See the original french version : ImcMarseilleCorpus

+ The constituent corpus of the Marseille Independent Media Center

"We are the media, all of us!"

The following four texts work together. Our adhesion to the ImcNantesPrinciples of Unity and to the Membership Criteria of the NIMC, our specific objectives, the organization of our group and its openness, and at lasvt our website's \xAB policy of moderation \xBB presuppose themselves and answer each other. It is not a constitution or a body of rules to put into practice, but definitely principles of the practice -therefore modifiable permanently, that proceed from practice and that in return seek to give it a public form. These four texts are the reflection of a certain politicy, in one of the spheres of its exercise: media making.

Our desire is that this activity is finally really democratized because we estimate that the news feed representations of the society, which, seeing the present state of the medias, serve rather the interests of the dominant classes. A contrario, media's production can be an element of a freeing praxis. It also proposes itself to relay social struggles.

In order to open media's production, we think it is useful to seize a new tool : Internet. But we do not make it an end in itself: it is desirable that, wherever it is, the virtual community materializes itself in concrete collective acts. Our production method is "open publishing" for the website, and, for the moderation of this space, democratic consensus according to the principles of this corpus.

++ 1/ The NIMC's texts

The Marseille IMC adheres to the NIMC's ImcNantesPrinciples of Unity and Membership Criteria and is commited to respect them. See the reports of our meetings for the discussions and the acceptances of these texts (go to These principles and criteria are at the basis of our functioning, our specific objectives and our policy of moderation.

++ 2/ The Marseille IMC's specific objectives

* Marseille IMC will be an open space of news and opinions. We want to free the people's word: everyone publish what one wants to say about issues of one's concern. Marseille IMC started on the basis of acknowledgement : Marseille and its surrounding's lack of alternative media thanks to which a large number of people could inform for free. The Marseille IMC is a democratic and participative structure giving itself as objective the proliferation of a free information based on the principles of solidarity, autonomy and mutual respect.

+++ Media that do not inform anymore:

On our own scale, we are opposed to the classical media's monopoly on the production and the diffusion of information. We think that their point of view is skewed: internal constraints related with the organization and financial external pressures and connivances with the power, their pres-assumption as for issues worthy publishing, or likely to pay, contribute to the production of a simplistic information, confining sometimes to more or less dangerous stereotypes.

Social struggles are the first victims of this media's bias. They occupy only a very small part of the "news" eventhough they are motors and indicators of something that interests all of us: social change. And when these struggles are dealt with, it is often to distort their sense.

+++ An action locally anchored:

Marseille, working class city nourished with immigration, is badly struck by neo-liberal politics and various conservative ideologies. Apart from repercussions of great national conflicts, one hears little about daily struggles. Low visibility results in poor knowledge of these issues and weak coordination of actions.

Marseille is open on the Mediterranean sea : while free trade treaties make deepier the economic and social gap between its north and south coasts, our role would be to, beyond the evocation of a common culture or history, to create a common space of life, based on exchange, freedom of movement and solidarity.

+++ A democratic tool to the service of everyone, with everyone:

"Give the voiceless the opportunity to have a word and criticize those who have predominant discourses", and more generally, of those who hold a power, an authority. In this direction, open publishing is a tool for democracy. It conveys values and favours critical acumen. Indeed, we think that this tool is not neutral, regarding its constitutive principles and what should be its function in the local. Open publishing is the opportunity to experiment new social and production's relations in practical terms.

We hope that Marseille IMC will contribute to make more visible and to connect local and daily fights, beyond trade-unions and electoral happenings and more widely than activists' circles where everyone may already know each other. People willing to write can publish what they want within the limits of our principles (see in particular item 10 of principles of unity) : life testimonies, calls to demonstrations, journalistic investigations, reflections and debates, short news, reports of local initiatives, neighborhoods life's accounts, etc.

The Marseille IMC is part of a wider movement of Independent Media including press, radio, TV, walls... We will have to see where this movement is up in Marseille,in order to cooperate with other media, and to improve our diffusion's effectiveness. From the basis of this local anchoring, we should also have the goal to spread locally news produced in the whole Indymedia network and vice versa.

+++ A membership to a global network

While relaying initiatives and information from the local level to the global one, and vice versa, we insert our fight in the global resistance to the globalization of profit's constraints on the multitudes. We are inheritants of the struggle against the WTO in Seattle, in 1999, when the first IMC was created. Seattle was a key event in the awakening of the critical and effective capacity of the social movements in their fight against neo-liberal capitalism.

Therefore Marseille IMC does not aim only to free media's production, but also to a better distribution of them.

++ 3/ The group's functioning

The principles of our policy tend towards direct democracy. The decisions will be taken in consensus in order to give rise to and to respect the voice of each one. That's what we name horizontality. Also means opening the group towards its outside, in order to arouse new collaborations. It is necessary to distinguish the group who carries the website (a kind of real community) and the virtual community of those who write on the site and who consult it. Considerations on policies can only concern a real group. Nevertheless everything is done to open this group on the virtual community and to melt their borders. Let us clarify a bit these principles:

+++ Consensus Decision-making by consensus is based on the experience of Indymedia groups and other groups. It must allow a better communication between the people and facilitate the expression of all. The "quality" of the decision has to result of it (in the absence of its "quantity"), as different opinions will have been developed and each one in the group will assume personally the decision. Of course every decision can be discussed again. We also can debate and decide by our mailing lists, by giving clearly deadlines and by leaving the possibility to wait until the next meeting if a consensus does not emerge. Consensus exists only if there is confidence between those who debate. It is necessary therefore that they know each other, that they see eachother during physical meetings. The group will meet physically on a regular basis. It is desirable that contacts' making are done during these meetings. The group stays open, with the help of internet (electronic lists, irc) to the people who, because of the distance or other reasons, cannot assist to the physical meetings.

+++ Opening The life of the group must be open, public, visible to the maximum. In addition to the open publishing website, meetings, discussion lists, written documents, etc., everything must be accessible to everybody.

+++ Independence The group is autonomous and must watch to preserve a certain integrity. It cannot be linked neither to a political party, nor an ideology. It cannot express support to a party or to its spokesmen and anybody cannot identify with the IMC in its participation in elections or a political organization. Marseille-IMC is opened to anyone, no matter one's ideas, membership to a group, but this person will participate only in his own name and not in the name of an organization. Marseille-IMC can accept material and financial support only if its autonomy is not affected. The support in kind (premises, computer equipment, photocopy, paper, video or audio equipement) seems preferable, without debts. Work provided for the IMC can not be remunerated.

+++ Nonhierarchical relationship It is necessary to avoid all dominating position within the group. It is necessary therefore to establish a rotation of tasks and functions (coordinators, representative only named when necessary, facilitators during the meetings and on the lists, etc.). It implies also to limit the technical and human barriers to the participation of each one, by exchanges of knowledges and competences, and by listening. We will organize therefore, when needed, technical and thematic workshops.

+++ Multiple media One of the goals of the IMC is the appropriation of the means of production and diffusion of news: audio, video, photography, internet, posters, leaflet, etc. We participate in the development of the tools provided by open code community. We wish also to go out of the Web, using other media of diffusion, and participating in physical events (debates and meetings, street parties and festivals, etc.). In short, the goal is to go towards the people, to arouse contributions, to make the website and its contents widely known, from word of mouth to satellite as communication means. Open publishing can seize other media than internet: for example, mailing boxes available in certain places of the city (well distributed geographically), walls.

+++ Rhizome We work in network with the other IMCs and other structures of independent media. One can seek experiences that work and spread ours. To connect the global to the local, it is important to invest in the work of translation in as various languages as possible (see the translation site of indymedia,

++ 4/ Our policy of moderation of the site

+++ Open publishing

Open publishing is based on the right to participation, anonymity, critic editorial decisions. Open publishing allows everyone to self-publish instantaneously one's production on the IMC website. Everybody can "become the media", use one's own capacities, of observation, analysis, to contribute to the site. The site can host texts, video and audio files, photographs, images, etc.

Open publishing is based on an information production process which is transparent for all: producers, broadcasters and receivers of this information. It is also based on the confidence between them and on the capacity of each person to judge what has some interest or not, what is credible or not. Open publishing is indymedia's basis: all the local indymedia groups use it and make it the principal element of their sites.

+++ No a priori moderation

Contributions appear immediately on the main page of the website: they are not pre-filtered or modified. The moderation process intervenes only after publication of the contributions, not before. The contributions appear in chronological order of their publication on the site. Commentaries, submitted to the same criteria that open publication, can be added to the contributions.

+++ Responsibility

  • Content of the website : the responsibility of a contribution uniquely rests on its author and not on the IMC. Opinions expressed in contributions are their author's property and the IMC does not agree with them automatically. A posteriori moderation cannot be assimilated to an editorial choice. Links towards other websites contained in contributions do not mean that the IMC adheres to these sites' content, they have only an informative goal.

  • Privacy : The IMC is commited to assure that the right to control one's own image is respected. The IMC assure anonymity, especially when there are risks of repression, and prosecution. Each contributor is responsible for the personnal data he/she posts on the website (name, address, telephone number, mail...). It is always possible to contact the IMC to modify these published data. The IMC does not keep log data.

+++ Transparency, openness of the moderation team

The moderation is done by the people engaged in the moderation team. It aims only to preserve the quality of the information delivered to everyone's eyes. Everyone can see which decisions are made by the members of this team by consulting the moderation working list. Everyone can participate in the moderation work and enter into the moderation team. \xAB Moderators \xBB will be able to modify contributions only for spelling, layout and indexation. If the IMC adds information to a contribution, it must be signaled by placing it between hooks with the mention "addition of the collective". An author can ask to hide his/her contribution.

Moderation work must be the most transparent as possible. The moderation list is open, and available. One can always find in the list archives, available on the web, messages of the moderators, and explanations justifying the changes of status of a contribution, and discussions about this action.

To make moderation work accessible to all, it is important that messages circulating on the moderation list are clear. The participation to the moderation (and therefore the access to the administration space of the site) is done on request of the person and implies her/his participation (even tiny) to the meetings of the IMC.

+++ Hidden contributions

Moderation work is at the same time technical and political, because the contributions which one judges they do not respect IMC's principles (general and specific) are excluded from the central page but always available for consultation on the site from the page of the hidden contributions (therefore there is not censorship).

These contributions are not eliminated from the site but available from the page of the hidden contributions. The motive for the contribution's displacement is visible in messages concerning moderation work on the list devoted to moderation and, according to technical possibilities, at the top of the contribution itself.

Moderation criteria leave a margin of appreciation and of evolution according to precise cases, context, experience gained by the group. Any return on a decision-making in particular or on these criteria in general is welcome. Contributors can communicate on the list devoted to moderation.

This list is accessible so that readers and contributors can use it to post their critical comments, questions and concern about the policy of moderation. The appreciation of the contributions according to the respect of our principles is done collectively and can be discussed again. In order to avoid mistakes. In case of doubt, we will always prefer not to censorship.

To recapitulate, contributions expressing insulting, hateful, violent (particularly towards marginalized, excluded and discriminated individuals or groups), sexist, racist, homophobe discourses, and all other forms of discrimination, or identity and essentialist assignation are sent on hidden contributions' page, with a justificative commentary rather precise. Commercial, electoral, or institutional messages (emanating from political parties, from State, etc.), or messages presenting a link or a contact with a sectarian, far right or fundamentalist structure are also targeted.

There are also technical criteria for a contribution's exclusion:

  • Contributions in foreign language without translation in French (one then can translate it or ask the contributor to do it).
  • Copy of an article already existing elsewhere on the Web or protected by copyright (it's better then to do a presentation, a summary or a quotation, or to establish a link with the original location of the article). In case of text copy, if the latter is truncated, modified without it being explicitly indicated. Materials protected by copyright will not be published on the site without authorization of this right's owner.
  • text's flagrant lacks of intelligibility.
  • Attitude expressing a willingness to harm (for example repeted contributions)
  • "Doublon" (identical or very similar to a contribution already published)
  • empty (without text)
  • test
  • off the point: contribution without connection with CMI's project such as presented in our specific objectives.
  • Contribution not respecting basic rules of journalism as we defend it: non quoted sources, containing news allowing the identification of people without their agreement, breaking anonymity's rule, diffusion of personal information, attacks, personal threats, slandering. In this case, even once the contribution hidden, moderators will have to eliminate the news carrying detriment to individuals (diffusion of confidential information).
  • hidden on request of the author

+++ Features (central column articles) Contributions from the open publishing column can be displaced to the central column, proposing to the contributors to treat the subject of their choice while integrating in their contribution text, links, pictures or other multimedia support. Proposing an article for the central column: it stays on standby in the site's administration space during a time to determine, with notification on the moderation list.It is them put on-line, except in case of emergency: in such a case, two other members' agreement right away is enough, with nonetheless notification of the decision on the moderation list.
Topic revision: r4 - 21 Jan 2006, AlsteR
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