Screenshot of a code editor showing an extract of a news story in ninjs 2.0 format

Today, IPTC announces the release of version 2.0 of the news industry’s standard for exchanging content in JSON: ninjs.

The new version introduces a completely new way of declaring multiple headlines, body texts and description fields, which is compatible with binary data serialisation formats such as Avro and Protocol Buffers.

“We are very excited about releasing the 2.0-version of News in JSON (ninjs),” says Johan Lindgren (TT), lead of the working group responsible for developing the standard. “When working on improving the 1.3 version, we realised that a number of suggestions would mean breaking changes and after some consideration we took that step. Now we have a version of ninjs that is better suited for APIs, databases like Elastic and conversion to binary methods like Protocol Buffers.”

The IPTC News in JSON Working Group has kept the original focus on two main use cases: data in transit and data at rest.

In recent years, more systems have started to convert from JSON formats into binary data serialisation protocols such as Avro and Protocol Buffers for data in transit. However ninjs 1.x couldn’t be converted into these protocols because of the dynamic way that keys could be defined, for example “headline_main” and “headline_subhead”. In ninjs 2.0, all properties are given well-defined names, so they can be converted into Protobufs schemas. The GitHub repository for ninjs now includes a demonstration of how ninjs 2.0 can be used with Protocol Buffers.

Other tools included in the repository are an example GraphQL server for ninjs and example XSLTs to convert from IPTC XML-based formats like NewsML and NITF.

The ninjs Generator tool has been updated to create ninjs 2.0. In fact, using the tool, users can switch between generating ninjs 1.3 and ninjs 2.0 output at the click of a radio button.

The official location of the ninjs 2.0 JSON Schema is https://iptc.org/std/ninjs/ninjs-schema_2.0.json.

A full list of the changes in ninjs 2.0 can be viewed in section 7.5 of the ninjs User Guide.

We had a great IPTC Photo Metadata Conference last week, focussing on accessibility, interoperability and authenticity.

Videos of all sessions are embedded in this post. Videos are also available from the event page. All videos have subtitles available – just click the “CC” button in the YouTube toolbar at the bottom of each video.

We started off with an introduction from IPTC Managing Director, Brendan Quinn:

Accessibility and “Born Accessible Content”

We then went into the first session, where David Riecks, co-lead of the IPTC Photo Metadata Working Group, introduced the new accessibility properties in the IPTC Photo Metadata Standard:

Next up was Sam Joehl of Level Access, who gave a fascinating presentation showing how a screen-reader application deals with images on the web, showcasing the need for good alternative text and image descriptions:

Next was a panel moderated by Caroline Desrosiers of Scribely, entitled Making Images Accessible Across Industries: How Does it Work and What’s Next? Speakers included Kate Sherwood, Cailin Meyer and Rebecca Snyder of the Smithsonian Institution, Rachel Comerford from Macmillan Learning and Jon Sasala from Morey Creative Studios. The subject matter ranged from Smithsonian’s image description guidelines for scientific research to Macmillan’s “Born Accessible Content” initiative to the problems with “overlay” software that attempts to write alt text automatically. View the session here:

The next panel was moderated by David Riecks, and focused on “Image Accessibility Behind the Scenes: Metadata, DAMs, and Workflows.” Speakers were Andrew Kirkpatrick, Director of Accessibility at Adobe, Margaret Warren, founder of ImageSnippets, and Janos Farkas, CEO of CLink Media. This session looked at the implementor’s view and covered issues around user interfaces, ensuring metadata stays with images throughout their lifecycles, and of course asked when the new accessibility properties would be available in Adobe products!

Interoperability with Michael Steidl

Next up we moved on from accessibility to the second theme of the day, Interoperability. Michael Steidl, the other co-lead of the IPTC Photo Metadata Working Group, demonstrated IPTC’s Photo Metadata Interoperability Tests, new tools to allow users and vendors to test the capabilities of image management software, and compare their metadata handling to the IPTC Photo Metadata Standard specification.

Authenticity, CAI and C2PA

The third theme of the day was authenticity. We invited Santiago Lyon, Head of Advocacy and Education for the Adobe-led Content Authenticity Initiative, to speak about the CAI and its sister project, C2PA – the Coalition for Content Authenticity and Provenance. We looked at some details around how C2PA technology will fulfil the requirements of CAI to provide tamper-evident images and videos.

Finally, Brendan gave some final comments and discussed the details that we know so far about next year’s event. He also encouraged everyone to join the Friends of IPTC Newsletter, so that they can be the first to hear about next year’s event!

As part of our series highlighting speakers at this week’s Photo Metadata Conference, we are very happy to showcase the panellists who will be speaking at the second session: Making Images Accessible Across Industries: How Does it Work and What’s Next?

Don’t forget to register for the event which is less than two days away!

Headshot of Kate Sherwood of Smithsonian, panellist at this year's IPTC Photo Metadata Conference.

Kate Sherwood

Photographer, Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History

Kate Sherwood is a Biological Anthropologist and Photographer, which has led them on field expeditions around the world and on hundreds of photoshoots of human skeletal remains related to prehistoric and historic archaeological contexts and forensic cases for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History (NMNH). Since 2017, Kate has produced over ten thousand images documenting the Smithsonian’s collections, exhibitions, museum staff, and research, which have been featured on the front page of The Washington Post and appeared in The New York Times, NPR, and many other news outlets and scientific publications. As a disabled photographer, she strives to increase the accessibility of museum collections and research, especially for those who have been historically marginalised.

Cailin Meyer

Headshot of Cailin Meyer, panellist at the 2021 IPTC Photo Metadata Conference.

Museum Collections Technician, Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History

Cailin Meyer is a Collections Technician at the National Museum of Natural History. Working with all types of natural history collections, Cailin specialises in disaster response and training, biohazard concerns, and increasing digital accessibility for individuals in museum spaces. Cailin is a co-chair of the Smithsonian Institution’s DEAI working group, and actively works to increase resources for and understanding of digital accessibility concerns amongst Smithsonian staff. She has most recently tackled the unique issue of designing image description guidelines geared towards scientific and natural history specimens, working alongside Kate Sherwood and Rebecca Snyder. Cailin’s background is in zooarchaeology, human and comparative anatomy, and dissection techniques. She earned her MA in Museum Studies from University of Kansas, her MA in Zooarchaeology from Illinois State University, and her BFA from Rhodes College.

Rebecca Snyder

Headshot of Rebecca Snyder, panellist at the 2021 IPTC Photo Metadata Conference.

Informatics Branch Chief, Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History

Rebecca Snyder is the Informatics Branch Chief at the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution (SI). Rebecca is responsible for the digital stewardship and preservation of collections and research data. Recent projects include the application of persistent identifiers for SI collections data and media, the Smithsonian Open Access initiative where she was responsible for designing the data flows between all SI collections systems, assisting in the development of a system of record for 3D data, and data quality improvement projects adhering to FAIR data principles. She is also a member of the Audubon Core data standard maintenance group, focusing on creating standards for the sharing of 3D data.

Rachel Comerford, Macmillan Learning

Headshot of Rachel Comerford, panellist at the 2021 IPTC Photo Metadata Conference.

Senior Director of Accessibility Outreach and Communication, Macmillan Publishing

Rachel Comerford is the Senior Director of Accessibility Outreach and Communication at Macmillan Learning where she leads cross-functional efforts to ensure students of all abilities have access to their course materials. In 2020, BISG awarded Rachel the Industry Innovator award for her work helping Macmillan Learning to become the first Global Certified Accessible publisher by Benetech. Under her leadership, Macmillan was recognised by WIPO’s Accessible Book Consortium with the International Excellence Award for Accessible Publishing in 2020 for their work towards providing educational materials that any student can use. Rachel has over a decade of experience in the print and digital publishing world. Prior to coming to Macmillan Learning as an editor, she held a variety of editorial and sales positions at WW Norton and Pearson.

Jon Sasala

President, Morey Creative Studios

Jon Sasala is president of Morey Creative Studios, a New York-based HubSpot Partner Agency specialising in inbound B2B marketing, content development, web design, lead generation and sales support. He joined the Morey team in 2001 as a graphic designer, and has grown with the organisation throughout the last two decades to his current position. Jon heads the HubSpot User Group for New York City and hosts the ‘Inbound & Down’ podcast. In addition to his agency responsibilities, Jon co-founded InclusionHub.com, an online database, resource nexus, and community designed to help businesses make better decisions around web accessibility and digital inclusion. Closely connected with the design, programming and content side of web development—coupled with a comprehensive understanding of business operations—he has a unique perspective on the importance of web accessibility for companies operating in the digital world.

Caroline Desrosiers, moderator of a panel at the 2021 IPTC Photo Metadata Conference.

The panel will be moderated by Caroline Desrosiers, Founder and CEO of IPTC Startup Member Scribely. Scribely is a company on a mission to make images and videos more accessible to blind and visually-impaired people and more discoverable to search engines. Scribely’s team of expert writers specialise in writing alt text for images and audio description for videos, helping digital media providers create born-accessible visual content for a more inclusive, equitable, and sustainable world. Before starting Scribely, Caroline worked for a global academic digital publisher, SAGE Publishing, where she led a working group to improve the accessibility of interactive eBooks. Caroline is also the Co-Host of Say My Meme, a podcast that describes the internet’s best memes for people who cannot see them.

Accessibility features including live closed captions will be used at the event.

For those in timezones where the timing is inconvenient, please go ahead and register anyway – you will be sent a link to the event recordings afterwards.

There’s still time to register. Attendance is free of charge for anyone – there is no requirement to be an IPTC Member to join.

For full schedule details and a link to register, see the event page.