The relation of rNews to other existing standards
Metadata in HTML - rNews and hNews
Many news providers have created feeds to supply news using IPTC formats such as NITF and NewsML-G2. However, there are an increasing number of consumers of news who only want to work with "pure" web technologies, i.e. HTML rather than XML. So, the IPTC has been looking at the two major paths to represent metadata in HTML - microformats and RDFa.
hNews is the microformat for news that was adopted by the community in late 2009. It builds upon hAtom by adding a few news-specific fields (such as Source and Dateline). As of October 2010, we know of about 1,200 sites using hNews, predominantly in North America.
rNews is a proposal for a semantic markup vocabulary for news. As the names imply, rNews and hNews are similar in intent (news-specific metadata in HTML) but somewhat different in approach. Whereas hNews went through the microformats process, a semantic markup vocabulary can be created by anyone. The IPTC recently adopted rNews 1.0, based somewhat on the NewsML-G2, NITF and hNews models but extending beyond those standards in certain ways.
The benefit of getting rNews and hNews adopted by the IPTC is that greater industry support translates into less work for toolmakers: if many news providers support hNews and/or rNews - and do so in very similar ways - then it is easier to build parsers and tools to extract metadata from HTML.
Photo Metadata in image files: IPTC Core, IPTC Extension
Both of the IPTC's Photo Metadata standards, IPTC Core and IPTC Extension, are widely used by businesses and consumers alike. Professional image manipulation software (like Adobe Photoshop) usually allows embedding of metadata and follows the IPTC's standards to do that. Even consumer imaging applications use them, although often just a very small subset of the IPTC Core properties.
During the design process of rNews we made sure that it aligns with the IPTC Photo Metadata standards. It is easily possible to extract embedded Photo Metadata and expose most properties on a webpage with fully rNews-compliant markup. However, not all properties map 1:1.
Metadata in news exchange formats: NewsML-G2, EventsML-G2, NewsML 1, NITF
These IPTC standards are made for the exchange of news items in a business-to-business context: the news provider is a news agency, a newspaper, a news aggregator and the receiver is a media company using the items for its products: a newspaper, a news show on TV or in the radio, a news web site, or any other professional online service.
The formats used for this exchange contain the content as the core payload and in addition metadata about the content.
The metadata can be categorized by their purpose:
- description and semantic categorisation of the content (like a headline, subjects, keywords ...)
- administrative details of the content (who created the content, the date when it was created and published, ...)
- for managing the content: a globally unique identifier for the item, any embargo dates, if the item may be published or must be withdrawn, any signals to the editorial on the receiver's side.
For the whole context of the news industry and its existing standards IPTC sees that these relationships apply:
- The standards rNews and hNews provide a basic semantic markup of the content of a web page.
- The standards rNews and hNews apply to the portion of feed workflows where publishers target primarily the end user but also any business which makes use of the public presentation of content on the web like search engines.
- The standards rNews and hNews provide no or only a very limited set of metadata for managing content. This is the domain of the G2-Standards NewsML-G2 and EventsML-G2, of NITF and NewsML 1.
- The standards rNews and hNews are not made for delivering packages of structured news items in a business-to-business context, but they can reflect the composite content of a web page.
Want to comment on this page or rNews: we invite you to post your comment to the rNews Forum.