Reuters has announced the release of a specialised XML format for the publishing industry, NewsML.
The proposed standard will provide XML tabs specifically geared to news media so that related stories and articles stored on a range of media can be packaged together. Information stored in this way will be easier to disseminate in formats specifically geared to the display device chosen.
Tom Thomson, director of Reuters' News2Web programme, said, "Placing a NewsML wrapper around a news item will make the various elements searchable and filterable.
"The same story will be presentable in different languages to suit the viewer and in a format to suit the medium - whether it's text, graphics, audio or video. For example, Internet Wap services or SMS on a mobile phone will be able to filter out everything and just present news headlines, but a Web site will be able to offer the full package in any or all of the formats provided."
As a major news source, Reuters developed NewsML to enable it to provide a better service to its customers but realises that it will be advantageous to keep the format as an open source project.
Thomson believes that it will enable news agencies to provide a more rounded, neutral view of stories and will change the way that journalists present their information in a multimedia world.