The news industry’s technical standards body has launched v1.0 (beta) of NewsML and has called for trial implementations. At its Annual General Meeting in Geneva, over 50 participating members of the International Press Telecommunications Council (IPTC, approved the public release of the first version of NewsML, an XML-based standard for the management of multimedia news. The news industry is now encouraged to start development implementations while final support documentation is prepared ahead of a planned ratification of the DTD at the IPTC’s October meeting in Amsterdam. NewsML is the result of an IPTC initiative which started in October 1999, when the membership established a new work program designated IPTC2000. The goal of IPTC2000 was to deliver an XML-based standard to represent and manage news through its life cycle, including production, interchange and consumer use. Basing their discussions on original working papers from both Reuters and Agence France Presse, and earlier research studies from dpa Deutsche Presse Agentur, the details of NewsML have been developed over the last nine months at a series of intense working group meetings held in Europe and America. NewsML is an XML-based standard for all aspects of multimedia news creation, storage and delivery. At the heart of NewsML is the concept of the NewsItem which can contain various media – text, photos, graphics, video, – together with all the meta-information that enables the recipient to understand the relationship between components and understand the roles of each component. Everything the recipient might need to know about the content of the news provided can be included in NewsML’s structure. For example, NewsML enables publishers to provide the same text in different languages; a video clip in different formats; or different resolutions of the same photograph. NewsML’s rich metadata concept can help with things like revision levels that make it easy to track the evolution of a NewsItem over time, status details (publishable, embargoed, etc.) and administrative details, such as acknowledgements or copyright details. NewsML has default metadata vocabularies to ease implementations but it does not dictate which metadata vocabulary is used (IPTC subject codes, ISO country codes etc.) – providers just have to indicate which vocabulary they are using. Multiple vocabularies can be utilized within the same NewsItem. For text objects in a NewsItem, the IPTC’s News Industry Text Format (NITF) can be utilized. The DTD for NewsML v1.0 (beta), together with a functional specification, supporting documents and background papers can be found at www.iptc.org/NewsML. The DTD is available as a rights-free standard but it remains the intellectual property of the IPTC. www.iptc.org

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