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About the IPTC Work Programme

The objectives for which IPTC was established are:

To establish and maintain an open, apolitical international forum to promote and enable the exchange of news information in an efficient manner, while maintaining the highest technical quality. At the same time taking advantage of the advances in telecommunication and computing technology.

In particular the IPTC aims ...

(a) To study techniques, research and developments in telecommunications and to consider how they can best be used to improve the flow of news.

(b) To formulate the telecommunications requirements of the press and to bring them to the notice of telecommunications authorities in order that they may be taken into account in the planning of improvements and extensions to the existing services and the introduction of news services.

(c) To seek representation on national and international organisations or committees dealing with telecommunications matters.

(d) To publish information as to technical progress and developments in the field of telecommunications and of changes in the facilities available to the press.

(e) To embark upon any other activities which may seem to IPTC to be incidental or conducive to the attainment of the above objects or any of them.

These objectives were reviewed during the last years but were not substantially changed.


Work Programme

Since the introduction of computer-based editorial systems into both newspapers and news agencies the IPTC members have concentrated on establishing the standards framework for the transfer of high-speed digital news information. The initial work was prompted by the need to have a standard for news photos once the analogue transmissions were replaced.

More recently, the influence of the World Wide Web has been recognised and the Council work has been designed toward enabling multimedia news and on-line publishing with the minimum of rework by the publisher. A new content-classification system has also been published that enables news to be consistently identified irrespective of the source or language of the service.

The current work program includes the family of G2-Standards including NewsMLTM-G2, EventsML-G2 and SportsML-G2 which are all XML based standards for exchanging news content and metadata, the rNews mark-up of news on web pages, RightsML for expressing rights terms in a machine-readable way, the IPTC Photo Metadata Standard as a set of metadata properties for images and the IPTC NewsCodes, a set of common set of metadata values. Still ongoing is the support for our existing standards including NITF and NewsML-1.

During the early years IPTC concentrated more on lobbying and representation to post and telecommunications authorities to allow greater access and lower tariffs for press information. As the world telecommunications environment changed, so did the focus of IPTC work. In the late 1980's IPTC was responsible for drafting and proposing the International Telecommunications Union Recommendations to allow private satellite broadcast and two-way VSAT systems.


Working Structure

The work of IPTC is done primarily by delegates of the members, they are supported and coordinated by the Managing Director. The work relies heavily on electronic communication since the members are spread all over the globe.

The work on a specific matter is done in a Working Party or Working Group which is lead by one or two delegates. Technical papers are developed and discussed within the development group and then presented to the whole membership for approval.

All technical activities are monitored by the Standards Committee. This Committee approves drafts and by this making IPTC standards official.

The Public Relations Committee deals with all aspects of making the public aware of the IPTC standards and supports the technical workforce of IPTC in terms of marketing and lobbying.

The Board of Directors conducts the business of the company as a whole.

Find more details and all leading persons on the Working Structure page.



Membership Q&A

Questions about IPTC membership and standards? Here are the answers.

How To Join

We have a page full of details about joining the IPTC.

More Resources

Publicly available documents with information about the IPTC as an organisation are available on this page.