Editorial Practices for the IMC-US site

The editorial labor for the site happens via the listserve. This list is working group made up of liaisons from local imcs. QUESTION: can liaisons from other independent and alternativemedia projects be on the list? perhaps we could say "and some allied media projects"?

QUESTION: how do people obtain administrative access? PROPOSAL: A person can obtain administrative access if *they are an empowered liaison from a local imc, and (2) they have participated on the list for 3 months and contributed to the process of proposing features for promotion. SECOND PROPOSAL: We need to create a system to train people on mir, perhaps at regional gatherings or thru some kind of online teach-in.

The following individuals have administrative access:
link here to a list

The primary editorial labor is promoting features from the syndication wire to the center column. This happens by any member of the list emailing the list with a proposal to feature. These emails should have "PROPOSED: article name" in the subject line.

Any other member of the list can then support this proposal, or offer a counter opinion. When offering a counter opinion, please clarify if you oppose putting the piece up -- ie. block -- or if you are just not sure its the best choice. If you are suggesting a modified feature that would require some labor to compile, please clarify if you are willing to offer that labor, and on what timeline.

If the proposal is not blocked within six hours or being proposed, any member of the editorial list who has administrative access to the website can promote it.

If the person proposing the piece does not have administrative access, one of the editors who does should promote their piece, since they are unable to do so themselves. In other words, it is the responsibility of those who have admin access to respond to the consensus of the group.

People with administrative access should not promote features without communicating about it with the listserve. However, in situations of quickly developing high stakes news, those with admin access can act first and communicate second. Individuals can exercise their own judgment as to what constitutes such a situation, and then need to be open to feedback (and criticism) from the group if people disagree with them.

There are no hard and fast rules as to what should get promoted to the center column and what should not. The current working group tends to aim to promote one piece a day, with the desire to give each piece some "time at the top." Here are some other criteria that can be taken into consideration by individual editors.

- is the story about an issue or organizing work that is time-sensitive
- is the story about an issue or organizing work that connects regions
- is the constituency represented in the issue under-reported in the indymedia network?
- is the story none of the above, but represents particularly good reporting on an issue of local importance?
- has the issue been under-represented in the center column -- or, the inverse: has it been represented too much? ie. seek to represent the variety of issues, and avoid featuring the same issue disproportionately
- has the IMC been under-represented in the center column -- or, the inverse: has it been represented too much? ie. seek to represent the range of imcs, and avoid piling up coverage from any one region, or any one imc too much

Syndicated stories should be promoted more or less intact to the center column. The editorial group has generally accepted three exceptions to this:
- adding pictures from a variety of sources is fine
- adding links to related stories and webites is fine, either at the end or in the body of the story
- shortening particularly long features is fine as long as a link is added in the text that says "read more" -- this makes it more likely that the reader will see the full story.

Sometimes links can be added over several days to stories. This is generally fine and doesn't need a proposal or waiting period, but should be communicated to the list. If an editor is adding multiple links of the same variety -- such as in the case where there has been a series of decentralized proposals -- it is fine simply to alert the group that you are doing this once.

Sometimes multiple IMCs are covering very similar situations, in the case of decentralized protests for example. In these situations, compilations features can be compiled and uploaded by hand with the author as "IMC-US." Generally speaking the person who proposes the project should either take the task of writing the first draft, or let the group know that they are unable to do this but still wanted to put out the idea.

How to propose a compilation feature:
As much as possible, the text for these features should draw from the stories from IMCs -- or in some cases allied medias -- and should spell out this connection, ie:
From Cleveland IMC: text text text. LINK:read more>>
So far we have not had a policy to run full drafts through this list like the global site does. We should probably move toward doing this more. For the time being, our practice seems to work as long as editors are responsive to edits and concerns raised after they post the feature. Editing text of a compilation feature that another editor has posted is fine as long as this is communicated via the list.

PROPOSAL: refer to the global guidelines to improve this section
SECOND PROPOSAL: make a similar page for imc-us and link to it from the IMC-US contact us page.
Topic revision: r4 - 23 Feb 2007, AmyLorraine
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