<< NewImc

Theme based IMCs?

Should there be IMCs based on themes instead of geography?

"A "subject IMC" is an indymedia frontpage/portal to IMC content for that given subject. Today there are hundreds of IMCs but very hard to find stuff on e.g "housing" or "forest activism" without going through all the local IMCs in a more or less random way."

Arguments against

  • an IMC should be grassroots related, involve local people, and help a variety of different activist groups support each other

  • there's more likely to be first-hand reporting from a collective which meets face-to-face than one which is mostly electronic

  • decision-making, editorial policy, all have a higher risk of being dominated by those with the best internet access in the case of an electronic-only IMC

  • face-to-face meetings of a global (planetary) IMC would cause the most oppressed people to be even more excluded than in electronic meetings

  • it would increase the focus on centralisation (but see networking viewpoint under "Arguments for")

  • risk of less focus on face-to-face meetings, and so risk of coordinatorism - where we stop focussing on giving equal access and participation to the oppressed, creating a class of coordinators - the oppressed who criticise the coordinators or choose different strategies are then looked at as ungrateful, irrational people, who refuse to acknowledge the help of those who most want to help them.

Arguments for

  • the information on similar themes from around the planet ought to be grouped together for all the obvious advantages of coordinating information

  • in network (graph theory) language, it would be like adding a big node to the network, adding to connectivity

(excerpt from ChuckO email)

  • 1) Subject-based IMCs promote the sharing of information of news across geographical boundaries. They would help cross-pollinate activist news and issue-based reporting in a network.

  • 2) Subject-based IMC allow those readers, activists, and citizens who are interested in one issue a place where they can focus in on news, information and resources on that issue.

  • 3) A subject-based IMC would promote more investigative journalism, instead of the protest-oriented news and commentary that can be found on many IMCs. An IMC that focuses on housing would higlight the excellent work already being done on housing issues on local IMCs.

  • 4) A subject-based IMC would provide a networking and organizational resource for activists working on that issue. It would promote more face-to-face meetings and projects outside of localities.

  • 5) A subject-based IMC would empower those who are most affected by the issues of homelessness, affordable housing, housing discrimination, poverty, and so on.

  • 6) An issue-based IMC would provide the nexus for collaborative reporting and projects on the subject/issue. Imagine a project where reporters, activists, researchers, and homeless people teamed up to cover the current crackdown on the homeless in the United States.

  • 7) The IMC network should be facilitating projects that media activists want to do, instead of getting in their way. If there aren't serious technical, resource and political reasons why a new IMC project shouldn't be created and there is a need for the project being proposed, then the IMC network should get behind a good, solid project that isn't necessarily local.

  • 8) A subject-based or issue-based IMC would highlight the content being created by local IMCs. The front page could be set up like the current IMC-Global, in that a column could be created that pulls links and info from relevant stories on local IMCs. Local IMCs such as IMC-DC, IMC-Bay Area, IMC-NYC, and others have alot of quality DIY reporting being done on housing issues and activism.

  • Arguments for - in the archive:

How new-imc deals with 'topic-imc' requests

Practical alternatives - syndication

  • Create a category/feature/filter on your already existing and diverse local IMC, and offer a mailing list to try and feed in features/articles from other local IMCs, evolving this into a de facto global site. This way all the practical problems could be dealt with by a local collective and the transition of the subsite from local to global would be bottom-up instead of top-down. (Nothing is stopping any local site from using the RSS feeds from other local sites to create their own local mirror of central column features!)

(excerpt from arc email)

'As an alternative to "Issue IMCs", have alternative pages on global for different issues. No publishing, just a center column for homeless issue features from different local IMCs (similar to how the global features newswire works) and a newswire consisting of all the local newswire stories under those catagories. To publish, people are directed to go to their local IMC and publish marking it as being on that topic.. depending on the codebase, some IMCs could allow one article to be marked as being for several different topics, etc.'

(salim email excerpt) "the ability for categorizing imc stories already exists you can test the dev page i am working on that does this at http://media.iww.org/navigation.php specifically, http://media.iww.org/imc_categories.php?keyword=environment "

Functioning examples

  • See NewTopicImc for other examples which are something like what a thematic Indymedia collective could be or might be or should be.

acronym alert: RSS

When talking with South Asian activists, please be aware that suggesting they should use RSS is like suggesting to Europeans that they should use MUSSOLINI, so make it clear you're talking about software, not fascism.

mailing list threads

Where to continue discussion

Please choose an appropriate list for discussing theme-based IMCs generally, or a specific theme. You are most welcome to create a new mailing list if you are willing to facilitate the discussion.

See

You may notify a few other lists, such as new-imc, with a very short message saying that you have created the list and wish to start a discussion, but please do not try to restart the discussion itself on the new-imc mailing list:
Topic revision: r12 - 22 Oct 2003, BouD
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