An extract of IPTC Media Topics vocabulary tree browser showing the new "show retired" button.

As is now traditional, the IPTC NewsCodes Working Group has released our regular update at the end of the calendar quarter.

This release includes updates to the Media Topic and Item Relation CVs.

Changes to the Media Topic vocabulary

Label and/or definition changes:

Retired terms:

Hierarchy moves:

New terms:

The release also includes no-NN (New Norwegian) translations for the updates released in Q2 2022. Other languages were already updated over previous months.

Changes to other Controlled Vocabularies

The itemrelation CV is used in NewsML-G2 to show types of links between news items. The vocabulary now has two new terms:

  • irel:translatedFromRoot: “The related resource contains the content from which this item was translated, either directly or indirectly via one or more other translations”
  • irel:wasPackagedIn: “Indicates that this Item was included in the target package”

Thanks to everyone from IPTC members and users of the NewsCodes CV for suggesting terms, and to the NewsCodes and Sports Content Working Groups who helped to put this release together.

An extract of IPTC Media Topics vocabulary tree browser showing the new "show retired" button.

An extract of the IPTC Media Topics vocabulary tree browser showing the new “show retired” button.

Following on with our quarterly update cycle, the IPTC NewsCodes Working Group has released the Q2 2022 update of IPTC NewsCodes, including updates to the Media Topic, Subject Code, and Digital Source Type vocabularies.

Media Topic updates

In a related tool update announcement, we have now added a handy “show retired terms” checkbox to the Media Topics interactive tree browser tool, and we default to only showing the active (non-retired) terms. The new option can be seen in the picture at the top of this article.

Digital Source Type vocabulary updates

After asking for feedback on a draft of the work a few months ago, we have updated the Digital Source Type vocabulary to support the emerging area of “Synthetic Media.”

The single term “softwareImage” has been retired, which means that while it is acceptable in legacy content, we no longer recommend its use. The term is now replaced with 9 new terms covering the spectrum from purely human creation through to purely machine image creation:

To see more detail including the definition of each term, click the links above or view the entire IPTC Digital Source Type vocabulary.

Thanks to those both inside and outside of the IPTC community who gave feedback on our original proposal, your comments were very much appreciated.

Subject Code vocabulary updates – indicating its deprecated status

The IPTC Subject Code vocabulary was created over twenty years ago, in the year 2000. It was maintained through to 2010, but at that point the Media Topic vocabulary took over as IPTC’s preferred subject classification taxonomy. We will keep it on our vocabulary server, but we no longer recommend its use in projects due to some terms being out of date.

So we have put warnings on the pages of the Subject Code vocabulary that indicate its deprecated nature, and encourage users to look at Media Topic instead.

 

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.

Example of IPTC's ninjs format for syndicating news in JSON formatAt the IPTC Spring Meeting in May 2022, IPTC’s Standards Committee voted to approve ninjs 1.4, the latest version in the 1.x track of IPTC’s standard for news content in the JSON format.

Johan Lindgren of TT Nyhetsbyrån, Lead of the IPTC News in JSON Working Group, said:

“After the launch of ninjs 2.0 in the autumn of 2021, we received requests to add some of the new 2.0 features to the first generation of ninjs, so that those who are using the 1.x branch of ninjs can use the new features without making breaking changes. So we are excited to publish version 1.4 of ninjs, where these features are included.”

Those changes include:

  • New property contentcreated, denoting the date and time when the content of this ninjs object was originally created (as opposed to the date and time when the ninjs object itself was created). For example, an old photo that is now handled as a ninjs object may have a firstcreated and versioncreated of “2022-06-02T12:00:00+00:00”, but a contentcreated value of “1933-04-03T00:00:00+00:00”. The contents must be a valid JSON Schema date-time object.
  • New property expires, showing “the date and time after which the Item is no longer considered editorially relevant by its provider.” Note that this is not the same as a rights-related expiration, it simply conveys the desire of the content creator to highlight the content until a certain time. A good example might be a football match preview, which would no longer be editorially relevant after the game commences. The contents must be a valid JSON Schema date-time object.
  • New property rightsinfo, which holds an expression of rights to be applied to the content. It contains sub-properties langid (a URI which specifies the language used to specify rights such as RightsML or ODRL), and one of either linkedrights (containing a link to a remotely-hosted declaration of the rights associated with the content) or encodedrights (which includes an embedded encoding of the rights statements within the ninjs object).

Which version of ninjs should I choose for my project?

There might be some confusion since we have released ninjs 1.4 after the release of ninjs 2.0. Please note that this is simply an update to the 1.x branch of ninjs to make it easier for users who cannot upgrade to 2.x branch due to breaking changes.

If you are starting a new project that requires JSON-encoded news content, we recommend using ninjs 2.0. This version should be easiest for developers to work with.

If you are already using a 1.x version of ninjs, we recommend at least upgrading to version 1.4. This should be an easy change, because 1.4 is backwards-compatible with versions 1.0, 1.1, 1.2 and 1.3. We would also recommend upgrading to 2.0 if possible, but if not, 1.4 is the best version of the 1.x branch.

Supporting materials for ninjs 1.4 and ninjs 2.0 can be found at these locations:

Thanks to Johan and the IPTC News in JSON Working Group for working on this release.

We have just released a small update to the Media Topics contrextract from IPTC MediaTopics Feb 2021olled vocabulary for news and media content. The changes support the Winter Olympics which starts this week.

The changes are:

  • The definition of bobsleigh (medtop:20000854) was changed to reflect the fact that bobsleigh now offers a one-person version (which is incidentally referred to as “monobob”). The new definition is: One, two or four people racing down a course in a sled that consists of a main hull, a frame, two axles and sets of runners. The total time of all heats in a competition is added together to determine the winner.
  • Similarly, the definition of freestyle skiing (medtop:20001058) was changed to reflect new events this year. The new definition is: Skiing competitions which, in contrast to alpine skiing, incorporate acrobatic moves and jumps. Events include aerials, halfpipe, slopestyle, ski cross, moguls and big air.

We also took the opportunity to add a term which was recently suggested by ABC Australia and Fourth Estate in the US:

We would like to thank to all Media Topics users and maintainers for their feedback and support.

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.

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.

Photograph depicts a visually disabled person operating a computer using a Braille screenreader.
A visually disabled person using a Braille screenreader. Photo by Sigmund on Unsplash

The latest version of the International Press Telecommunications Council IPTC’s Photo Metadata Standard includes two new properties: Alt Text (Accessibility) and Extended Description (Accessibility). These will make it easier for software companies, publishers, and website developers to make websites and electronic publications more accessible.

These new properties will be introduced to the public and discussed in detail at the IPTC Photo Metadata Conference, held online next Thursday, 4th November. Registration to the IPTC Photo Metadata Conference is free and open to all.

“A major milestone in accessibility is realised through the inclusion of embedded alt text and extended descriptions as IPTC metadata for digital images,” said Beth Ziebarth, Director of Access Smithsonian. “All publicly available images can now be made accessible. As with any good inclusive practice, this benefits a range of digital image users and producers. The foresight of the IPTC Photo Metadata Working Group is commendable.”

Web accessibility is mission-critical in our digitally inclusive age. As the number of images added to the web increases every day, the visual gap widens for people using assistive technologies, especially if they are blind. Embedding image descriptions for accessibility into photo metadata promises to be a game-changer, making it possible for software and systems to routinely provide alt text with images, thus giving screen reader software the ability to help readers visualise and listen to image descriptions as they are read out loud. Without accessible descriptions, images are silent for the millions who rely on screen readers to fully access the web.

As Richard Orme, CEO of the DAISY Consortium, has pointed out, “Up to 250 million people with blindness or moderate to severe vision impairment can benefit from image descriptions, plus countless more people with diverse information processing differences such as dyslexia who use text-to-speech technology for reading.”

The year 2020 was pivotal for web accessibility. Many disabled people were at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19 but struggled to access the essentials online — everything from healthcare and education to groceries and supplies. Inaccessible websites and applications have always been a barrier; during COVID, they became a threat to the health and safety of a vulnerable population.

Image descriptions are essential for people with visual impairments using assistive technologies and a fundamental requirement of the World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), the most widely-used guidelines for web accessibility in the world (W3C Web Accessibility Laws and Policies).

IPTC’s new accessibility properties will make it easier for platforms and software to comply with WCAG requirements and deliver images that are inclusive for everyone. Embedding accessible image descriptions into the photo metadata will make it possible for alt text and extended descriptions to travel wherever the image goes on the web or in books or other documents provided as EPUBs.

If you are interested, there are a few things you can do now:

  • Attend the IPTC Photo Metadata Conference on November 4th to understand more about the new properties and how you can use them.
  • Contact your software providers to tell them about these new properties and emphasise that these features are very important to you. Ask them when they will make the new properties available in their user interface.
  • Contact your web content management software provider to make that case as well.
  • For larger enterprises, think about how you could implement these properties into your organisation’s workflow.

The online IPTC Photo Metadata Standard specification will be updated to the new version on 4 November 2021.

extract from IPTC MediaTopics Feb 2021

We have just released the Q3 update to Media Topics, IPTC’s subject taxonomy used for classifying news content.

Most were changes to the education branch, following our regular review cycle. We also added some missing Norwegian translations (thanks to Tor Kristian Flage at NTB) and fixed some incorrect Wikidata mappings.

The changes are listed below. All changes are in both en-GB and en-US versions unless otherwise noted.

New terms:

Label changes:

Definition changes:

Hierarchy change (in addition to those listed above):

Retired terms:

As usual, 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.

Screenshot from IPTC's cv.iptc.org controlled vocabulary viewer showing new entries to the NewsCodes vocabulary.

In time for the 2020 Summer Olympics, soon to be held in Tokyo Japan (in 2021), we have released a new version of the Media Topics vocabulary covering all Olympic sports.

As many MediaTopics users don’t use the sports facets system, we wanted to make sure that the top-level Olympic and Paralympic sports were all represented in the main Media Topics vocabulary.

To make this possible, we have made the following changes:

New and changed labels and definitions for Olympics and Paralympics

We have added the following new sport concepts, all under Competition Discipline:

Modified labels:

We have “unretired” the following term, which was retired in 2017:

We have moved the following term:

Updated translations

In another major update we have added labels in French, Spanish and Arabic for most recently-added terms. Thanks to Anne Raynaud and her team at Agence France-Presse (AFP) for this contribution.

Another small change is that in the HTML tree view, we now mark retired concepts more clearly by visually striking out their labels and definitions.

We always welcome feedback on IPTC MediaTopics and the other NewsCodes vocabularies on the public discussion list iptc-newscodes@groups.io.