New York Times lets users build things with its content (open API)

Here’s another case study to add to the list of examples of distributed journalism: the New York Times has finally launched its articles API. In other words

“The Article Search API is a way to find, discover, explore, have fun and build new things. We’ve accumulated quite a few blocks/articles over the last 28 years — all of them tagged and labeled with loving care.”

That’s “over 2.8 million articles from 1981–today (updated hourly)”, with each article comprising “~35 searchable fields” (see image below).

As TechDirt says, opening up data like this is turning news into a platform (while pointing out that the paper’s Executive Editor, Bill Keller is simultaneously talking about trying to lock up their content).

This is the latest in a series of fantastic initiatives from the NYT’s data team, including the campaign finance API launched late last year, while other news organisations have made story-related databases public.

For a similar example of a news organisation opening up its API, the BBC has been running its Backstage project for some years now, providing the foundations for a wide range of prototypes and ideas.

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8 thoughts on “New York Times lets users build things with its content (open API)

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