type of activity: info & communication services
what: the Independent Media Center (IMC) – known as Indymedia - is a network of collectively run media organisations and hundreds of journalists offering grassroots, non-corporate coverage for the creation of radical, accurate, and passionate telling of truth.
Various independent and alternative media organisations and activists established the IMC in 1999 for the purpose of providing grassroots coverage of the World Trade Organization (WTO) protests in Seattle. Acting as a clearinghouse of information for journalists and providing up-to-the-minute reports, photos, audio and video footage through a democratic ‘open-publishing system’, the centre logged more than 2 million hits.
Through a decentralised and autonomous network, hundreds of media activists set up independent media centres in London, Canada, Mexico City, Prague, Belgium, France, and Italy over the next year. Today, over one hundred and fifty IMCs are present on every continent around the world.. Each IMC is an autonomous group that has its own mission statement, manages its own finances and makes its own decisions through its own processes.
where: the Indymedia has no central office, and therefore they have no address, phone number or fax. That said, many Indymedia centres have offices. You can find Indymedia contact information for local IMCs at the contact section of their website.
open-publishing: the Indymedia has a newswire section that works on the principle of ‘open publishing’: an essential element of the Indymedia project that allows independent journalists and publications to publish the news they gather instantaneously on a globally accessible web site. The Indymedia newswire encourages people to “become the media” by posting their own articles, analysis and information to the site. Anyone may publish to the newswire clicking the 'publish' link on the www.indymedia.org page and following the easy instructions.
Indymedia relies on the people who post to the Indymedia newswire to present their information in a thorough, honest, accurate manner. While Indymedia reserves the right to develop sections of the site that provide edited articles, there is no designated Indymedia editorial collective. An Indymedia 'Newswire Working Group' has been formed to keep track of what has been posted and clear the newswire of duplicate posts, commercial messages, and other posts that don't fit within Indymedia's editorial guidelines. Moreover, if you disagree with the content of a particular article that someone has posted, you may comment on the article through the ‘add your own comments’ link.
activists or journalists? Some would say ‘activists’, some would say ‘journalists’, some would say both. While Indymedia is not a conscious mouthpiece of any particular point of view, many of Indymedia’s promoters and people who post to the Indymedia newswires are supporters of the ‘alter-globalisation’ movement. Activists planning an alternative globalisation/anti-corporatisation event can assure a safe space for presenting non-corporate news by forming a local IMC to provide coverage of the event, or posting news to the site of a local IMC that currently exists. But…. having a point of view does not preclude from delivering truthful, accurate, honest news. Most, if not all, local IMCs, have explicit policies to strongly deter reporters from participating in direct actions while reporting for Indymedia.
getting involved: Indymedia currently does not have the money to pay anyone, even for the hundreds of hours of work they've done for the network. However, you can become involved in organising any of Indymedia's associated IMCs and/or international projects. You may do so by communicating with the current organising groups through their e-mail lists. Volunteering is also possible by filling out the form available at their website. That will get a message to a local IMC about your intent to volunteer for them: a first step to make your voice heard!