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A solution for exchanging multimedia news - also in packages

NewsML 1 is designed to provide a media-type-independent, structural framework for multi-media news. Beyond exchanging single items it can also convey packages of multiple items in a structures layout.

Since early 2008 a next version of NewsML is available: NewsML-G2. You can obtain more information about this standard in the NewsML-G2 section.

The main features

NewsML 1.x versions can be applied at all stages in the (electronic) news lifecycle.

Typical use would include:

  • in and between editorial systems
  • between news agencies and their customers
  • between publishers and news aggregators
  • and between news service providers and end users.

Because it is intended for use in electronic production, delivery and archiving it does not include specific provision for traditional paper-based publishing, though formats intended for this purpose - such as the News Industry Text Format (NITF)- can be accommodated. Similarly it is not primarily intended for use in editing or creating news content, though it may be used as a basis for systems doing this.

The need for NewsML came from the continuing growth in production, use and re-use of news throughout the world, with rapid expansion of the Internet being a strong driving force.


NewsML concepts in brief

At the heart of NewsML is the concept of the news item which can contain various different 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.) – a providers just haves to indicate which vocabulary they are using. Multiple vocabularies can be utilised within the same NewsItem. For text objects in a NewsItem, the IPTC’s News Industry Text Format (NITF) is recommended.

NewsML is flexible and extensible and uses standard Internet naming conventions for identifying the news objects in a NewsItem. As such, content does not have to actually be embedded within a NewsItem; pointers can be inserted to content held on a publisher’s web site instead. This means subscribers retrieve the data only when they need to and this makes NewsML bandwidth-efficient.



Latest version

Version 1.2 was released in October 2003. In 2008 a normative XML Schema was added.

The specifications and the documentation can be downloaded from the Specification and Documentation tabs in the navigation bar on the top of this page.