As well as various online sources including interviews with Google staff, the following ranking factors are distilled from my own experiences with a large local news site Google's own FAQs and videos, research papers and patents published by Google, and analyses performed by other SEO professionals.
Other factors are unlikely to be a part of Google current workings News. a few of these factors are likely still Google part News ranking algorithm in some form or another, such as clickthroughs, number of topics, and breaking news score. Google's implementation of collaborative filtering in Google News has been published and can be read here. I still consider it essential to have one, if only to ensure all your content is found and indexed by Google's news spiders, while having a Google News sitemap doesn't help your rankings in Google News. The full patent text is available here.
Many news organisations receive lots of their website traffic from Google News -the dominant news destination for users online. Also its own country specific versions, google News defines ‘editions' as separate categories of news. Politics, and entertainment. It's a well google News is a very different animal from Google Search, and it's vital for news publishers to have a decent understanding of how Google News operates and what can be done to optimise your presence there.
Note that Google is striving to show every article under the original publisher's banner.
AP and other news agencies are also working hard to ensure they capture the web traffic for their own content. Content republished from other sources are much less likely to show up in Google News as part of your site than our own original content. Remember, PR SEO is a very hit miss process, if you don't have the insider contacts.
It is important to note that publisher reputation is mostly independent of a website's PageRank, and that the reputation can be different for each edition. Thus it is possible for a news site to have a great publisher reputation for politics in news. These ranking factors are likely to change over time, google rolls out updates and tweaks all along. Note that these recommendations come from my point of view as a SEO specialist, and I reckon they would benefit from a journalistic perspective. Note that this document is a snapshot of Google state News as it exists now.