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IMC UK Outreach / Outreach Static Page
Increasing Participation in Regional IMCs
A Resource for Outreach
draft / Sept 04
1. What are the goals of this outreach static page?
- there is currently a low level of regional outreach and as a result the number of new people participating in IMCs as reporters and admin is only growing slowly. The resources on this page are intended to help increase participation in these areas. Outreach is defined as something which aims to introduce new people to IMC. This is different from network events which concentrate on those already involved.
- to provide a resource for regional IMCs wanting to help more people Be The Media.
- to promote this resource within the network, encouraging regional IMCs to pursue frequent outreach initiatives.
- to improve overall network outreach so that public awareness of and support for IMCs increases. In turn, this will improve local and national understanding of activist projects and numbers participating in media and other activism.
- to promote IMC as a more inclusive news resource, bridging gaps between the already empowered IMC volunteers and those new to independent media and non-hierarchical organising.
2. How to achieve these goals
Improving the perception of IMC as an inclusive media operation
- there are 3 obvious levels of IMC use: read-only, read-comment, active reporter-admin. Currently many IMC readers may perceive that reporting is the job of activists. IMC Outreach initiatives can show that the site encourages contributions from people who may not consider themselves activists, anarchists, eco warriors etc but who do have something valuable to report about actions and issues in their community. These same people, once involved as reporters, can subsequently become involved in admin.
- this can be done by showing that the IMC ethos is more popular than people might assume. The Mission Statement and Editorial Guidelines which define IMC practice uphold positions which would be widely supported in a general sense by many people presently outside the IMCUK activist community; people who are nevertheless in a position to report from their communities.
- IMC is against racism, fascism, xenophobia, sexism or any other form of discrimination. And against hierarchy (the promotion of political parties and other hierarchically structured organizations).
- IMC supports publishing news about grassroots, non-corporate, non-commercial social justice, environmental and political issues and actions. It supports the idea of community reporting.
- making IMC more popular does not mean abandoning IMC values. Instead, it requires an acceptance that the reporting of developments in community issues is as important as the reporting of actions. News of this kind is the background to action and is generally ignored by the corporate media. Reporting is in itself a valuable form of activism. Encouraging people to report in this way, as well as finding more ways to get reports of actions, should be outreach priorities.
3. Outreach Resources for Regional IMCs
The methods described below are a preliminary list of possible approaches to outreach. It is hoped that you will add your own innovations to this page or feedback with your experiences via the IMC UK Outreach list: email@example.com
There is already a 'Global Getting Involved' wiki with outreach resources here: http://docs.indymedia.org/view/Global/ImcGettingInvolved
As this draft progresses, some of these global resources will be incorporated into this page.
3a. Outreach OFFLINE
- Target groups and / or possible locations for outreach events:
- grassroots activist groups
- workplaces / whistleblowers
- public library users
- other places where there are free-to-use public PCs
- social groups excluded from mainstream media
- community centres
- other Materials and methods you can develop
- Mobile computer setup
- MobileImc resource page (Wi Fi, laptop clusters and other tech setups)
- Permanent IMC office
- this has been done in NYC and maybe elsewhere in the global network.
- Printed Matter
- A4 'how to' guides for photocopying (more: HowtoGuides)
- pamphlets / newsletters
- involvement of other indie publishers in print projects (for wider distribution)
there is an archive of Outreach texts and graphics used for past events here: UkOutreachTexts
and a Design archive here: UkDesign
- IMC news publishing workshops
- other IMC workshops (eg. radio, tech etc)
- IMC reporter training workshops (being trialled in Sheffield by Daniel Olner 2004: SheffieldIMCDoItYourself)
- film screenings
- talks (more: ImcUkSpeakingTours)
- non-IMC events at which IMC can be present
- print distribution at actions / protests
- Merchandise (some free / some for sale to raise money for IMC)
- printed books
- T-shirts and other material aimed at increasing visual presence (more: UkTShirt)
- Other Forms of Communication
- CDs / DVDs
- video (more: UkVideo)
3b. Outreach ONLINE
uk admin volunteers can support network outreach online in the following ways:
regional volunteers can support network outreach online in the following ways:
- improve UK and regional site navigability for new visitors
- add 'get involved' link at top of front pages. Text for this new page now being written here: GetInvolvedUk
- create UK a-z page (Uk twiki front page here: ImcUk, Uk twiki A-Z [up to 2003] here: UkContents)
- redesign publish page (PublishRedesign) so it easier to understand for beginners. At the moment feedback suggests it is not new-user friendly and is a deterrent to posting articles. Some US sites have better publish pages which are worth looking at.
- develop admin guides for different levels of IMC operations (eg. basic introduction to the list system). These can be linked from the new 'get involved' page currently underway. (more: ImcUkHelp, UkFeaturesHowTo)
- archive graphics and text used in outreach initiatives so they can be used as a resource by the network. Archive your material here: UkOutreachTexts
- improve outreach co-ordination between UK lists. Currently the UK Outreach List is poorly used and any outreach tends to get done via the Network List. Future organising could begin on the Regional and Outreach Lists then move to the Network List when firm proposals are ready.
- regional IMCs are encouraged to appoint an Outreach Liason volunteer to subscribe to Network and / or Outreach Lists and to take responsibility for initiating local outreach projects.
- regional IMCs are encouraged to report back about outreach initiatives via the Outreach List.
- regional IMCs are encouraged to create a strong culture of outreach with high profile and frequent outreach projects which will improve participation around the whole IMC UK network.
4. Some suggestions for organising an outreach event
- outreach is about 'reaching out' to people presently outside independent online media. Choosing a venue and a time for your event which are accessible and familiar to working people or minority groups will help here.
- print and copy some of the HowtoGuides to help with publishing workshops etc
- put up a feature advertising the event on your IMC a week or two in advance
5. Archive of reports from past outreach events here
6. What to do now
start talking about organising an outreach event with your IMC.
then make it happen.
When is some this text going to be moved to a static page on indymedia.org.uk?
When it is see:
- 03 Aug 2004 (posted for radged01)
- 08 Aug 2004
- 02 Sep 2004
- 03 Sep 2004
- 04 Sep 2004
- 05 Sep 2004
- 07 Sep 2004
- 08 Sep 2004
- 09 Sep 2004
- 11 Sep 2004
- 15 Sep 2004
- 24 Sep 2004 (created GetInvolvedContact
- 06 Oct 2004 deleted GetInvolvedContact
and created GetInvolvedUk
- 20 Oct 2004 added TOC & tweaked formatting