TT News Agency, an IPTC-member organization based in Sweden, has launched a new tool that will make it easy for news outlets to publish well-organized digital timelines in a vertical format.
TT:s Toolbox Timeline culls news items related to a particular subject or event onto a single Web page in chronological order. Each culled item has a headline, time stamp, photo or video, body text/news summary of the event, embedded content (such as tweets or video) and link to the original news item. The smaller news items compiled in succession tell the bigger-picture story in a logical and easy-to-digest format, while detailing its development.
Nicklas Larson, digital business developer for TT, says the advantages of TT:s Toolbox Timeline include its simplicity and vertical scroll, which is more suitable for mobile devices than a traditional horizontal format. The tool is also flexible and can be used for lists – not only time/date stories.
“The TT Toolbox in general and timeline tool in particular is a great example of how journalists and developers have been working together to create an easy-to-use tool for digital storytelling,” said Larson. “TT uses the tool in editorial work every day, and now we want other digital publishers to take advantage of what we have developed.”
TT:s Toolbox Timeline is currently being used by about 25 media clients. The tool is web-based and clients have access via their general log-in to TT’s site.
Timeline of Vivalla Murder: This Has Happened,” produced by local Swedish newspaper Orebro, is one of the first working examples of TT:s Toolbox Timeline. It documented the unfolding story of a violent shooting and murder in Vivalla in July 2015, and its evolution to trial and related attempted murder in Markbacken in January 2016.
The timeline outlines the original murder news story, discovery of organized crime connections, police investigation and activity, suspects’ arrests, and video of the highly publicized trial – while providing an overall frame of reference and telling the tragedy in its entirety.
Editors get a working preview of a timeline as well as embed codes with a publish button. Posts can be arranged via drag and drop, and design can be adjusted with TT:s CSS tool. Two alternatives of the embed code are available using either iframe tags or JavaScript. The JavaScript is fully responsive.
TT:s Toolbox Timeline is part of TT:s Toolbox suite, which also contains other programs for creating content, as well as interactive maps, quizzes, CSS, and more. The same infrastructure (such as log-in, hosting) is consistent for all TT:s Toolbox items.
For more information about using TT:s Toolbox Timeline, contact Nicklas Larson, or see

The International Press Telecommunications Council (IPTC) will use a grant from the first round of Google’s Digital News Initiative Innovation Fund to build and freely distribute an initial version of EXTRA: The EXTraction Rules Apparatus, a multilingual open-source platform for rules-based classification of news content.

EXTRA will be a classification system for annotating news documents with high-quality subject tags. Such tags will allow publishers to deliver a variety of valuable services including content recommendations, improved advertising targeting and subject-specific content streams, such as alerts and topic pages.

“By creating a freely available rules-based classification engine, IPTC will help publishers to enhance their content with all sorts of metadata services, including enriched search, intelligent recommendations and precise analytics,” said Stuart Myles, chairman of IPTC.

EXTRA will provide news publishers with several key capabilities: the ability to automatically categorize documents by subject (for example, terrorism, sports, names of celebrities); the ability to author classification rule sets tailored to existing taxonomies; and the ability to classify documents using the industry standard IPTC Media Topics taxonomy. Taxonomies are used by many news organizations to classify their content. Classification is used in various ways, including improved online news navigation by grouping and linking, to organize editorial workflows and to enrich search.

So that EXTRA is immediately useful to the news publishing community, IPTC will create different suites of rules in two languages for classifying news documents into the IPTC Media Topics taxonomy, an industry-standard taxonomy used by several leading news providers.

“We hope that the EXTRA project will support a migration in the news publishing community towards a common industry-wide open source platform,” said Michael Steidl, managing director of IPTC. “We believe that a freely available document classification platform will provide great benefit to small-to-medium sized publishers.”

IPTC invites other parties to join the development of EXTRA.
Contact to learn more, including how you can get involved.

Over €27m has been offered by Google to 128 projects, large and small, from 23 countries across Europe – each designed to advance innovation in the news industry. DNI is a collaboration between Google and news publishers in Europe to support high quality journalism and encourage a more sustainable news ecosystem through technology.

About IPTC: The IPTC, based in London, brings together the world’s leading news agencies, publishers and industry vendors. It develops and promotes efficient technical standards to improve the management and exchange of information between content providers, intermediaries and consumers. The standards enable easy, cost-effective and rapid innovation. Visit  and follow on Twitter: @IPTC