In 1998, Reuters committed resources to exploring the use of XML (Extensible Markup Language) as the foundation for their next-generation news content management system. This was in response to changes in the news industry business model resulting from changing value webs and content delivery methods. The result was ReutersNewsML, an XML vocabulary for "wrapping" news content items from multiple sources into a single package. In 1999 Reuters submitted the concept to the International Press Telecommunications Council (IPTC), which managed the development of the NewsML specification. NewsML was ratified as an IPTC standard for the entire global news media industry in 2000. This paper explores the development of NewsML as an illustration of how XML standards can be exploited within complex business webs.