independent media center process

Indymedia has accomplished a lot since the Seattle IMC was born in November, 1999, but if we're going to continue to develop as an international network we need to be deliberate and conscious about our organizing. People in the more than 100 IMCs around the world are working hard to figure out the most sustainable way to organize on a local level, and together we are developing processes for maintaining an exciting, empowering and expanding independent media project. This site will point you to some of the documents that people working on Indymedia, both locally and internationally, have developed to give each other advice for how to organize an IMC, both structurally and technically, and to provide more information about Indymedia so you may decide if you want to form your own independent media center.

Over the last several months, individuals who are interested in harnessing the power of Indymedia to produce inspiring, informative media, have come together to work on a number of international Indymedia projects, such as the features in the center column of the web site as well as international print, audio and video productions. You will find information about how to get involved in these projects below.

Recently global Indymedia has begun to have international biweekly meetings on the IRC server, channel "#communication". Each local IMC is strongly encouraged to have a liaison attend the global meetings. These meetings will be a place for liaisons from local IMCs to discuss their local IMC's reaction to proposals (found on the list) and issues that effect the global Indymedia network. Decisions about indymedia policy will happen on the local level, in local IMCs, and the local IMCs will send their liaison to the global meeting to let everyone else know what they've decided. For information about how to be involved in the meetings, contact

On an ongoing basis, other than making an effort to visit people at local IMCs when you travel, and/or trying to get to any regional independent media gatherings or events an IMC is covering, the best way to get involved with global Indymedia organizing is to participate in the global Indy e-mail lists. Some local IMCs are making an effort to have at least one member on each list. For summaries of important discussions and decisions by global indymedia working groups, visit imc-summaries. Below is a description of the global Indymedia lists. All of the lists would LOVE to have representation and involvement from all local IMCs.


You may sign up for all lists and view all list archives through
This list is for regular summaries of the activities of various indymedia mailinglists and working groups. If you want to know what's happening in indymedia land but can't keep up to date with the thousands of emails this is the place for you.

If you are on an indymedia mailinglist and believe that indymedia should be a transparent democratic organization then you should be contributing to this list. It's easy! Every week you look over what's been discussed on a list you're on. Pick out the most important things, find links to the emails in the archive and write up a little sentence or two summary about that thread. Then send that summary email to! Congratulations, you've done your part to making indymedia function as an effective radical transparent efficent and democratic kick ass media network.
This list is for proposals ONLY. Only proposals that working groups (i.e. the people working on each of the Indymedia mailing lists) have made with the intent of being brought back to local IMCs for feedback will appear on this list. Each local IMC should have someone on this list, and when a proposal appears s/he should raise the issue in his/her local IMC. We are moving toward developing a place for focused discussion of these proposal, and to creating a decision-making process for how to put these discussions into action. People have used imc-process as a place to discuss the organizational structure of Indymedia. Lately people on imc-process have been focusing on the approval of new applications for local IMC sites and what 'being an IMC' entails. People are also posting process documents and having process discussions on the web at
People on imc-editorial have been working on issues such as the editorial policy for the news wire, and on broader issues related to how to present the content on the www.indy site.
The purpose of this list is to develop better communication between the local IMCs and to initiate a global Indymedia communication structure. The people on this list have been coordinating the global Indymedia IRC meetings that have started to occur, and will continue biweekly.
This is the list for people who are working on general indymedia technical issues and programming concerns. There is also a list for people working on the web code that underlies the indymedia sites at
A global print team is developing through this list to work on network-wide print projects such as the PDF project (discussed below) and, potentially, a regular global Indymedia print publication.
This group coordinates the way the www.Indymedia site looks (fonts, type, colors, etc.)
This list is an organizing group for the Indymedia translation team. People on this list are developing the system by which translation team volunteers will translate things like Indymedia process documents and www.indy center column features.
This is a list for people who are coordinating the features that appear on the center column of the page. Anyone can suggest a feature to this working group by e-mailing the suggestion to the list.
The purpose of this list isn't exactly clear, but people have been using it as a place to discuss general issues that effect the whole network, such as what to do with donations and what kind of general ideas people have for the future of Indymedia.
People on this list are working to coordinate the creation and management of the indymedia e-mail lists.
This list is for discussion of issues surrounding the variety of questions people send to the e-mail box.
An imc-finance list has been proposed for people working on the financial aspects of the global Indymedia project, including accepting, encouraging and organizing donations, and figuring out how to spend what we raise. A team at are answering people who ask how they can donate to Indymedia, so if you have any general questions about Indymedia finances you can contact them. So far much of the donations to Indymedia have gone to local IMCs, but some people and foundations have expressed interest in supporting the global Indymedia entity, which in turn would support the local IMCs, especially formation of local IMCs in the Global South.
The communication working group develops and proposes new global communication systems, and ensures that all IMCs are in communication (for instance by maintaining the contact database).
The decision-making working group is developing proposals to improve the global decision-making process.
The new-imc working group reviews and facilitates the creation of new IMCs around the world. See or the TWiki version NewImcHowTo.
The newswire working group maintains the open-publishing newswire at


Text features:
If you have a feature that you think has international relevance, send notice about it (and the proposed text, which would be helpful), to the list. Features for the www.indy page should have some kind of international relevance and should include links to articles on a local IMC newswire or on the www.indy newswire.

Post interesting photos from your local IMC that you think have international relevance to the newswire. In the future, when the PDF project is active, you may also suggest your best photos to the list for inclusion.

The IMC radio team is working with the National Radio Project ( to produce a weekly five minute news headlines report as part of their Livewire news month-long pilot project (February 2001) which perhaps will become a regular production. To become part of the radio headlines project e-mail Current radio projects include DROP and Indyline.

Visit the Video Projects page to

learn more about IMC-affiliated video productions. An Indymedia network-wide video production is broadcast regularly on the Free Speech TV ( U.S. satellite channel (DISH Network, 9415) and in local screenings around the world. The project, Indymedia Newsreal, debuted in April 2001. Local IMCs that produce video segments regularly should contact to get involved.

The imc-print list is currently moving toward the project of posting a weekly page of Indymedia news in printable (PDF) format. Having a printable page of news will enable individuals all over the world to print and distribute information that Indymedia has gathered, bringing Indymedia news off the computer and into the real world. See for links to IMC print publications, to upload yours!

News Blast:
There is a proposal to produce a weekly index of the most intriguing news that has passed through the Indymedia news wires in the previous week. We will distribute this via e-mail, and perhaps will use it as a fundraiser and/or subscription service.


In addition to the regular IRC meetings in which local IMCs have begun to participate, people who are helping organize 'global indymedia' do so primarily via the internet, in virtual space, communicating via the above e-mail lists and meeting sporadically on the IRC chat server (type in your browser or find an IRC program at, often in the #indymedia channel. Go there and you'll probably find someone. If you have any general questions about Indymedia or anything related, direct them to Remember that the volunteers who answer those requests are quite overtaxed and may take a few days to get back to you.

-- RabbleRouser - 14 Aug 2002
Topic revision: r4 - 05 Jun 2004, PaulWise

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