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IMCs Declared 'National Asset' on Nader / Camejo Website

What makes IMC unique is its reliance on the principle of "open" publishing. "The Indymedia newswire encourages people to become the media by posting their articles, analysis, videos, audio clips and artwork directly on to the website," Philadelphia-based Phillyimc advises. IMC websites provide user-friendly instructions for submitting material. Editorial oversight is minimal and primarily aimed at minimizing objectionable content, such as articles promoting racism, sexism or other types of discrimination. "Indymedia relies on the people who post to the Indymedia news wire to present their information in a thorough, honest, accurate manner," as Phillymedia puts it.
Independent Media Center

Five years ago in Seattle, during the protests against the World Trade Organization, activists frustrated by inadequate press coverage of the downsides of globalization set up a media center where reporters could post their stories, videos and radio reports. To get the material quickly onto the Internet, they used an adaptation of open-source code that enabled anyone on any computer to instantly post material.

The experiment was a success. Besides improving the coverage of the immediate events, the original media center was quickly copied worldwide. Today, nearly 150 independent media centers spread across six continents are linked together by the Internet into a global media network called the Independent Media Center (IMC), or Indymedia for short. From Boston and Buffalo to Beirut and Ambazonia, the IMCs are local outlets for news and opinion that often receive scant coverage in the mainstream media. They also provide a channel for activists to know about and plan for upcoming events. Linked together via the Internet, they have become a source for news at the grassroots level that is accessible to readers around the globe.

The result is a vibrant news outlet that reflects the concerns of activists worldwide - the environment, human and civil rights, health care, biotechnology, corporate power, and the war in Iraq, and the Israeli-Palestinian crisis. All IMC websites, whether the main site at  http://www.indymedia.org or each local IMC's site, have a similar format featuring a newswire, feature stories, and access to the IMC Radio Network of live radio streams and links to community radio programming worldwide. A roster of coming events, like the U.S. presidential debates, World Vegetarian Day and Media Democracy Day in October, and anti-APEC protest in Chile in November, serves as a bulletin board to alert activists to important dates and facilitates communication and commentary during the run-up to each event. All IMC sites are linked to each other and by language (English, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Dutch and Portuguese).

What makes IMC unique is its reliance on the principle of "open" publishing. "The Indymedia newswire encourages people to become the media by posting their articles, analysis, videos, audio clips and artwork directly on to the website," Philadelphia-based Phillyimc advises. IMC websites provide user-friendly instructions for submitting material. Editorial oversight is minimal and primarily aimed at minimizing objectionable content, such as articles promoting racism, sexism or other types of discrimination. "Indymedia relies on the people who post to the Indymedia news wire to present their information in a thorough, honest, accurate manner," as Phillymedia puts it.

Indymedia's pioneering effort in "open" media is significant. In a short period of time, it has shown that the Internet can be a platform for diverse voices and community concerns, and that, as E.F. Schumacher said, "Small is beautiful": the media does not have to be large and well-capitalized to be effective. Besides, because IMCs cannot become commercial or for-profit organizations, civic-minded people everywhere can take heart that the IMC network will grow and continue to offer an alternative to the "closed" and increasingly consolidated commercial media.

For more information, please visit Indymedia's website.

by Betsy Laun Maalouf

In no way does the selection of any of these associations imply their support or endorsement of our campaign. These are our choices everyday, until November 2, 2004. We hope they prove enlightening and motivating.

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