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By Jennifer Parrucci from IPTC member New York Times

The NewsCodes Working Group has been tirelessly working on a project to review the definitions of all terms in the MediaTopics vocabulary.

The motivation behind this work is feedback received from members using the vocabulary that some definitions are unclear, confusing or not grammatically correct. Additionally, some labels have also been found to be outdated or insensitive and have been changed.

Changing these definitions and labels is not meant to completely change the usage of the terms. Definition and label changes are meant to refine and clarify the usage.

While reviewing each definition the members of the working group have considered various factors, including whether the definition is clear, whether the definition uses the label to define itself (not very helpful) and whether there are typos or grammatical errors in the definition. Additionally, definitions were made more consistent and examples were added when possible.

Once these changes were made in English, the French, Spanish and German translations were also updated.

Currently, updates are available for three branches of Media Topics:

  • arts, culture and entertainment
  • weather
  • conflict, war and peace

Updates can be viewed in cv format on cv.iptc.org or in the tree view on show.newscodes.org.

The working group plans to continue working on the definition review and periodically release more updates as they become available.