What makes a news API tasty? NYT: Gimme some sweet metadata!

Amy Gahran did a great write up on the upcoming NYT API over at E-Media Tidbits:

I think it would be great if more news organizations and journalists could learn a different approach to presenting news — one that provides structure to information that supports both conventional storytelling and remixing, analysis, or alternate representations.

JD Lasica’s take on why it’s important is spot on:

The salvation of the news industry — if there is to be one — will come not from corporate board rooms but in unleashing the pent-up power of the citizenry as part of a multipronged social media/participatory media strategy.

Let’s just hope the folks over at the Times write a good one. APIs are not guaranteed to be useful. If they quit at movie listings, they’ll have given us little. But if they coat their stories in layers of delicious metadata, the web will eat them up. (Personally, I’d prefer a Microformat for news metadata, but I’ll take what I can get.)

What do you want to know about a news story?

There are obvious useful bits: date, headline, author, location, etc., but what else would be neat? How about translated headlines? Or full translations? Related news? Related videos? Related links on other sites?



Target demographics!

Krishna Bharat told me after his talk at Journalism 3G that the Google News bots would love to know if a particular story was from a wire service.

What uber-mash-upable goodies would you want from the NYT?