News Industry Group OKs XML Update

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(AP) A news industry standards body has approved an updated specification for the delivery of news stories, making it easier to reuse a single story for a variety of formats, including print, wireless devices, and the Web.

The International Press Telecommunications Council ratified version 3.0 of the NITF standard at a meeting Oct. 12.

The new version of NITF, or News Industry Text Format, has several enhancements not found in version 2.5, such as the ability to more accurately format tabular material, including weather tables, stock listings, sports statistics, election data, and TV listings.

The IPTC also released a draft version of a new standard it is developing to format sports stories and statistics. The IPTC is seeking comment from news organizations and sports leagues on version 0.5 of SportsML, or Sports Markup Language.

Both NITF and SportsML use XML, or eXtensible Markup Language, to format text and are designed to be compatible with another IPTC standard called NewsML, which packages text stories, audio, video, photos, and other content.

The Associated Press uses NITF for several services including AP Online, its main news service for Web sites.

The IPTC focuses on developing and publishing industry standards for the interchange of news data.

On the Net:

IPTC Web site, http://www.iptc.org

NITF Web site, http://www.nitf.org

SportsML Web site: http://www.sportsml.com

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