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Reuters Demonstrates NewsML

Reuters Demonstrates the Future of News Delivery

Newly Ratified NewsML Allows Text, Pictures And Video To Be Delivered Through A Single Multimedia Channel

NEW YORK. October 11, 2000.

Reuters, the global information, news and technology group, is unveiling a showcase on to demonstrate how its news delivery will be revolutionized by NewsML, the new industry standard for delivering news.

The International Press Telecommunications Council (IPTC) announced their unanimous decision to ratify NewsML in Amsterdam today.

Tom Glocer, Chief Executive of Reuters Information and Reuters America, said: "NewsML is set to revolutionize the way journalists create stories and users receive information. As a leading architect of NewsML, Reuters is proud to showcase the power of this ground breaking new standard. Reuters investment in NewsML demonstrates our commitment to provide clients with next generation technology to enhance their information and news experience."

NewsML, based on the World Wide Web Council's (W3C) Extensible Markup Language (XML), provides a new standard framework to describe, package, store and deliver multimedia news. The technology is dedicated to the description of news in a standard structure, to facilitate the processing of news by computers.

NewsML will enable journalists and publishers to combine video, text, graphics, pictures and audio, and deliver stories to a range of different devices including financial service desktops, web sites and mobile phones. NewsML allows content providers to attach rich metadata, ensuring customers receive the most relevant news. NewsML also enables stories to contain multiple language versions.

Reuters pioneered NewsML, proposing the initial concept to the IPTC in 1999. Since April this year, Reuters has been using a prototype of NewsML to deliver its growing range of Online Report Services via its Internet Delivery System (IDS). The showcase can be accessed at


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.


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 bureaus 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 Web sites. 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.



NewsML: Reuters views NewsML as a unique opportunity to build upon its reputation as a leader for delivering accurate, comprehensive information using innovative technology. The following are benefits of NewsML.

Publisher and redistributor benefits

NewsML enables news publishers in all market sectors to create a higher quality product by:

  • providing access to all the available media to tell a story
  • clearly identify the details of a story leading to quicker production and editorial decisions
  • allowing stories to be delivered to a range of different devices (mobile, desktop, PDA, etc.)
  • greater description of data making it easier for publishers to provide updates as stories develop

Consumer benefits

NewsML will enhance the financial professional's news experience by creating more compelling stories.

  • Accuracy - improved search and information management capabilities increasing the relevance of stories received
  • Personalized News - users can select the stories of most interest to them and have these delivered to their most preferred device (i.e. mobile phone, desktop PC, Palm Pilot, etc.)
  • Access to the bigger picture - stories will contain links to relevant background and related news.

Reuters Current Use of XML

In April, Reuters launched a delivery mechanism for its media news products called Reuters Internet Delivery System (IDS). IDS enables Reuters to deliver its news content in XML. IDS utilizes a Reuters prototype NewsML DTD (Document Type Definition). Text news as well as photos and video files can be delivered either as independent media streams or as linked multimedia news packages. IDS is currently being used as the principal delivery mechanism for Reuters growing range of Online Report services.

Reuters and NewsML

Reuters is an active advocate of using XML for news delivery. The concept was brought to life in 1999 when Reuters presented its initial proposals for NewsML to the International Press Telecommunications Council (IPTC). This evolved into an IPTC generated Document Type Definition (DTD), which was released by the IPTC on October 11, 2000. The IPTC's approval of a NewsML version 1.0 specification reinforces Reuters global vision for using NewsML as the industry standard for the delivery of news.

Prepared by Robin Cover for The XML Cover Pages archive.

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