Move over, micropayments; step aside, microblogging. The latest piece of journalism to be downsized is…formatting itself.

Today, the AP unveiled a “microformat” for digital news, designed to encapsulate the content and (sorry) meta-data of every online news story.

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In turn, the AP and The Media Standards Trust — a UK-based research and development group devoted to fostering higher standards in news — are calling on news organizations worldwide to adopt more consistent news formats for online content.

The proposed “microformat” would include what a story is about; where it was written; who wrote it; where it was published; the news principles it adheres to; and any usage rights associated with it.
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Megan Garber is an assistant editor at the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University. She was formerly a CJR staff writer.