Content guidelines

For your content to be eligible for Google News on the Assistant, you must adhere to the following guidelines:

Playlist placement

For this feature, your stories fit into one of two parts of the playlist structure, determined by their length:

  • Short-format stories, those under 2 minutes, play first. Most are approximately 50 seconds.
  • Medium-format stories, those that are 2 to 15 minutes, play after a block of 5 to 8 short-format stories.

What to include

We recommend that stories in this beta news experience include the following:

Conversational headlines
  • Write headlines with verbs and articles like "the," "a" and "an."
  • Avoid including dates.
  • Keep headlines around 35-40 characters.
Clear introductions
  • Say both the name of the show/publisher and the person speaking.
    • This can be included as a separate <intro> file in an mRSS feed.
  • Capture what the story is about early in the production. Use the lead to get the audience hooked.
Reliable structures
  • Each story must stand alone. Avoid references to previous content.
  • Cover a single topic. Avoid an overview of multiple stories.
  • Make clear handoffs between voices.
    • For example:
      1. Host introduces herself and outlet
      2. Host delivers lead
      3. Host introduces reporter
      4. Reporter delivers story with tape
      5. [optional] Back to host for outro
Creative elements
  • Make audio-first or audio-rich content that's meant to be listened to. For example:
    • Include more than one voice in a story.
    • Use natural or ambient sound to enrich the story. A report about wildfires might include the crackling of fire.
Clear editing
  • Begin with a half-second of silence, also known as a "breath-in". The silence keeps the host from being cut-off.
  • End with a half-second of silence. The silence transitions the listener out of the story.
Content warnings
  • Include an explicit content warning at the beginning of the story for stories with content or language that might be inappropriate.
    • For example: Preface the story with a recorded message, such as "This story contains explicit language that might not be appropriate for all listeners."

What to avoid

We recommend stories in this beta news experience avoid the following:

Words like "breaking" or time references like "today" or "this morning"
  • Stories may be shown in an on-demand experience so they can appear after the original air date and time. Avoid these in story content, headlines and show names.
Profanity or foul language in headlines
  • The headlines might be read aloud by our text-to-speech voice so avoid any language that isn't appropriate for broadcast. See FCC guidelines for guidance.
Promotional materials or stories with ads
  • This experience is a space for non-promotional storytelling and content. Individual stories shouldn't be promotional, or contain sponsored content or advertising.
For short-format stories, don't include music
  • Music in stories under 2 minutes can be distracting, especially when the music included isn't for a specific story purpose.
For intros in the mRSS spec, don't include music
  • These introductions are very short, 3-5 seconds, and might be used or reused in multiple stories in a single feed.