MST, AP propose news microformat

The Media Standards Trust has today (Friday 10 July) called on news organisations to adopt consistent news formats for online content. The call comes as The Associated Press and the Media Standards Trust launch a new proposed news microformat.

The new proposed microformat, created by AP in association with the Trust, effectively encapsulates content and metadata so that critical information about every news story is available, including:

  • what the story is about
  • where it was written
  • who wrote it
  • where it was published
  • the news principles it adheres to (if any), and
  • any usage rights associated with it.

The proposed news microformat is non-proprietary, open source and intended to become a standard to be used by anyone producing news content. It builds on – and is intended to be complementary to – existing IPTC standards.

It is already being piloted by openDemocracy.net – the open source news analysis and commentary website.

The proposed microformat is now being tested on all AP text content. News stories are available in the new format via the AP Developer API, which also is in beta testing, and AP’s Web Feeds platform, an internet-based distribution platform for AP. The Associated Press, a not-for-profit organization headquartered in New York, is the world’s largest global news agency. More information on the microformat can be found at www.valueaddednews.org.

Martin Moore, director of the Media Standards Trust said: “Signposting online news consistently is good for news organizations, and good for the public”.

Todd Martin, AP vice president of Technology Development said: “We think this news format extends microformat efforts to date, by applying the basic principles of simplicity, reuse and semantic presentation specifically for news content”.