The San Francisco Chronicle was founded in 1865. It is the only daily broadsheet newspaper in San Francisco — and is published online at SFgate.com. In the 1960s Paul Avery was a police reporter at the Chronicle when he started investigating the so-called “Zodiac Killer.” Earlier this year Mark Fiore won a Pulitzer Prize for his animated online cartoons for the paper. (It’s well worth watching his cartoon that has Snuggly the security bear demonstrating how to make the Internet “wire tap friendly.”)
I’m focused on the Chronicle these days because it is also one of 577 U.S. news sites now publishing articles with hNews (see the full list here).
hNews is the Knight News Challenge-funded news microformat we developed with the
Associated Press that makes the provenance of news articles clear,
consistent and machine readable. A news article with hNews
will — by definition — identify its author, its source organization, its
title, when it was published and, in most cases, the license
associated with its use and a link to the principles to which it adheres
(e.g. see AP essential news). It could also include where it was written, when it was updated, and a bunch of other useful stuff.
Essentially, hNews makes the provenance of a news
article a lot more transparent, which is good news for whoever produces
the article because it helps them receive credit for their work and creates potential revenue models, among other benefits. It’s also
good news for the end user because they are better able to assess an article’s provenance, which helps them judge credibility and other important aspects.
A Growing List
We have long been aware that many
sites have been integrating hNews; but there has not been a published list
of these sites. This seemed to us a little unsatisfactory. So we went
out and found as many of them as we could and have now published them on
a list as an open Google doc.
There are, I understand, a few hundred more sites
that have either already integrated hNews or are in the process of
integrating it. We haven’t found them yet, but will add them when we do.
If you know of one (or if you are one) please let us know and we’ll add
If you’re interested in integrating hNews and are wondering why you should, you can read a piece I wrote for PBS MediaShift (”How metadata can eliminate the need for pay walls“), see the official specification at hNews microformats wiki, watch an hNews presentation by Stuart Myles, view a (slightly dated) slideshow on why it creates Value Added News, or see how to add hNews to WordPress.
hNews was developed as part of the transparency initiative
of the Media Standards Trust, which aims to make news on the web more
transparent. Along with a grant from the Knight Foundation, we have also been funded by the MacArthur Foundation.