Dec 09, 2010, 14:00 ET from Canada NewsWire Ltd.

TORONTO, Dec. 9 /PRNewswire/ - News releases distributed over CNW have taken on a whole new vibe. They're easier on the eyes, multimedia ready, and better designed for display and use on the web.

CNW has adopted XHTML (eXtensible HyperText Markup Language) as a new formatting standard for news release processing and distribution across the Web and into newsrooms and financial centres coast to coast.

See the social media release here:

"It's all part of CNW's reinvention of the newswire," said Carolyn McGill Davidson, president and CEO. "Among other benefits, moving to XHTML formatting allows us to create and distribute better looking, more functional releases that are more suitable to online use. CNW clients are thrilled."

CNW News Centre Associates use proprietary editing software to prepare client news releases for distribution over the newswire. Until now, CNW adhered to limited ANPA-1312 formatting standards set long ago by the American Newspaper Publishers Association for receipt of newswire transmissions and news story formatting.

"It didn't make sense to distribute our newswire feed in a format that no one could receive," said McGill Davidson. "So we stayed with ANPA until the recent growth of online newsrooms and the increased demand for multimedia content presented the perfect opportunity for us to work with newsrooms on a move to the rich and robust format supported by XHTML."

CNW is the only newswire provider to accommodate newsrooms through this transition by supporting both ANPA and XHTML delivery. This transition will provide numerous benefits to recipients of the CNW Newswire feed, including easier access to much-needed multimedia files and more flexibility for coding and filtering the content they receive.

The Globe and Mail/Globe Investor, TSX,, Yahoo & Yahoo Canada,,,,,, and more than a dozen others are upgrading to CNW's new XHTML feeds and are already displaying or testing CNW news releases on their websites in the new format.

All news releases issued through CNW's newswire networks now support:

  • Bold, italic and underlined text
  • Wider financial tables in HTML, preserving the look of the original document
  • Full text alignment: centered, right and left
  • Bullet points and bulleted list (ordered and unordered)
  • Superscript and subscript including footnote
  • Anchor text/hyperlinked keywords
  • Specialized characters (œ, Æ, Ë, ® and ©)
  • Content is tagged (headline, sub headline, text, tables and contact information) so that recipients' systems can automatically extract the exact data they need

From news release to news package

Formatting releases with XHTML opens other doors on a new future for the news release. XHTML enables transmission of data other than text, giving CNW the potential to distribute multimedia assets within the body of a news release over the wire and having it display at the receiving end packaged together in the correct way - a reasonable expectation that was simply not possible using ANPA.

"XHTML allows full flexibility and customization to the end user to control how they display and use the content we send them," said Nicole Guillot, Vice President, Product Management and Operations. "With the inclusion of multimedia assets, better tagging and social content, the control we give the end user is unmatched. This is the true power of XHTML."

XHTML formatted news releases also include robust metadata tags that send extra information into the newsroom. These tags allow CNW to distribute descriptions of news release content along with each release to allow for better parsing within newsrooms and online, helping journalists and website users to find news releases quickly and easily.

With this metadata, releases that make it onto online publications will also benefit from enhanced visibility and searchability - leading to improved search engine optimization (SEO) and increasing the potential reach for clients' messages.

CNW clients who subscribe to CNW's MediaRoom service will notice XHTML formatted news releases now populating their websites. Also benefitting from XHTML formatting is the CNW Newswire site at, CNW's Media Daybooks and Weekly Look-Ahead Calendars -essential elements of all newsrooms. CNW's Portfolio Email subscribers now also receive their news in the new format.

Newsrooms of the future

"As newsrooms evolve, media outlets are adapting to new technological standards and finding ways to share news in multiple formats. Even so, the change to XHTML required a proactive move on CNW's part to encourage newsrooms to cast aside decades-old requirements for editorial newsfeeds and help guide them into the 21st Century," said Senior Vice President, David Milliken. "For almost two years, CNW has been working with newswire feed recipients in traditional and online newsrooms to upgrade their ANPA-based editorial systems to receive feeds formatted in XHTML."

CNW has always led the market in technological change. CNW was the first newswire in Canada to adopt satellite distribution, then IP over Internet, and now true XHTML processing and distribution.

Over time, CNW's goal is to help all its newswire feed recipients move away from ANPA so they can benefit from XHTML delivery. In the meantime, clients can be confident that CNW will keep its promise to provide the broadest possible reach for their news by presenting multiple newswire feed formats.

Media wishing to sign up for CNW's XHTML newswire feed can contact John Mania, CNW's Director of Product Management, at or by phone 416-863-5628 for further information.

About CNW

CNW is Canada's newswire company, connecting organizations to relevant news and information consumers across the country and around the world. CNW is committed to providing integrated, intelligent communications and disclosure services that help clients work more efficiently and meet their objectives. In addition to newswire distribution, CNW offers webcast, video, photography, social media releases, translation, regulatory filing services and MediaVantage, a web-based solution offering real-time media monitoring, communications workflow solutions and campaign measurement capability. Established in 1960, CNW is celebrating its 50th year as an industry leader.

SOURCE Canada NewsWire Ltd.