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Reuters Launches Latest Newsml Toolkit

London, UK. June 18, 2001

Reuters, the global information, news and technology group, has today launched the latest version of NewsML Toolkit v1.0. This latest version of the Java based toolkit follows the alpha testing version released in December 2000. Developed in conjunction with XML specialists, Megginson Technologies Ltd, it is designed to simplify the processing of NewsML documents for subscribers to NewsML Services.

NewsML Toolkit v1.0 offers increased functionality including:

  • Access to all elements and attributes in a NewsML document via a Java Application Programming Interface
  • Complete metadata extraction
  • The ability to locate vocabularies which source content values for elements in a NewsML document
  • Complete JavaDoc documentation

NewsML provides a common framework to publish news in any format. Reuters conceived the idea for NewsML in 1999 and donated it to the news industry for further development. The International Press and Telecommunications Council ratified NewsML in October 2000. It can be used by news providers to combine their pictures, video, text, graphics and audio files into news output available on web sites, mobile phones, high end desktops, interactive television and any other device. NewsML is the industry standard for delivering multi-media news.

Mike Sayers, Chief Technology Officer, Reuters said: "This NewsML Toolkit demonstrates Reuters continuing commitment to push the boundaries of new and emerging technologies in order to deliver increased productivity for end users. Through close work with industry organisations such as Megginson Consulting and W3C, we aim to promote a standardised approach to MLs that allows complete integration and interoperability between organisations across all feeds, all protocols and all content management systems."

Reuters is also developing two complementary toolkits that build on NewsML Toolkit v1.0's document content extraction. The tools are:

  • A conformance checking tool, which will verify a NewsML document beyond visual basic DTD validation

  • An application level toolkit, which will provide an intuitive level of parsing of a NewsML document. This allows the user to pose queries from a news perspective and 'prune' NewsItems in order to keep only selected content.

The Toolkit, which is being released as open source software with a lesser version of the "GNU Lesser General Public License", can be found at the following websites:


NewsML is an XML-based standard that describes and packages news in various media formats for delivery to any platform. At the heart of NewsML is the concept of the NewsItem, which can contain various media, including text, pictures, graphics and video. NewsML is flexible and extensible and uses standard Internet naming conventions for identifying the news objects in a NewsItem. Content does not have to be embedded in a NewsItem; pointers can be inserted to content held on a publisher's website. This means subscribers retrieve the data only when they need to and makes NewsML bandwidth-efficient. NewsML is a standard of the International Press and Telecommunications Council (IPTC). NewsML is a trademark of the IPTC.

About Reuters

Reuters (, the global information, news and technology group, plays a significant role in the functioning of the financial and media markets. Reuters strategy is to make the financial markets work on the Internet. Reuters is the world's largest international news and television agency with 1,957 journalists, photographers and camera operators in 185 bureaux serving 153 countries, gathering and editing news in 24 languages. Reuters premier position is based on a reputation for speed, accuracy and impartiality as well as for continuous technological innovation. Reuters supplies news and information to over 900 internet websites. Instinet, an independently managed subsidiary of Reuters, is the world's largest electronic agency brokerage firm. It covers the equities and fixed income markets. On 30 June 2000, the Group employed 17,067 staff in 215 cities in 98 countries.

About Megginson Technologies Ltd.

David Megginson has been active within the SGML and XML communities since 1991. He led the initiative that created SAX, the Simple API for XML, which is now the most widely used streaming API for XML and has been implemented in products by IBM, Oracle, Apache, and Sun, along with many others. David's work includes many open-source software products, together with the book Structuring XML Documents, published by Prentice-Hall. David formerly chaired the XML Information Set Working Group at the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and served as a member of the W3C's XML Co-ordination Group. He also helped to organise the XMLNews initiative, which promotes the use of open standards for the exchange of news and information. [See the Megginson Technologies Ltd. web site.]


Pat Walsh
Tel: +44 20 7542 6487
Head of Communications
Chief Technology Office, Reuters

Emma Read
Tel: +44 20 7959 5258
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Prepared by Robin Cover for The XML Cover Pages archive. See discussion/references and "NewsML and IPTC2000."

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