Transparency initiative

The transparency initiative, run in partnership with the Web Science Trust, looks at ways of making the provenance of news more transparent online, particularly through the use of metadata. As part of the initiative the Media Standards Trust developed hNews – a news microformat – together with the Associated Press. hNews is now being used by over 500 news websites.



A brief history of the transparency initiative, from being the first UK proposal to win funding through a prestigious Knight News Challenge award, to date.

Read more



‘How metadata can eliminate the need for paywalls’, an article by Martin Moore for the PBS MediaShift blog, explains what hNews is about by comparing metadata to the Library of Alexandria. The article also highlights some of the possible applications of hNews.

Read the article


Value Added News

The first transparency initiative site to launch, Value Added News gives an introduction to the project. The site allows you to integrate hNews, the open source microformat which allows you to embed searchable metadata (‘news DNA’) in an article.

Visit the Value Added News site



The draft specification for the hNews microformat, outlining what hNews hopes to achieve and all of the technical details.

Go to the Microformats Wiki for hNews


hNews for WordPress

A plug-in for the WordPress Content Management System, allowing you to integrate hNews with your site or blog.

Download the hNews WordPress Plugin



A free Firefox extension which alerts you when an hNews or hAtom enabled article you’ve read has been changed, and enables you to see those changes.

Go to



The MST’s own code of principles and ethics, which we apply when writing blogposts and articles. Linked to by all hNews-marked items.

Read the MST’s principles



On 10th July 2009, the MST and Associated Press launched the hNews microformat at a News Innovation unconference at NESTA, London, with presentations from numerous open data innovators.

Read and watch presentations and reaction


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