The International Press Telecommunications Council (IPTC) begins testing this month on NewsML 2 Architecture, a proposed standard for news exchange formats. Developed by a consortium of more than 40 of the world’s major news agencies and news system vendors, NewsML 2 Architecture is based on XML. The basic goal of the NewsML 2 Architecture is to provide a single generic model for exchanging all kinds of newsworthy information. Not only will this give news agencies and software developers a unified method for handling news, but it will also provide an XML framework for a future family of IPTC news exchange standards covering such diverse specialties as sports, entertainment and financial news. Under the IPTC model, text, photo, graphics, video or any combination of media types, can be bundled into packages that neatly wrap the news content, information about the content and a management layer. Senders can make the XML wrapper as simple or complex as desired, tailoring the final package to the exact needs of their customers. As with all IPTC standards, when work is completed NewsML 2 standards will be released for use without payment or royalties. In addition, it is compatible with the World Wide Web Consortium’s “Semantic Web” framework, building a universal data exchange using XML and other standard tools. NewsML 2 Architecture Version 1.0, Experimental Phase 1, will end on 15 February 2006. Although testing is generally intended for IPTC members, non-members may be invited to join. All documents and specification files for the current draft of the NewsML 2 Architecture are available at http://www.iptc.org

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