The BBC is adopting a new data model which is the result of an informal development from a number of UK publishers including The Guardian and the Press Association, together with digital media technology specialists Ontoba. The purpose of the development, which the BBC is calling Storyline, is to define the use of metadata around BBC News stories, helping to tag articles, pictures and video clips to make content discovery easier and more accessible.
In a blog post, Robin Pembrooke of BBC Future Media described the work as “a rally interesting and viable model which we are beginning to build prototype services around. We believe it will help create more compelling user experiences about evolving news stories, particularly in showing how stories develop over time.
“We are interested in exploring how this could be used as a tool to drive co-operation on stories between different news organisations,” he added.
According to the BBC, Storyline is intended to be flexible to support any publisher’s approach to handling news stories. Typically a storyline would be composed of a rich collection of elements that can be fully ordered using an index or a timeline. It can also be ordered more graphically, allowing relationships to be defined to support subsequent semantic searching.
By allowing for these connections, different news organisations with differing editorial takes on an event can still access the same core of material, including information, facts, quotes and data as well as content.