CNW adopts XHTML as new formatting standard

Exciting news from CNW yesterday – 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!


Wait a minute, XHT-what?

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. ANPA doesn’t allow for robust formatting and explains why news releases on appeared in Courier New font for all those years.

XHTML-formatted news releases are much easier on the eyes and are better designed for display and use on the web. All news release 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 ©)

So now when you submit a news release to the CNW News Centre it will look just like the news release you submitted to the CNW News Centre.

Brave new newswire

Perhaps even more exciting, is the doors XHTML opens for the future of 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. So, in the near future, CNW won’t just be distributing news releases, we’ll be distributing news packages.

XHTML-formatted news releases also include robust metadata tags that include descriptions of news release content to allow for better parsing within newsrooms and online, helping journalists and website users find news releases quickly and easily. This metadata also enhances visibility and searchability – leading to improved search engine optimization (SEO) and increasing the potential reach for clients’ messages.

Leading the change

CNW stayed with ANPA until the recent growth of online newsrooms and the increased demand for multimedia content presented the opportunity for us to work with newsrooms on a move to the rich and robust format supported by XHTML. In other words, it didn’t make sense to distribute our newswire feed in a format that no one could receive.

CNW is the only newswire provider to accommodate newsrooms through this transition by supporting both ANPA and XHTML delivery.

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.

Check out this video featuring CNW Senior Vice President David Milliken on why XHTML is ground breaking news and how it will affect the new newsroom.

For more information on XHTML, check out the Social Media Release we issued yesterday. And be sure to sneak a peek at the XHTML-enhanced version of our wire release, here.

Media wishing to sign up for CNW’s XHTML newswire feed can contact Gwen Rabideau, CNW’s Distribution Product Manager, at or by phone 416-863-2094 for further information.

  • 1 comment on Blog Post Title

  • Ashish Kumar 21:21 PST on Dec 14, 2010

    It's nice to know that XHTML has been adopted as a new formatting standard.

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