Patch and ProPublica are joining Flipboard’s Local Initiative.

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With the rapid spread of COVID-19, local newsrooms provide the most relevant information for where their readers live as they closely monitor and report about the situation on the ground, such as local ordinances and testing stations. And while national media is focused on the presidential elections, local newsrooms pay close attention to state and local races as well as ballot initiatives, voting rights, and voter access. The new partnerships with Patch, with newsrooms in communities across the United States, and ProPublica, including its Local Reporting Network partners as well as its collaborative journalism project Electionland, rounds out coverage about these two important topics for each of the 35 metro areas included in Flipboard’s Local initiative. 

“Understanding the decisions state and local governments make and their impact on the community is not only important, but also gives people a greater connection to their local leaders and the media,” said Marci McCue, vice president of content and communications at Flipboard. “For instance, as a local resident you may want coverage from national newspapers about the coronavirus outbreak, but even more importantly is a local source that tells you where you can get tested and measures local leaders are taking that impact your daily life.” 

“As a provider of local news to communities all across the U.S., it is essential for Patch to partner with platforms to reach relevant audiences,” said President of Patch, Warren St. John. “Our local coronavirus coverage consists of almost 200 stories per day and this integration with Flipboard’s local initiative will increase discovery of this important information.”

Twelve New Cities

Starting today, people in Baltimore, Md.; Charlotte, N.C.; Cleveland, Ohio; Detroit, Mich; Indianapolis, Ind.; Nashville, Tenn; Pittsburgh, Pa.; Orlando, Fla.; Raleigh, N.C.; Salt Lake City, Utah; St. Louis, Mo.; and Tampa Bay, Fla. can use Flipboard to find curated local news sources in one place. For each city, Flipboard works with local publishers and content creators such as broadcasters and bloggers, as well as national media outlets that cover local stories to offer a curated experience based on the best sources. For instance, if Rolling Stone writes a story about Nashville, Flipboard’s topic engine detects it and surfaces it in the local topic feed. Furthermore, editors curate relevant Twitter accounts and Flipboard Magazines to round out each city’s coverage. 

ProPublica has been supporting local journalism with several initiatives. The ProPublica Local Reporting Network funds and jointly publishes yearlong investigative projects, currently with 23 local news organizations across the country. Its Electionland initiative brings together a coalition of journalists from around the country to report on problems that disenfranchise eligible voters (such as misinformation, changing voting laws and rules, voter harassment, equipment failures, and long lines at the polls) in order to cover the voter experience more comprehensively – across thousands of jurisdictions and millions of voters.

All of the local coverage can be found in the Flipboard Explore tab under Local. Flipboard’s Local initiative launched in January of this year and will continue to expand throughout 2020. 

Flipboard’s mission is to surface great journalism to inform and inspire people about the world they live in. Research shows that local media is better at covering issues Americans can use in their daily lives; these studies also indicate that people have greater trust in local media. Flipboard’s Local initiative is based on these premises. Informing local communities better is a top priority for Flipboard in 2020, hence the rapid expansion of the metro areas, as well as topic categories.

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