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IPTC Approves NITF and NewsML Standards

IPTC Approves New Versions of its NITF and NewsML Standards

Leipzig, Germany. October 15, 2003.

Maintenance releases of two popular standards for sharing news have been unanimously approved at the autumn meeting of the International Press Telecommunications Council (IPTC) here. News industry representatives also approved further work on a next-generation version of NewsML that will further streamline the sharing of multimedia news files among agencies and news consumers.

Upgrades to the world's most widely used XML news markup formats -- News Industry Text Format 3.2 and NewsML version 1.2 -- are part of an ongoing maintenance programme that is designed to keep both standards near the state of the art in XML. Broader development of the proposed NewsML version 2 continued, with members hearing that NewsML 2 will be compatible with previous versions. Preliminary NewsML 2 specifications are expected to be released next year. Meanwhile, NewsML users in China, Hong Kong and Macau announced plans for a regional meeting; details will be posted on the IPTC's web site.

ProgramGuideML 1.0, an initiative by Japanese members for sharing television and radio programming information, gained preliminary approval. A final vote is scheduled for March 2003. The new standard will allow channel, program and time details to be sent from broadcasters to news outlets, cable system operators and web sites in a common computer-readable format.

A uniform method of describing the content of photographs was also passed. The list of terms, which is expandable, can be used alone or in conjunction with any of the IPTC's XML formats. The descriptive terms are expressed as numbers, making multilingual applications easy to design.

Work continues toward the News Standards Summit prior to XML Conference 2003 in Philadelphia on 8 December, 2003. The IPTC and other XML interest groups will join software designers, news system managers and system vendors in a comprehensive review of XML in the news industry. The day-long News Standards Summit will be held in conjunction with XML Conference 2003, a major trade show and education forum for the XML industry. For more information, visit

More than 30 delegates from around the world were in Leipzig for the three-day IPTC meeting, which featured an agenda that reflected the skyrocketing demand for XML-based news delivery. The next regular meeting will be in Athens in March 2004.

The IPTC, based in Windsor, England, is a consortium of the world's major news agencies, news publishers and news industry vendors. It develops and maintains technical standards that are used by virtually every major news organization in the world.

More information may be had from the IPTC at or

Key References

Prepared by Robin Cover for The XML Cover Pages archive.

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