'Dynamic News Stories' article at XML.com

Written by Adrian Holovaty on May 17, 2006

Today, XML.com published an article I wrote, titled Dynamic News Stories. It's a collection of ideas that could help make news stories more valuable through automation.

Comments

Posted by AdamD on May 17, 2006, at 6:57 p.m.:

Some neat ideas. Let's say every newspaper in the country followed your advice. What newsroom member gets the job of adding these tags?

Posted by Adrian on May 17, 2006, at 7:10 p.m.:

Excellent question! In my opinion, ideally it'd be the reporters themselves, because they're the people creating the content. Alternatively, copy editors could do it, because they're closely reading every word in every article as it is.

Posted by Gary Love on May 17, 2006, at 8:08 p.m.:

Except for the "citiy" and "expire" tags, it seems the rest might be addressable by parsing the text when it comes in, rather than placing the responsibility on the writers or editors. You mentioned this when addressing quotes in articles that they often come in very predictable patterns (thanks AP style) ... Cited Person said "Quote." or $123.44 or May 24. It should be possible for an word processor or CMS to identify those patterns and suggest/apply the appropriate tags.

Personally, I think this might have relevance outside of the relatively narrow world of online news. I'd love to see it applied within the OpenDocument format, allowing all documents written to be tagged with intelligent snippets.

Posted by Bill de hOra on May 18, 2006, at 12:56 p.m.:

"ideally it'd be the reporters themselves, because they're the people creating the content. Alternatively, copy editors could do it, because they're closely reading every word in every article as it is."

I pitched uF as an option over here: journoformats. End result for writers online would be to use custom styles in a fck/tinymce/kupu window.

Posted by Svend on May 18, 2006, at 2:51 p.m.:

And why not change newspaper style? Why not use absolute dates, for example, instead of yesterdays and next Fridays, in articles?

Sure, stories might lose a little flow, but if what is gained is more useful to readers, then ...

Cheers,

Svend

Posted by adriand on May 19, 2006, at 10:37 a.m.:

Love the ideas here but I guess training and convincing journalists to markup their stories won't be an easy task. What software do they normally use? Microsoft Word?

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