Indymedia's Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Please note that lots if not most information and contacts given on this page are outdated.

Translations: cat | es | eu | fr | it | nl | pl | sv   Compiled by Indymedia volunteers on many IMC working group lists.

What is Indymedia?

Distilled from our mission statement: Indymedia is a collective of independent media organizations and hundreds of journalists offering grassroots, non-corporate coverage. Indymedia is a democratic media outlet for the creation of radical, accurate, and passionate tellings of truth. There are currently over one hundred and fifty Independent Media Centers 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. To learn more about each IMC, visit its web page. You will find links to IMC web sites on the left column of the main page Indymedia page ( Most of the below information answers questions that site visitors frequently ask about "," an organization composed of independent media activists from around the world who are working to coordinate international independent media projects. The group manages an international Indymedia page ( and coordinates technical and editorial policy issues that affect all IMCs that are associated with the Indymedia network.

How did the IMC project get started?

Indymedia is the collective effort of hundreds of independent media makers from around the world who are dedicated to providing a forum for independent reporting about important social and political issues. Several hundred media activists, many of whom have been working for years to develop an active independent media through their own organizations, came together in late November, 1999 in Seattle to create an Independent Media Center to cover protests against the World Trade Organization. The Seattle IMC provided coverage of the WTO through both a printed publication called "The Blind Spot" and the first IMC web site. The web site received almost 1.5 million hits during the WTO protests. In February of 2000 a small IMC formed in Boston to cover the Biodevestation Convergence, and a larger one came together in Washington D.C. to cover the A16 protests against the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. After that, requests from local groups interested in forming their own IMCs started to pour in. There are now over one hundred local Independent Media Centers around the world and more are on the way. You will find a list of local IMCs on the left column of the site.

What are Indymedia's long-term goals?

That's a big question, one that every Indymedia organizer would likely answer in a different way. Indymedia endeavors to empower people to become the media by present honest, accurate, powerful independent reports. One vague long-term goal would be to foster and facilitate the development of as much independent media as possible around the world. Some come to their Indymedia organizing with a deeper goal, to enable people, while they're "becoming the media," to realize they can take control of other aspects of their lives that they previously left up to 'experts' or 'professionals.' On a practical level, some who are involved with Indymedia are working toward the development of national and/or international television or radio networks, and others are working toward the establishment of an international independent regular newspaper and others projects that will assure the public has access to independent news reports.

How is Indymedia associated with the 'anti-globalization' movement?

While Indymedia is not a conscious mouthpiece of any particular point of view, many Indymedia organizers and people who post to the Indymedia newswires are supporters of the "anti-globalization" (alternative globalization, anti-corporatization) movement. Corporate media often describe those who protest so-called "free trade" conferences and agreements as being "anti-globalization," ostensibly against the process of breaking down national borders to create what pro-globalization economists claim will be a more profitable world. This misrepresents the reality of the international movement for social justice, which advocates not the "free trade" of powerful governments (trade that allows goods and services to flow across national borders, often in a way that allows producers to move their manufacturing plants to countries where they can pay workers a pittance), but "fair trade" that opens borders to goods and people as a way of sharing the earth's natural and manufactured resources in a way that will benefit all. Today's social justice activists are not against globalization of community, justice and resources, they protest the economic globalization coordinated by the powerful few that results in their profiting from the work of the majority of the world's population. They sometimes prefer to call themselves "alternative globalization" activists, or those who are against the increasing corporatization of society and culture. What draws many of these activists to Indymedia? Perhaps people who protest the power multinational corporations, faceless international financial institutions and inaccessible governments have over their lives found encouragement in Indymedia's news wire, which encourages them to present their own account of what is happening in the world. People participating in protests that question the very tenets of corporate domination of their lives understand why their issues are unlikely to receive honest consideration in the corporate-owned media. Activists planning an alternative globalization/anti-corporatization 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.

If each IMC is autonomous how do you make global Indymedia decisions?

Indymedia is currently developing a global decision-making process that will enable all IMCs to make decisions that affect the whole network. The current proposal is for Indymedia to form a "global spokescouncil" that will confirm decisions on global Indymedia issues that local IMCs have made through their own decision-making processes. When this process develops, you will find information about it on the Indymedia sites. If you would like to be involved in developing the spokescouncil idea or working on other Indymedia process issues you may subscribe to the imc-process[@t] e-mail list through the page. If you've been involved in Indymedia for a while and would like to participate in the decision-making working group, the group that's focusing attention and work on developing the a global decision-making process, subscribe to imc-dmwg[@t] through the lists page.

Do you really organize via the Internet?

Yes. While people in local IMCs organize face-to-face, many IMC projects have international involvement and discussion about them happens primarily through e-mail lists. You may view the archives of all Indymedia e-mail lists by going to, clicking on the name of the list you would like to explore, and clicking on the link that takes you to the archive of that list. Another collaborative resource is the Indymedia Twiki, a content management system which basically works like an open-access website. Sometimes people who are organizing Indymedia projects "meet" on-line in chat rooms on the Indymedia IRC (Internet Relay Chat) server ( to communicate in real time. Some international IMC working groups, such as the Imc-Print team, have weekly IRC meetings.

What is the address/phone #/fax # of Indymedia's office?

Believe it or not, the Indymedia has no central office, and therefore we have no address, phone number or fax. That said, many Indymedia centers have offices. You can find Indymedia contact information for local IMCs at

What is the newswire?/Why are there sometimes hate-filled articles on the newswire?

The newswire 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, from any computer that is connected to the Internet, by clicking the 'publish' link on the 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 that edits articles posted to the newswire. An Indymedia 'Newswire Working Group' has formed to keep track of what's been posted and clear the newswire of duplicate posts, commercial messages, and other posts that don't fit within Indymedia's editorial guidelines. Soon you will be able to contact the Newswire Working Group via e-mail to voice your opinions about the articles it has chosen to remove from the front page of the newswire. All articles moved from the front of the newswire will continue to remain publicly accessible through the "editorial administration" and the "hidden articles" areas of the Indymedia site, which you can reach through the "publish" link. You will soon find the current Indymedia editorial guidelines at the top of the page you reach after clicking the "publish" link. If you disagree with the content of a particular article that someone has posted on Indymedia, you may comment on the article through the "add your own comments" link at the bottom of each post.

Can you tell me more about "open publishing?"

For more information about open publishing, check out Indymedia tech volunteer Matthew Arnison's essay on the topic at

Will you post my article/story/etc.?

If you are convinced your own story is of international relevance, then please publish your story to the Indymedia newswire by clicking on the "publish" link on the page and following the easy instructions. If you send your story to the imc-editorial list or any other e-mail list people on those lists will most likely ask you to post the story yourself. If you think your own story is more appropriate for residents of a city/region/country or people interested in that city/region/country, then it would be better to post to the appropriate local IMC newswire by going to the local site (click the local IMCs link on the left column of the site to find it), pushing the "publish" button and following the instructions. This way people who live in the locality and can act on your information or agree or disagree with it are more likely to read your posting than if you post it at the newswire.

Why isn't Indymedia covering such and such event/issue/topic?

Indymedia provides a public forum for independent journalists and media organizations to post their own articles about myriad issues, but doesn't determine what those independent journalists cover. If you want to see more coverage of an issue, post more stories about the issue and encourage other newswire readers to do the same.

Where do I send my press releases?

Please e-mail press releases to pressreleases[@t]

How do I get something featured in the center column of the site?

If you think your article or issue has global relevance and would therefore be interesting for people to read as a feature on, please send your feature idea to the features working group at www-features[@t] Ideas sent to that group will most likely become features if you present them along with proposed text in the format of most features, with several suggested links, preferably to articles on Indymedia sites, and with an image to use with the feature.

How do I search the Indymedia sites?

You should be able to search the local IMC sites by using the search function found at the top left of every local IMC page. The search function on the page itself is often unbearably slow. One suggestion is to search the Indymedia site using an outside search engine such as Use the advanced search function to search for articles only on the site.

Should I believe news I read on Indymedia?

Should you believe news you read on All reporters have their own biases; governments and massive for-profit corporations that own media entities have their own biases as well, and often impose their views on their reporters (or their reporters self-censor to conform their own biases to those of their employer). You should look at all reports you read on the Indymedia site with a critical eye, just as you should look at all media before you in a discerning manner.

Of what are you "independent?"

No corporation owns Indymedia, no government manages the organization, no single donor finances the project. Indymedia is not the mouthpiece of any political party or organization. People involved with Indymedia have a wide variety of political and personal viewpoints. Anyone may participate in Indymedia organizing and anyone may post to the Indymedia newswires. Political parties or organizations may choose to publish articles on the Indymedia newswires, but in doing so they invite public debate about their positions from any reader of the site; any reader may respond by publishing his/her comments alongside the post in question. True, many Indymedia organizers and people who post to the sites have political opinions that fall along the left side of the political spectrum, yet each individual chooses his/her own level of involvement; there's nothing in any Indymedia mission statement that declares people who are involved must be of any particular mindset, as long as they do not work contrary to the values espoused in Indymedia's mission statement.

How do I form an IMC?

You will find some information about how to form an IMC in your area on the You will also find some advice about how to put together an IMC at the site. Indymedia is currently working to make its instructions for building an IMC and the information provided on the Process site more complete and explicit. Once you have read the information on those sites and explored the other Indymedia sites to get a good idea of what IMCs do, send an e-mail to the New-IMC working group (new-imc[@t] to tell the group about your interest in forming an IMC. Someone from the working group will contact you with detailed information about how to go about forming an IMC. Though each local IMC is an autonomous organization, there are several simple things each local IMC must do before the Indymedia global group opens its local domain, such as develop a mission statement and editorial policy and assure the Indymedia global group that it is ready to put substantial effort into building a sustainable Independent Media Center.

Are you "activists" or "journalists?"

Some would say "activists," some would say "journalists," some would say both. Each Indymedia reporter/organizer must make this distinction for him/herself. Having a point of view does not preclude Indymedia reporters 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. In general, on the occasions of political rallies, political activists who associate at all with always choose non-violent civil disobedience to highlight the absurdities in certain policies of corporations or governments. Therefore, we simultaneously do not approve of war criminals such as members of the Bush Administration or the Al Quaeda regime. We are not a special interest white supremacist group or a terrorist organization. In sum, intends NOT to harm others (the way Bush Administration, Al-Quaeda or other weird aggressive cults do) and instead we intend to open up friendly public discussion.

There's a problem with my article/press release/story/etc. How do I fix it?

Send an e-mail to www-newswire[@t] including the URL of the article in question. Because the IMC is a volunteer-run organization, our volunteers work diligently to assist with hundreds of e-mail requests. We ask that you please only ask for assistance when there is a substantial problem.

How many hits do the Indymedia sites get?

That's a difficult question to answer. Indymedia sites are spread across many servers and we do not log IP addresses as a way of protecting the privacy of our visitors. This makes creating any concrete logging and traffic information. Indymedia is an activist network and not a which is dependent on traffic numbers to provide to investors. We work to keep our servers up with a shoestring budget and tracking visitor numbers isn't that important. During times of great traffic (for example, during the week surrounding the Genoa G8 protests, during which Indymedia sites received an estimated 5 million page views), various servers mirror Indymedia content and share traffic, making accurate statistics nearly impossible to accumulate. During the first days of the US/UK invasion of Iraq some Indymedia sites such as Indymedia Italia received about half a million page views a day. When we aren't covering a major action the main site generally gets around 100,000 page views a day as of April 2003. We do not have any firm numbers on Indymedia traffic for the network, but a good guess would be that Indymedia as a whole has between 500,000 and 2 million page views a day.

How do you pay for all this stuff?

Indymedia funds all of its activities through donations from people like you. If you would like to support Indymedia financially you may do so through the web page you will find by clicking the 'support indymedia' link at the top of the web page. Indymedia supports its entire technical structure on an incredibly minimal budget -- only a couple thousand US dollars so far, as opposed to the tens or hundreds of millions of dollars that power the corporate media. donates substantial server space, especially for hosting multimedia files.

How do I donate money?

If you would like to make a tax deductible donation to Indymedia you may do so through our fiscal sponsor, Jam For Justice. You may send a check made payable to 'Jam for Justice' to:

Independent Media Center
1415 Third Avenue
Seattle, WA 98101
Attn: Indymedia Network.

Please write "Indymedia Network" in the memo area of your check. Indymedia can use all the financial help it can get. Right now we're waiting to distribute all money donated to the global IMC until we develop a global decision-making process. Until we do so, donations sent explicitly for the global network will wait in our bank account until that happens. You may donate directly to local IMCs and/or IMC projects, each of which should have its own decision-making process and will therefore be able to use your money.

You can also donate online via paypal using a credit card.

The finance decisions about money you donate are made by the imc-finance working group.

How do I donate other things?

If you're interested in donating equipment or anything to a local IMC, please contact that IMC directly by pursuing the contact information you find through its web site. If you are interested in donating server space to the network please contact imc-tech[@t] If you are interested in donating anything else to the network, please e-mail us at donate[@t]

I want to work for indymedia, where do I send my resume?

Indymedia currently doesn't have the money to pay anyone, even for the hundreds of hours of work they've done for the network. However, you may certainly be involved in organizing any of Indymedia's associated IMCs and/or international projects. You may do so by communicating with the current organizing groups through e-mail lists you will find at

I want to volunteer for indymedia, how do I get involved?

First go to and fill out the form. That will get a message to a local IMC about your intent to volunteer for them. You should also contact the follow the link on the left column of the site to get to the web site of the IMC closest to you and contact them directly just to be sure they know to contact you. If you would like to be involved with global Indymedia efforts, you may do so by joining each project's e-mail list through the page. For example:

Indymedia process discussions: imc-process[@t]
Developing Indymedia editorial policy: imc-editorial[@t]
The Indymedia translation team: translation[@t]
The tech team: imc-tech[@t]
The print team: imc-print[@t]

You may also view the archives of each Indymedia e-mail list at If you would like to volunteer to work on a project that currently doesn't have an e-mail list, please send an e-mail to help[@t] to find out how to connect with people who are already working on that project, or to find out how to initiate the project yourself.

How do I join/unsubscribe from Indymedia e-mail lists?

You can join/unsubscribe to Indymedia e-mail lists through

How do I find technical help?

You may access the imc-tech FAQ at

How do I open an e-mail list on the Indymedia server for my IMC to use?

If you're interested in opening an e-mail list for your IMC project send your request to listwork[@t] with a description of the list and why you want to set it up. You or someone else you know should be prepared to be the list administrator -- don't worry, it's an easy thing to do. If you would like to open an e-mail list to facilitate organizing your group that's discussing forming an IMC, e-mail new-imc[@t] first, to let the new-imc working group know your plan, then contact listwork[@t]

Where do I find published stories about Indymedia?

You may find some stories written about Indymedia at So many have been written lately that we're losing track. A search through your favorite web search engine (using an 'advanced search' function to tell the search engine not to return results from any domain), will yield a lot of exciting articles.

I want to interview someone at Indymedia for an article/report/media piece/school paper. How do I find the right person?

If you would like to interview someone from a local IMC or specific project please contact that IMC/project directly. If you would like to interview someone at IMC-global please e-mail help[@t] Please let us know your deadline. We will try to get back to you as soon as possible. Please understand that Indymedia is a volunteer-run organization and we have a hard time fulfilling all requests. How can I get in touch with people in local IMCs?

Each IMC should have contact information available on its web site, though every IMC replies to e-mail at a different pace. You may contact the Indymedia tech team by sending an e-mail to imc-tech[@t] You may contact people who are working on Indymedia editorial issues by mailing imc-editorial[@t] You may contact the people working on Indymedia process issues by e-mailing imc-process[@t] You may contact the translation team by e-mailing translation[@t] You may contact the IMC print team through imc-print[@t]

What languages does use?

There are local IMCs that publish, or are planning to publish, in languages such as English, Spanish, French, Italian, German, Portuguese, Flemish, Swedish, Finnish, Russian, Hebrew and Arabic. So far most global Indymedia discussions take place in English, but the Indymedia Translation Team is working to change that. If you would like to join the translation team to help make this possible, join the translation[@t] e-mail list through the page. We have also initiated discussions about facilitating international Indymedia communication by using Esperanto.

I want to use this article for something. May I?

All original content posted to Indymedia is free for reprint and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere, for non-commercial use, unless otherwise noted by author. If you have questions about whether you may publish a particular article please contact the article's author directly. For more information about open content licenses visit:

I'm having problems listening to/viewing things posted on the Indymedia sites. How can I get help?

Indymedia has provided links to some of the programs you can use to listen to/view things at Follow those links to receive support from the companies that produce the programs, as they will be able to answer specific questions much better than the Indymedia tech team.

Do you have tee shirts or other promotional materials?

Indymedia global doesn't have tee shirts or other promotional material available right now. The Seattle ( and Washington DC ( IMCs both apparently have tee shirts. Please contact them through their web sites.

The site isn't working/my article won't publish/everything is really slow. How do I get help?

Indymedia is a 100% volunteer network with few resources. Our tech volunteers do an extraordinary job keeping the technical aspects of the web sites flowing. Sometimes, especially during high traffic times, the site is not able to handle all the traffic. We wish we could suggest something other than 'try back in a little while,' but unfortunately that's all we can recommend. If you have technical abilities or server space to offer that would definitely help. Please contact the IMC tech team: imc-tech[@t]

Can I post to all the IMC newswires or e-mail lists with the touch of one button?

No. The site is set up to encourage you to post or e-mail your information to the specific newswire/e-mail list that it concerns.

What kind of audio/video/print projects do you have?

There are hundreds of videographers scurrying about the globe who currently take video for Indymedia sites and projects. Some of them communicate via the video[@t] e-mail list. Every month FreeSpeech TV ( collects video segments from Indymedia videographers around the world into the 'Indymedia newsREAL.' You can find out more about that project through The European IMCs also produce a monthly video newsreal of activist news. Many IMCs have their own radio projects, and several of them broadcast regularly on the Internet. Find out more about IMC radio projects through and/or join the conversation at imc-audio[@t] Many IMCs have their own print publications, so check local IMC sites to follow along with their adventures in real life print. There is an international imc-print team; they organize via the imc-print[@t] list and through the site. Every week the IMC-Print team produces a two page PDF (printable file) summary of Indymedia news, which you should print, copy and distribute in your community.

How do I get footage from Seattle/Washington/Prague/Genoa?

If you're interested in the IMC videos from Seattle, Washington or Genoa, contact Seattle (, Washington D.C. ( and Italy ( respectively. If you'd like information about the Prague video you can find it at

How do I get Indymedia news off the computer and into the hands of people in my community?

Print the Print team's weekly PDF (, copy it and distribute it in your community. You may also print articles from the Indymedia site by clicking the 'print this article' link at the top of the article. Encourage your community radio station to broadcast IMC audio project productions ( Organize a screening of the Indymedia newsREAL ( and/or screen any Indymedia video. TELL PEOPLE ABOUT WHAT YOU SEE ON THE IMC SITES.

When's the next protest?

Though Indymedia itself doesn't plan protests, Indymedia ally provides a calendar of upcoming protests and other events.

Can you link to us?

You may suggest your link to Indymedia through the links page. Please understand that Indymedia volunteers are incredibly busy and haven't been able to maintain our links page too well as of late. You may most definitely link to any Indymedia site from your web site.

Why is the background of the site too dark? It hurts my eyes.

People on the imc-presentation[@t] working group have heard many complaints that the black background and white text makes reading the site difficult for some people. They have also received many positive comments about the way the site looks. As of now they have made the decision to stay with the current look of the site. If you really have a hard time reading articles with the black background, try clicking the 'print article' link at the top of each article. This will transform the article into a printable version ' white background with black text ' that should be easier to read.

Why are upcoming events for Mexico listed in Latin America and not North America?

Yes, Mexico is in North America, but it's also in Latin America. The socio-political context of organizing a major protest in Mexico is distinctly a Latin American political process. Another reason to put it in Latin America is in Spanish the name 'norteamericano' is used to referrer to people from the US and Canada, and not Mexicans. Culture and geography don't always line up. We could change 'North America' to be called 'Anglo America' but then where would be put protests in Quebec, which, along with Haiti, and French Guyana are 'Francophone America'? To say nothing of the Surinamese and the category of Dutch America.

There is no perfect way to organize these things. Also putting protests under Latin America means it has more prominence rather than getting buried under a sea of US based protests.

Can I syndicate indymedia? What RSS and XML feeds for Indymedia content do you provide?

Yes, we have many RSS feeds and other XML format feeds of Indymedia content. You can read all about it and find the URLs at SyndicationMetaPage and

Is Al-Muajaha the Baghdad Indymedia Center?

This is an often asked question. For a full history of the Al-Muajaha media activist project please read this email. The Al-Muajaha group is not an official Indymedia center because they have started but not finished the new-imc process. Many Indymedia activists have been working to support the Iraqi media activists who have formed Al-Muajaha. The supporters have a mailing list, which you can join if you are interested supporting Indymedia efforts in Iraq and Al-Muajaha. It is the hope that Al-Muajaha will finish their application and join the Indymedia network. Until that time they are an organization which is being supported by the Indymedia network but not formally part of the network.

What if the answer to my question isn't in this document?

If the above frequently asked question file hasn't answered your question, you may contact us at help[@t] Please understand that Indymedia is an all volunteer project and sometimes there are hundreds of messages to go through each day. We will try to get back to you as quickly as possible.

Thank you.

added Twiki to "Does Indymedia organize via the Internet" -- IonNec - 18 Aug 2003
added "Is Al-Muajaha the Baghdad Indymedia Center" -- RabbleRouser - 16 Oct 2003
updated IMC numbers, spelling, puctuation, etc. -- EarthmanWhyTheFsckCantThisHandleSingleNames - 15 Jan 2004
updated syndication links - but in general this FAQ badly needs systematic updating. -- BouD - 29 Sep 2005
added a note saying that most information on this page is outdated -- AlsteR - 25 Jul 2007

Topic revision: r21 - 25 Jul 2007, AlsteR
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