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Document Standards in Multimedia News Systems

iptc formats newsml industry

Definition: The International Press and Telecommunication Council (IPTC) has been developing news formats and standards to capture data and meta-information on news, following the specific needs and requirements of the multimedia news industry.

Although most significant information in the news area is stored in traditional text files, the information management in the news context has been modernized and adopted towards a unique set of contents within international cooperation work. The International Press and Telecommunication Council (IPTC), has been developing news formats and standards to capture data and meta-information on news, following the specific needs and requirements of the multimedia news industry. The IPTC was established in 1965 by a group of news organizations including the Alliance Européenne des Agences de Presse, ANPA (now NAA), FIEJ (now WAN) and the North American News Agencies (a joint committee of Associated Press, Canadian Press and United Press International) to safeguard the telecommunications interests of the World’s Press. Lately IPTC’s activities have primarily focused on developing and publishing Industry Standards for the interchange of news data.

Since the development of XML the work on meta data management has been seriously improved and the IPTC has developed two specific formats for online news management: NITF (News Industry Text Format, current Version 3.2), and NewsML.

NITF uses the extensible Markup Language to define the content and structure of news articles. Because metadata is applied throughout the news content, NITF documents are far more searchable and useful than HTML pages.

The IPTC started to work on an XML-based standard to represent and manage news throughout its entire lifecycle, including production, interchange, and consumer use in 1999. Following requirements definitions, specifications and development, NewsML 1.0 was approved by IPTC in October 2000. The latest work of IPTC experts focuses on version 2 of NewsML, which provides metadata management for any type of news contents. NewsML can be applied at all stages in the (electronic) news lifecycle. It would be used 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 news content, though it may be used as a basis for systems doing this.

Multimedia content types such as image formats, audio- and video files are integrated with appropriate markup and description elements in the NewsML language. 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. The IPTC not only provides news exchange formats to the news industry but also creates and maintains sets of topics to be assigned as metadata values to news objects in NewsML or NITF, like text, photographs, graphics, audio- and video files and streams. This allows for a consistent coding of news metadata over the course of time – thus making these sets the IPTC NewsCodes.

Modern multimedia services integrate content types of text, images, audio data and streams and current video formats such as MPEG2, MPEG4, MPEG7 and multimedia broadcasting technologies and initiatives like MHP and DVB for providing future interactive digital news access via television, internet and mobile devices.

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