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The IPTC launched the News Industry Text Format project in the early 1990s when members began looking for a successor to ANPA 1312 and IPTC 7901. These two formats were standardized in 1979 and provided a common platform for news services and newspapers to share content.

The establishment of SGML, the Standard Generalized Markup Language, as a growing favorite among publishers made it the foundation for our new format. SGML, like its simplified successor XML, allowed publishers to devise their own vocabulary for describing metadata and content.

When XML was introduced in 1998 as a subset of SGML, the NITF was modified to be compliant. As a result, NITF is the most commonly used XML vocabulary among news publishers worldwide.

What is in NITF

NITF supports the identification and description of a tremendous number of news characteristics. Highlights include:

  • Who owns the copyright to the item, who may republish it, and who it's about.

  • What subjects, organizations, and events it covers.

  • When it was reported, issued, and revised.

  • Where it was written, where the action took place, and where it may be released.

  • Why it is newsworthy, based on the editor's analysis of the metadata.

More details can be found on the Examples page.

Who uses NITF

NITF copy is  produced by The Associated Press, Dow Jones, The New York Times, Deutche Presse-Agentur and others. It is also generated by news aggregators.

How NITF is different from NewsML

NITF is an XML standard designed to structure independent news articles.

NewsML-G2, also an IPTC standard, is for the structuring of multimedia news packages. On one hand there is no concept in NewsML-G2 of a paragraph or subheadline on the other hand there is no concept in NITF of a sidebar or alternative translations of the same document - therefore they complement each other perfectly. Find more about using NITF with NewsML-G2 in the "G2 Guidelines for Implementers"



Latest version

Version 3.6 was released in January 2012.

Now only an XML Schema is available. Minor adjustments were made to the specifications, all changes are backward compatible. 

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