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What was offered in regards to Indymedia

  * Feedback: Alternative Media at the WSF in Mali, IMC in Africa
  * RSS feeds: Indymedia, Podcasting, Videocasting and Blogging

INDYMEDIA SESSION 1, Propergander, Sat morning
ADOPTER(S) ekes (ekes AT, ionnek (ionnek AT, steffen (steffen AT and others
FACILITATOR(S) indymedia crew


Independent media, is it a buzz word, an empty phrase or an ideal promise?

Can media be independent of the "grid" (cables/bandwidth and the hardware required to navigate cyberspace)?

How can independent/alternative media be organised? As a practical example of this, Fabian (imc sheffield) has offered to give a report back from the imc at the world social forum in Mali. The project (see is interested in the G8 in Scotland from an point of view, mixed as it is with the streets.

Proposed format of the workshops/sessions.

1. Quick presentation on indymedia lingo (open publishing, newswire, features, backoffice) Q and A

2. Quick presentation on indymedia uk (beginning J18 social movements, global synergies, collective in London, expansion in course of antiwar demos 2003 to united collectives) Q and A

3. Possibly branching out into several workgroups, each dealing with one of the crucial themes we are dealing with at the mo. Each workshop would be introduced with a very short "remit":

- open publishing: Noise, Filtering and Editing. When indymedia first started, few postings contravened the editorial guidelines. The "community" that used indymedia was largely defined by people connected to the "global justice movements". Now, the indymedia websites are much more prominent, and include much more postings that many users perceive as "spam" or "trolling". Imc Uk has been dealing with this through technology: Collapsing the comments and introducing the feature of "additions", and introducing a "promoted newswire" option for those who prefer to see only those articles that have been promoted by indymedia admins. Are there other solutions? What are the problems with these solutions? Are they actually solutions? Which other projects have similar problems? How are they dealing with them? Accusations of "censorship" - justified or not?

- outreach: attracting writers - This could be an in-depth workshop for those who want to put their writing skills to good use on indymedia. What are the groundrules, who do you approach, how are decisions being made, how to produce promotable newswire posts and features? proposal to write a report about the knowledgelab.

- outreach: attracting template coders - if there are techies or pp willing to learn, we could do a general "taster" intro in how to do some basic "coding", talk about what skills are needed, how pp have got them in the past or could get them today... Example could be the hassle with the lanc. templates. I don't know anything about coding, but i think it is possible to give pp with an open mind at least an idea of what "coding indystuff" involves.

- pushing indymedia: connecting to blogsphere, using existing inspirations. The first indymedia software was basically a blog - before anybody talked about blogs. Activists developed this software as a collaborative tool which became the largest alternative media network ever. In the mainstream, the same type of software is mainly used for individual writing and filtering (majority of weblogs run by one person), then interconnecting. Possibility to talk about citizens journalism in that context. Practical part: Work on specifications for the calendar (if yoss hasn't finished it by then - in that case we'll find something else)

4. go off to hacklab and work on whatever comes up in the sessions. I'd be happy to show pp around lists, wikis, irc, general writing stuff. Maybe if it makes sense and someone is really keen, also the admin interface.

Links for further reading

"This paper examines the theory, practice, and policy behind open publishing, beginning with the historical and political context of its development. Open publishing is explored as a philosophy put into practice within Indymedia that allows activists to participate in a discursive realm outside of hegemonic institutions. Yet because inequality and domination have manifested within this space, Indymedia collectives have had to establish editorial policies that require them to negotiate their role as mediators and to answer difficult questions about how values of openness, reciprocity, and horizontal decision-making can be enacted within the construction and management of mediated spaces. Despite the difficulties in dealing with these challenges, the development of editorial policies has no doubt strengthened the Indymedia network in pushing the limits of the Temporary Autonomous Zone, in stimulating the development of new open publishing tools within the open source software, and in creating an opportunity for collectives to better define their purpose and their vision of Indymedia."

Links to films and more for download