IPTC Frequently Asked Questions
IPTC welcomes inquiries regarding participation, membership and our standards. Please contact us.
About the IPTC
What is the IPTC?
The International Press Telecommunications Council (IPTC) is a consortium of news agencies, media outlets, software vendors and related organisations.
What does the IPTC do?
We provide five main benefits to our members and to the industry:
- We develop, publish and promote technical specifications and guides to encourage the easy, accurate and inexpensive sharing of news;
- We put on a series of events for members and for the public, to promote the IPTC’s work and explore relevant developments in the industry;
- We develop software to demonstrate and support our standards and help software vendors to implement IPTC standards in their systems;
- We act as liaisons with other organisations on behalf of the industry; collaborating with companies such as Google and Adobe, and organisations such as ISO, the W3C and the Coalition for Content Provenance and Authority (C2PA)
- We provide a forum for collaboration and knowledge sharing among our diverse membership.
When and where does the IPTC meet?
The organisation holds two member meetings each year, in the Spring and Autumn/Fall. From 2020 to 2022, these events have been held online as Zoom meetings, but we are aiming to hold at least one meeting physically from 2023 onwards.
The three meeting days provide workshop-like sessions, discussions about topics from the IPTC’s working areas, and presentations from invited experts.
One of those meetings is also combined with a more formal Annual General Meeting where basic organisational decisions are made.
We also hold regular Working Group meetings and development sessions by video conference, and views and proposals are shared on email discussion groups.
We have recently started a series of IPTC Members-Only Webinars hosting presentations from IPTC Working Groups, member organisations, and invited guests.
Video recordings of past meeting presentations and webinars are available to members at no cost.
We also organise conferences that can be attended by the public, notably the IPTC Photo Metadata Conference which has been held annually for over 15 years.
Who can attend IPTC meetings and discussions?
Generally, only IPTC members can attend Working Group meetings, our Spring and Autumn Member Meetings, and Member Webinars.
However, anyone interested in the IPTC’s work can attend a face-to-face meeting or regular conference call sessions as a guest for a limited time. This can help potential members to decide whether IPTC membership is appropriate for them.
If you are interested in attending a Working Group meeting to get a sense of what it is like to be an IPTC member, please contact us.
How does the IPTC conduct its work?
Committees and Working Groups of the IPTC are the backbone of the organisation.
A Committee conducts IPTC activities at a more global level and is responsible for the business of the company.
A Working Group is team of persons responsible for a specific area of technical matters.
A Work Lead is a person who is responsible for a specific area of technical matters.
The hierarchy of responsibilities:
- The IPTC membership
- Board of Directors
- Standards Committee
- News Architecture Work Lead
- NewsCodes Working Group
- NewsML-G2 Working Group
- NewsML 1 Work Lead
- News-in-JSON Working Group
- NITF Work Lead
- Photo Metadata Working Group
- Rights Expressions Working Group
- Semantic Web Work Lead
- Sports Content Working Group
- Video Metadata Working Group
- Public Relations Committee
- Standards Committee
- Board of Directors
Who pays for the IPTC?
The IPTC’s only source of income is membership fees. IPTC standards for news exchange are available at no cost, and we receive no royalties or usage fees.
The motto for the IPTC’s standard development work is “made by the news industry, for the news industry.”
Who runs the IPTC?
The members are represented by a Board of Directors and a Chair who hire a Managing Director and contract consultants for specific duties.
Development work is handled by committees and smaller working groups. Some of them focus on general issues, such as the exchange of general news; others on more specific areas such as photography, rights or sports results. The membership votes before a standard is published, although exact voting rights vary by type of membership.
How do I follow the activities of the IPTC?
We post our latest news and developments to our website, iptc.org. We also maintain a website specifically for developers, http://dev.iptc.org, for help, best practices, and guidelines regarding the use and implementation of our standards. Also many projects have a presence on our GitHub organisational account at https://github.com/iptc/. The IPTC also makes presentations at major news technology events such as WAN-Ifra Expo and CEPIC Congress. Attending our two main meetings each year, and taking part in our Working Groups’ discussion groups via email are a good way to keep informed.
Members receive a Member Update newsletter by email every 1-2 months.
Non-members can also subscribe to the Friends of IPTC Newsletter where we give updates about recent activity, new standard versions and events that are open to members of the public, such as the IPTC Photo Metadata Conference.
About Participation and Membership
IPTC is a membership organisation. This section answers questions about joining IPTC as a member. If you are interested in joining, please visit our How To Join page, or email firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions.
What does it cost to become an IPTC Member?
The IPTC’s funding comes solely from membership fees. By becoming a paying member of the IPTC, your organisation is making a statement about its contribution to the world of standards in the news and media industries.
- Voting Member: 4,740 EUR
- Associate Member: 1,580 EUR
- Startup Member: Fees agreed with the IPTC Board on a case-by-case basis
- Individual Member: 200 EUR
If the standards are free, why join the IPTC?
Members receive many benefits, including participation in working committees and the ability to request changes or make contributions to the development of standards. Both news and IT professionals use IPTC meetings to network among other delegates and invited guests. Members also have access to the IPTC’s internal working documents and to members-only discussion groups; this is before any changes to standards are made available to the public, which happens only after endorsement by IPTC members. Of course, voting members also have voting privileges.
Finally, being a member of the IPTC makes a statement about your business – that it is one of the leaders of the news industry and is committed to the overall well-being of worldwide journalism and effective exchange of information.
Can small companies or sole practitioners join the IPTC?
About Our Standards
Who uses IPTC standards?
What makes something an “IPTC standard”?
Standards are “signed off” by the IPTC Standards Committee, made up of representatives of IPTC Voting Members. No new or updated standard can be published without the majority approval of the IPTC Standards Committee.
How do I obtain IPTC standards?
If you are a software developer looking to implement our technical standards in your software, please look at the pages describing the relevant standard on this site.
How much does it cost to use an IPTC standard?
What does an IPTC standard look like in a product?
As a vendor, why would I want to implement IPTC standards in my product?
- We support the most popular data expression formats such as JSON (in our news format ninjs) and also emerging semantic formats like RDF (in rNews, RightsML and the IPTC Sport Schema).
- Our G2 standards (NewsML-G2, SportsML, EventsML) use XML and XML Schema, the most widely-adopted data expression and validation format on the Web.
- Content labelling is provided by IPTC NewsCodes, a rich suite of metadata terms that describes news in ways that both humans and computers can understand.