extract from IPTC MediaTopics Feb 2021

The IPTC NewsCodes Working Group has now released the Q4 update to Media Topics, IPTC’s subject taxonomy used for classifying news content.

The main changes were made to the religion branch as part of our regular review cycle, and to sport events after discussing the terms with the Sports Content Working Group. This means that we have retired 29 terms and added 15 others. So in total we currently have 1,159 active terms in the vocabulary.

All new terms were created in en-GB and en-US versions, and have translations in Norwegian thanks to NTB. Other language translations will be added as they are contributed.

Below is a list of all of the changes.

New terms:

Retired terms:

Label changes:

Definition changes:

Hierarchy moves:

  • medtop:20000423 environmental policy moved from medtop:06000000 environment to medtop:20000621 government policy
  • medtop:20000479 healthcare policy moved from medtop:07000000 health to medtop:20000621 government policy
  • medtop:20000480 government health care moved from medtop:20000479 healthcare policy to medtop:07000000 health
  • medtop:20000483 health insurance moved from medtop:20000479 healthcare policy to medtop:07000000 health
  • medtop:20000690 religious festival and holiday moved from medtop:20000689 religious event to medtop:12000000 religion
  • medtop:20000696 religious ritual moved from medtop:20000689 religious event to medtop:12000000 religion
  • medtop:20001177 Olympic Games moved from medtop:20001123 world gamesto medtop:20001108 sport event
  • medtop:20001178 Paralympic Games moved from medtop:20001123 world games to medtop:20001108 sport event
  • medtop:20001239 exercise and fitness moved from medtop:10000000 lifestyle and leisure to medtop:20001339 wellness
  • medtop:20001293 streaming service moved from medtop:20000045 mass media to medtop:20000304 media

As always, the Media Topics vocabularies can be viewed in the following ways:

For more information on IPTC NewsCodes in general, please see the IPTC NewsCodes Guidelines.

At the recent IPTC Standards Committee Meeting, NewsML-G2 version 2.30 was approved.

The IPTC NewsML-G2 Generator has also been updated to produce NewsML-G2 2.30-compliant content.

The full NewsML-G2 XML Schema, NewsML-G2 Guidelines document and NewsML-G2 specification document have all now been updated.

The biggest change (Change Request CR00211) is that <catalogRef/> and <catalog/> elements are now optional. This is so that users who choose to use full URIs instead of QCodes do not need to include an unnecessary element.

The other user-facing change is CR00212 which adds residrefformat and residrefformaturi attributes to the targetResourceAttributes attribute group, used in <link>, <icon> and <remoteContent>.

Other changes CR00213 and CR00214 aren’t visible to end users and don’t change any functionality, but make the XML Schema easier to read and maintain.

XML Schema documentation of version 2.30 version is available on GitHub and at http://iptc.org/std/NewsML-G2/2.30/specification/XML-Schema-Doc-Power/.

NewsML-G2 Generator updated

The NewsML-G2 Generator has been updated to use version 2.30. This means that catalogRef is only included if QCode mode is chosen. The Generator also uses the new layout which means that the target document is updated in real time as the form is completed.

To follow our work on GitHub, please see the IPTC NewsML-G2 GitHub repository.

The full NewsML-G2 change log showing the Change Requests included in each new version is available at the dev.iptc.org site.

A screenshot of a browser showing Bill Kasdorf's latest column. Follow the link to read the full article.
Bill Kasdorf’s article on PublishersWeekly.com discusses IPTC Photo Metadata Standard’s new properties, Alt Text (Accessibility) and Extended Description (Acessibility).

Bill Kasdorf, IPTC Individual Member, has written about IPTC Photo Metadata in his latest column for Publishers Weekly.

In the article, a double-page spread in the printed version of the 11/22/2021 issue of Publishers Weekly and an extended article online, Bill references Caroline Desrosiers of IPTC Startup member Scribely saying “if publications are born accessible, then their images should be born accessible, as well.”

The article describes how the new Alt Text (Accessibility) and Extended Description (Accessibility) properties in IPTC Photo Metadata can be used to make EPUBs more accessible.

Bill goes on to provide an example, supplied by Caroline Desrosiers, of how an image’s caption, alt text and extended description fulfil very different purposes, and mentions that it’s perfectly fine to leave alt text blank in some cases! For more details, read the article here.

Carl-Gustav Linden of University of Bergen on the use of IPTC metadata as a means of powering AI in journalism, speaking at the JournalismAI Festival on 30 November 2021.
Carl-Gustav Linden of University of Bergen on the use of IPTC metadata as a means of powering AI in journalism, speaking at the JournalismAI Festival on 30 November 2021.

“Metadata is the wheel in the digital business model,” according to Carl-Gustav Linden of University of Bergen in Norway. “We can use it to combine the right content with the right readers, listeners and viewers. That’s why metadata is so essential.”

Professor Linden was speaking at the JournalismAI Festival taking place this week, hosted by the Polis think-tank at the London School of Economics and Political Science. The JournalismAI project is a collaboration between POLIS and newsrooms and institutes around the world, funded by the Google News Initiative.

We are very happy to see several mentions of IPTC standards and IPTC members, particularly the New York Times and iMatrics. The New York Times is seen as a forerunner in content classification, with Jennifer Parrucci (lead of the IPTC NewsCodes Working Group) giving presentations recently about their work. iMatrics supplies an automated content classification system based on IPTC Media Topics which can be used as part of editorial workflows.

One thing we would like to note is that Professor Linden mentions that the IPTC vocabularies are influenced by our background in US-based news organisations, citing an example of the schools terms being focussed on the US system. We are happy to say that in a recent update to IPTC Media Topics we clarified our terms around school systems, making the label names and descriptions much more generic and based on the international schools classifications.

This change was the result of many IPTC member organisations working together from different parts of the world, including Scandinavia, to come to a result that hopefully works for everyone (and of course, each user of Media Topics is welcome to extend the vocabulary for their own purposes if necessary). This is an example of the great work that takes place when our members work together.

The JournalismAI festival continues until Friday this week. All sessions from the festival are available on YouTube.

Thanks again to Polis and the JournalismAI team for giving us a mention!