Exchanging News Made Easy with IPTC G2-Standards
London, England. February 26, 2008.
A new era in the sharing and publishing of news starts today with the launch of NewsML-G2 and EventsML-G2, the first parts of a new framework of XML-based news exchange formats from the International Press Telecommunications Council (IPTC).
To support some of the latest innovations in web technology, NewsML-G2 allows the bundling of multiple news items — articles, photos, videos or whatever — and a detailed description of their content and how the items relate to each other. Whether populating a web site with complex news packages or building bundles of news items for resale or archiving, NewsML-G2 provides an easy way to package and exchange news.
EventsML-G2 provides a detailed way to describe any event (a football game, a convention, a community event) so that sharing and databasing can be done quickly, easily and with a minimum of errors. Many aspects of an event such as the starting time, duration, description of the event and contact information, can be encoded in a way that is easily understood and publishable even across multiple languages.
"This is a breakthrough in news exchange format design as G2-Standards cover a wide range of news content to cope with the growing demand for individualised news products", said IPTC Chairman Stiphane Guirillot, and "this all is achieved by a common framework which makes the adoption and implementation of G2-Standards easy and requires much less resources".
This initial release of IPTC's G2 family of standards coincides with the 10th anniversary of XML, the lingua franca of the World Wide Web. Released in February 1998, XML brought the structure of web documents into sharper focus by allowing content providers (such as news agencies, newspapers, news websites, radio and TV stations) to create and publish complex documents using relatively simple and widely supported development tools. In fact, many XML tools are available free on the Internet.
G2-Standards also fit into the Semantic Web initiatives of the World Wide Web Consortium, enriching content so that computers can more easily search the huge universe of news. The goal is to better help news agencies manage and distribute their massive libraries of current and archived news content, and to help customer search engines find content quickly and accurately.
G2-Standards can be easily combined with IPTC's groundbreaking NewsCodes, which provide a rich suite of standard terms for describing news, to give news agencies amazing flexibility in how news can be bundled for downstream users. With widely available digital news archives now dating back to 1850 or earlier, news agencies, librarians and archivists have a special interest in the rapid searching and retrieval of news, which NewsCodes can accelerate to help drive revenue growth.
The new G2-Standards are available for download at no cost from:
As always, IPTC G2-Standards and NewsCodes can be incorporated into products without any payment of royalties or usage fees, subject to acknowledging IPTC's license agreement.
The IPTC, based in London, UK, is a consortium of the world's major news agencies, news publishers and news industry vendors. It develops and maintains technical standards for improved news exchange that are used by virtually every major news organization in the world.
Information on all IPTC standards such as the new family of IPTC G2-Standards, the existing NewsML 1, NITF, SportsML, IIM standards and the NewsCodes together with a list of existing members and information on how to join is available at http://www.iptc.org.
A new family of news exchange format standards , using state-of-the-art Metadata and XML technology to combine rich functionality, easy of use, compactness and compatibility with the Semantic Web.
The new suite, known as the IPTC G2-Standards, is built from a set of specifications and XML components that can be shared in a modular way for maximum effectiveness. The first two IPTC G2-standards are NewsML-G2 and EventsML-G2; more should follow in 2008.
For example, NewsML-G2, the family's standard for general news, will inherit some of its functionality from the original NewsML 1.x: It can act as a sophisticated wrapper for any news item of text, photos, graphics, video or other media and it can be used for packaging any combination of these items.
But NewsML-G2 will make stronger use of IPTC's robust metadata taxonomy suite, known as NewsCodes, and it will better interact with other IPTC-G2 standards, such as EventsML-G2 or the upcoming SportsML-G2. It will contain hooks for managing news items, and its flexibility will allow news providers to choose whether to support all of the IPTC G2-Standards XML tags or a compact subset.
All of this is being developed within IPTC's new modular framework, so that programmers can spend less time learning the nuts and bolts of specialized XML standards and more time writing code for customers. It's the cost-effective way of managing news, whether for a web site, news aggregator, newspaper or television station.
The common features of the G2-Standards are:
- A data strucuture to convey all kinds of news content — the News Item
- A data structure for packaging News Items in a structured way — the Package Item
- A data structure to convey persistent information worth to remember and to refer to — the Concept Item
- A data structure to collect many concepts in a single wrapper, e.g. to convey it as a controlled vocabulary — the Knowledge Item
- A wrapper to transmit one to many of the items above — the News Message
G2-Standards share many of its components with the other members of this family. These shared components make the IPTC News Architecture for G2 and can be considered as the framework from which all the G2-Standards are built.
NewsML is a media-type agnostic news exchange format for general news and NewsML-G2 2.0 is its latest standard. News exchange is a method of conveying not only the core news content, but also data that describe the content in an abstract way (i.e. metadata), information about how to handle news in an appropriate way (i.e. news management metadata), information about the packaging of news information, and finally information about the technical transfer itself.
EventsML-G2 is a standard for conveying event information in a news industry environment and may be used for:
- Receiving all facts about an event from the event organiser
- Publishing all facts about a specific event by a news provider
- Publishing all or only a subset of the facts of one to many events by event listings
- Adding information regarding the coverage of an event by a news provider to the distributed event facts, e.g., for daybooks
- Storing facts about knowledgeable events in archives
The EventsMLG2 syntax is built on XML, the Extensible Markup Language of the W3C, furthermore, EventsML-G2 makes use of W3C XML Schema and complies with the basic notion of the Semantic Web, the Resource Description Framework (RDF). This allows an easy transfer of EventsML-G2 structures to other XML-based standards and the integration of information about an event into the Semantic Web.
[Press release source]
Prepared by Robin Cover for The XML Cover Pages archive.