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For a Real Independent Journalism: criticism to the Indymedia Network.

For a Real Independent Journalism: criticism to the Indymedia Network.
Collective Indymedia Santiago.

(Official notice from the Collective Indymedia Santiago about it's imminent expulsion from the Indymedia Network).
For a Real Independent Journalism: criticism to the Indymedia Network.
Collective Indymedia Santiago.

(Official notice from the Collective Indymedia Santiago about it's imminent expulsion from the Indymedia Network).

Indymedia -is for all well known- was born from the anti globalization movement. That posture could have been intentionally radical at the beginning, and maybe (and just maybe) could have advocated a rupture with the existent society, but in the present time it has become into one of the many merchandise of the offers that this system purpose us inside of it's allowed diversity.
In Chile, the country from where we formulate this criticisms, the anti globalization is supported and financed by the government (neoliberal) of turn. The anti globalization is, simplely, the expression of a economy that privilege the local before the global. On the contrary, we take this issue a little bit farther: we don't criticize the extension of the economy, but it's own reason to be and it's configuration.
We criticize and condemn the economy by it's self, transformed in something that does not have an other purpose tan keep existing. We have decided we wont rip off with the existent domination, and, in the same way, we have arrived to a point that is imposible to save: we are not interested in the basic criticism to the capitalist globalization, but we are in the one focus on the capitalism as such.

We consive the sickness and problems that, in a precise historical period, afflicts the people, as a result of the capitalism. Our integration to the Indymedia's project was motivated by that rejection to the dominant system: because we wanted, by using antagonist information, to fight this social relation, which is the guilty of the ecological, social and the everyday destruction of everyone who lives immersed in it. However, he have arrived to the point where, as we said before, we have reached an irreconcilable position with the capitalism of this society, and that attitude is recognize in us by the Indymedia Network, and as a consequence of this, it has generated fear.

From a time to now, the criticisms that as a collective we have published have disturbed a number of people and local Indymedias. Such criticisms hurts and are dangerous because of its radicalism and simpleness: they question the bases of the domination. Using an internal process the Indymedia Network has disguised a criticism to our radical position with a call to become attached to the every local Indymedia's common rules. In the same way, they demand us to transform into technical journalists, which, by using only the objectivity, describe events without impregnate them with any opinion.

Of the precise moment in that we heard speak of independent journalism (and of Indymedia), the project interested given the difference indeed to us that this it had with the official media which is taught objective and pluralist in universities, academies and restricted institutes of the knowledge; the independent media was made up of all the opposite that is to say, of a subjectivity that now if it gave a reason of being to the journalistic activity: thinking to criticize and, consequently, to contribute to an abolition of these social relations that are imposed to us.

The independent media (for us) was always the one that left the logics of Capitalism, because to be independent it means more enough than not to receive financing of the state (in fact, if thus outside all the companies would be independent). On the contrary, always we assumed that conscience that little by little we were forging, of conception of the necessity of abolition of the social classes by means of the confrontation of them, like the independence of which the media of Indymedia spoke. We always had the sensation of which the ideological position that we shared like group, of unsavable reconciliation with the society of classes, was the true spirit who moved to the really independent press. Nevertheless, to three years of to have conformed our local nucleus of the network, we occur to account of that is not thus, of which our ant capitalist critic saves and overflows the criteria of Indymedia. And which also, to anybody in the global network of Indymedia it concerns the one that we have been several years to him of arduous operation, at the time of questioning our permanence.

We are very sad to see everyday how thousands of independent stand in an eternal cycle of an illusory independent journalism converted in something by itself. The journalism -we say it with the authority that give us the years of work- doesn't mean anything if it doesn't have a purpose, this is worthless if its not the destruction of capitalism.

Indymedia denies the independence by proposing a journalism slightly different of the one made by the mass media, where the only difference are the events that are covered by them, and regrettable, not in the way of doing that. They repeat the same logics of the official communication mass media, Indymedia tries to create political indifference and, as a result, we get the lack of interest in taking part in the war that we need to fight against the responsibles of our misery. This is how Indymedia annuls it self as a critical purpose or as an intent of independence by exalting a fake regulation turned into a religion.

Indymedia by using the diversity and pluralism as standard (that restricts any radical criticism) pretending to be different, it doesn't do anything but becoming a post modern merchandise.

We never wanted to be objective journalists, and we never will be. Our critic attitude has cost us to be threaten of our expulsion from the Indymedia Network, and it's in concordance to the consequence with our conviction that we formulate this declaration: We do not want to inform, but contribute to the debate and to the criticism to this unjust system. We are not interested in impassionated readers to our objective columns. We are interested in their participation. And when we talk about participants we don't refer to the simplicity of free publication for everyone, but letting, by means of radical questioning of the existent, the people abandoned their passive condition and assume an active one. We want them to abandon their watching capacity and to transform into actors, but not of a simple web site, but to take control and be actors of their own lives and history.

We announce our imminent retired from the Indymedia's project because of the incompatibility that we have with a number of common "rules" that conform the network: the Indymedia's independency contradict oneself because is a bourgeois conception and it doesn't change at all the way of doing journalism.

In the same way we announce to the people who is interested, that this collective, which keep growing, will keep its critic and contra informative function, contributing to the labor we have done during a long time in Santiago Indymedia (previously in Chile Indymedia) now in an other site, which we will announce when it's ready.

Hoping the present opinion would be fructiferous in the debate respect to the goals of the independent journalism, in Indymedia and any other similar project,

Collective Indymedia Santiago which is abandoning the Indymedia Network (with all its members).

homepage: homepage: http://www.santiago.indymedia.org

I disagree 28.Nov.2004 11:35


I disagree. I think the IMC needs to move in the direction of professionalism. I think the IMC has the potential for becoming a real opposition press. I don't think its mere merchandise like all the other things produced by the capitalist system. What Indymedia needs to do, in fact, is work on exalting its writers. Under the socialist system, being a writer is the highest position attainable. The Soviet Writers Union in the USSR was the most prestigious organization in the country. Even people who weren't writers wanted to be members. US authors were celebrated there too, especially in the 1930's. Sherwood Anderson was the most popular American writer, followed by Theodore Dreiser, Jack Conroy, Dorothy Packer, John Dos Passos, Langston Hughes, John Reed. Many of these participated in a writer's group at the Kremlin--especially on the 10th Anniversary of the Bolshevik revolution and the 15th Anniversary of the passing of Lenin. Even Hemmingway was admired for being a good realist, though his lifestyle was bourgeois.

A lot more could be done towards more professionalism here.

I agree 28.Nov.2004 12:44

circle A

What makes portland indy media so great is the lack of formal structure and lack of a hierarchy that allows so many voices to be heard and uncencencered. Now, maybe Portland Indy Media and affiliates should break off from the rest of the indy media organizations and become circle A journalism collective, or Free Media collective.

Well said Santiago 28.Nov.2004 12:49

Drake Aerohale

I agree with this assessment from Santiago Indymedia. One example can be seen with NYC Indymedia and the newspaper the Indypendent. These groups seem more concerned with their legitimacy and how they will be viewed than with any real mission. The Indypendent has alot of fluff in it. Their election issue had no information about vote fraud, though it was rampant. Then they filled important space with some mushy piece about how subscriptions for the Nation and Mother jones are up since Bush took office.

The NYC site (as of some days ago), has not featured stories about vote fraud and the feature on fallujah was some wimpy sell-out piece about how they have no clear information. They equate the lies coming from the U.S. government with independent firsthand reports. Before that feature was posted, there were already solid reports about US war crimes in Fallujah. One AP reporter stated that he witnessed U.S. snipers killing a family of 5 trying to swim the Euphrates river to escape the destruction.

Then look at the cover of the latest issue. A slick color page with little information of any sort. It is more interested in a hip look, than in communicating hard hitting pertinent information. It invites one to sit down with it in the favorite coffee shop and read it as part of ones cool anti-establishment lifestyle. There is no urgency, no passion, no call to action. It becomes part of information consumerism, which is the problem.

This is one specific example of what Santiago is talking about.

Numerous people are now looking to make a living off of Indymedia work. What this means, is that those people are looking to shape Indymedia into a niche market in the society so they can count on a paycheck. This is the approach of someone who wants to settle down into safety, not the person who is speaking up with enflamed passion about injustice and the suicidal path our society is taking.

Bit by bit the establishment creeps in, wraps its tendrils into things, and finally takes them over. It takes great vigilence and passionate determination to lift oneself free of these influences and walk the path of spiritual transformation.

What is Indymedia?

What is Indymedia?

big thumbs up to Santiago 28.Nov.2004 13:32


It takes a great amount of courage to remove yourself from a group, especially when the group is in a minority situation and strength comes from being a part of that collective.

However, when the ideals which form a basis for the reason for being in the collective are challenged and abrogated, then there is little choice.

If only more, perhaps more than half of the individual country collectives would decide to remove themselves from the present structure that Indymedia apparently has become, then perhaps it will reassess the postion it seems intent on following.

This has shades of the 'liberals' who followed Kerry into his abysmal militarism.

Portland - the people of Portland who make up your collective Indymedia.

Isn't it time you made it clear - if Santiago goes - we do too.

Good file to check:

<a href=" http://www.thewe.cc/contents/more/archive2004/november/war_2004_november_images_3.html" target="_blank"> Rest in Peace America — Part Two — The Empire </a>

Personal Opinion 28.Nov.2004 13:48

Jim Lockhart eagleye@PhilosopherSeed.org

IMC was originally set up for the people to participate and report the news. As such, one cannot expect professionalism from people who aren't experienced reporters.

Yet, having said that, there is room for professionalism, if by the use of that term one means that people will grow and learn as they continue to post to the newswire. Writing is like any other activity, athletic or cerebral: we all can improve with repetition. Whether with an improved use of grammer, syntax, a more discrimiating choice of words, etc., there is always room for improvement, if by improvement, one means clearer communication of what one wants to communicate.

Isn't that what a writer is seeking to do? Provide information, or, in the case of advocacy journalism, supply perhaps a perspective which is new or missing from the mix?

Of course there are many other reasons to write. It seems that with the IMC most of the posts have a personal agenda, which to some is, arguabley, not professional. This is another issue, and can also be debated, should be debated. Whether a writer should be detached from his content, or is writing as the spokesman for that content, is a matter of personal definition of the word professional. We can all agree or disagree about these definitions, as I'm sure we will.

But, as I said above, writing is at least an attempt to communicate something to the reader. The first judgement should be made as to the effectiveness of the article. This is perhaps the most difficult assessment to make, as people will interpet the writing through their own experience and mind set.

Reporting on the newswire takes on many faces. There are the simple reporting of an event, like a protest or presentation; there are opinion pieces about any number of subjects; there are comments to other posts. All these seek to communicate to the reader. To me professionalism bespeaks a certain level of clarity of communication, which usually means, among other things, spelling, grammar, and choice of vocabulary. But these aren't engraved in stone. Creative writing is not a formula, and so, neither is professionalism an exact product.

We all strive towards improving, whether our physical or mental abilities. I think this process proceeds even, to some degree, automatically. Professionalism might be the wrong word to use, as it insinuates writing for a living, as opposed to writing for the love of it.

I'd like to see more reporting on the newswire, along with the posts from other news sources. These reposts, though often from mainstream, Corporate sources, provide a forum for citizen participation and criticism, which is mostly lacking in Corporate Media.

Just some thought on a cold November afternoon.

glen 28.Nov.2004 13:56

speaking as an OWL ...

...meaning Old White Liberal, we perhaps need to remember how far right America's (now mythical ?)center has become. As things are now, America's "recognised far Left" is is considerably to the right of any average Western European country, or even Canada for that matter.
Certainly original first hand immediate reporting and REALLY independent commentary are IMCworldwide's reason for being. That kind of contribution--especially in (nearly always) American-made trouble spots--is that of which IMCworldwide is and should be most proud.
But consider the advantage of attracting more "consumer participants" by offering a rather progressive media filter and commentary that includes extensive reference to mainstream media assertions.
And it can of course provide a starting point for "seriously activist-to-anarchist" developments.
Many thanks for making 'commentary participants' stop and consider some really important talking points included in your critical analysis.

comment 28.Nov.2004 14:45


Santiago is/was what indymedia was. The efforts in chile at the time of the coverage on santiago (which should logically be showing up elsewhere amongst the various websites) is why indepedent media centres were originally set up, to cover stories past the bullshit.

Terms like professionalism and journalism are the lying terms of hypocrites. Any writer worth their weight in salt knows half these rediculous terms, even bourgeoisie and various of the religious devotee to your bloody dead hero, are so dead they are starting to take language itself down with it. How by your own tongue is a journalist not bourgeoisie? Because their paycheck is not dripping in the blood of the proletariate. Just fuck off.

Get your head out of your collective assholes and tell it like a reporter. You either want a) political power through your writing, or, b) you want pay for your writing. And unless you are only human from the neck down, both are the fundamental problem underlying why indepedent media exists in the century some of us are actually living in at this particular moment in this particular time and on this particular cellestial body. Period.

Once again,
a) I want fame
b) I want money
pick one and shove the rhetoric where the sun does not shine, it does not cover over the bloodstains.

The least trusted people, according to the People (remember them?):
0. politicians
1. journalists

Intended as non-opinion, not ad hominem.
The End

Espanol 28.Nov.2004 15:46

from Santiago site

Por un periodismo realmente independiente: crítica a Indymedia.
(Comunicado del Colectivo Indymedia Santiago sobre su inminente expulsión de la red Indymedia).

Indymedia -es por todos sabido- nació del movimiento contra la globalización. Si bien tal postura puede haber sido intencionadamente radical en un inicio, y quizás (y sólo quizás) haber propugnado una ruptura con la sociedad existente en un comienzo, se ha convertido en la actualidad en una mercancía más de la oferta que este sistema nos propone dentro de su diversidad permitida. En Chile, el país desde donde formulamos estas críticas, la antiglobalización se ve apoyada y financiada por el gobierno (neoliberal) de turno. La antiglobalización es, simplemente, la expresión de una economía que privilegia lo local a lo global. Por el contrario, nosotros llevamos las cosas un poco más lejos: no criticamos la extensión de la economía, sino su misma razón de ser y configuración. Criticamos y condenamos a la economía misma, transformada en un fin que no tiene otro propósito que seguir existiendo. Hemos decidido no transar ni un milímetro con la dominación existente, y, así mismo, hemos llegado a un punto insalvable: ya no nos interesa la crítica básica hacia la globalización capitalista, sino aquella que esta enfocada hacia el capitalismo en sí.
Identificamos a los males que aquejan a los individuos con un período histórico preciso, con el capitalismo. Y nuestra incorporación al proyecto Indymedia se vio motivada por ese rechazo al sistema dominante: porque queríamos, mediante informaciones antagonistas, combatir a esta relación social que se evidencia culpable de la destrucción ecológica, social y cotidiana de todos quienes se ven inmersos en ella. Sin embargo, hemos llegado a un punto en que, como decíamos, hemos alcanzado una posición irreconciliable con esta sociedad del capitalismo. Y tal postura, es reconocida por la red Indymedia en nosotros, y consecuentemente, ha generado temor.
De un tiempo a esta parte, las críticas que como colectividad hemos publicado han molestado a una serie de individuos e Indymedias locales. Tales críticas duelen y son peligrosas tanto debido a su radicalidad como a su simpleza: cuestionan las bases de la dominación. Mediante un proceso interno, la red Indymedia ha disfrazado una crítica a nuestra posición radical con un llamamiento a que nos apeguemos a las reglas comunes a todo Indymedia local. Así mismo, una demanda a que nos transformemos en periodistas técnicos, que mediante la objetividad tan sólo describan acontecimientos sin impregnarlos de opinión alguna. Del momento preciso en que oímos hablar de periodismo independiente (y de Indymedia), el proyecto nos interesó precisamente dada la diferencia que este tenía con el periodismo oficial: mientras para nosotros, el periodismo oficial se enseñaba objetivo y pluralista en universidades, academias e institutos restringidos del saber; el periodismo independiente se componía de todo lo contrario, esto es, de una subjetividad que ahora si le daba una razón de ser a la actividad periodística: el opinar para criticar y, consiguientemente, aportar a una abolición de estas relaciones sociales que nos son impuestas.
El periodismo independiente (para nosotros) siempre fue aquel que se salía de las lógicas del capitalismo, porque ser independientes significa bastante más que no recibir financiamiento del estado (de hecho, si tan sólo así fuera todas las empresas serían independientes). Por el contrario, siempre asumimos esa conciencia que poco a poco fuimos forjando, de concepción de la necesidad de abolición de las clases sociales mediante el enfrentamiento de ellas, como la independencia de la que hablaba el periodismo de Indymedia. Siempre tuvimos la sensación de que la postura ideológica que compartíamos como grupo, de insalvable irreconciliación con la sociedad de clases, era el verdadero espíritu que movía a la prensa realmente independiente. Sin embargo, a tres años de haber conformado nuestro núcleo local de la red, nos damos cuenta de que no es así, de que nuestra crítica anticapitalista escapa y desborda los criterios de Indymedia. Y que así mismo, a nadie en la red global de Indymedia le importa el que llevemos varios años de arduo funcionamiento, a la hora de cuestionar nuestra permanencia.
Nos da una pena enorme, el ver a diario como cientos de periodistas independientes se posicionan en un ciclo eterno del periodismo supuestamente independiente convertido en un fin en sí mismo. El periodismo -lo decimos con la autoridad que nos confieren varios años de labor- no significa nada si no tiene un propósito, y este propósito es banal en tanto no sea la destrucción del capitalismo.
Indymedia niega la independencia al propugnar un periodismo levemente diferente al que realizan los mass-medias, en donde la única distinción se haya en el que acontecimientos cubrir, y lamentablemente no en el como hacerlo. Repite las mismas lógicas de los medios masivos de comunicación oficial, cada vez que pretende fomentar la indiferencia política, y por consiguiente, el desinterés en tomar partido en la guerra necesaria de librar contra los responsables de nuestra miseria. Así mismo, Indymedia se anula como propuesta crítica o intento de independencia al enaltecer un reglamento ficticio convertido en religión.
Indymedia, al utilizar como estandarte (que internamente coarta crítica radical alguna) a la diversidad y al pluralismo para pretenderse diferente, no hace más que volverse una mercancía post-moderna más entre las ya tantas disponibles.
Nosotros nunca quisimos ser periodistas objetivos, ni nunca lo seremos. Nuestra postura crítica nos ha valido el haber sido amenazados de la expulsión de la red Indymedia, y es en concordancia con la consecuencia hacia nuestra convicción el que formulamos esta declaración: Nosotros no queremos informar, sino contribuir al debate y a la crítica a este sistema injusto. A nosotros no nos interesan lectores apasionados por nuestras columnas objetivas, sino partícipes. Y cuando hablamos de partícipes no nos referimos al simplismo (al que por cierto adherimos como medio) de que cualquiera pueda publicar, sino de que mediante un cuestionamiento radical de lo existente, los individuos abandonen su condición pasiva y asuman una activa. Que abandonen su calidad de espectadores y se transformen en actores, pero no de una simple página web, sino de sus propias vidas y de la historia.

Anunciamos nuestra inminente salida del proyecto Indymedia dada la incompatibilidad que tenemos con la serie de criterios comunes que conforman la red: la independencia de Indymedia se contradice a sí misma ya que es una concepción burguesa y no cambia absolutamente nada en la forma de ejercer el periodismo.
De la misma forma, anunciamos a los y las interesados(as) que el colectivo que integramos y que sigue creciendo se mantendrá en funciones críticas y contrainformativas, continuando la labor que hemos realizado durante largo tiempo en Santiago Indymedia (antes en Chile Indymedia) ahora en un nuevo sitio, el que a su debido tiempo anunciaremos.

Esperando que la presente opinión sea fructífera en el debate con respecto a los fines del periodismo independiente, tanto en los otros Indymedias como otros proyectos afines,

Colectivo Indymedia Santiago que hace abandono de la red Indymedia (junto con todos sus miembros).

comment from AR 28.Nov.2004 15:52


Joe here from Arkansas Indymedia. Personally I love it when Indymedia as a decentralized movement criticizes itself as the Santiago collective is so drastically doing by removing itself from the network. Im not sure if that has ever happened before. I know collectives have split and fizzled out. Anyway self-criticism is neccesary if we are not going to be another American institution that lies to itself and hides its faults which all the collectives seem to.

I see where the Santiago collective is coming from. In Arkansas we find ourselves runnning to catch up to corporate reporters on some breaking story cuz we dont do this for a living and we have very few collective members or free time. Is that what we wanted to become when we started this project 2 years ago? Should we even waste our time on those aspect of the project in general. However we do cover a few topics that get left out of corporate media and provide a service to our community that is available nowhere else, as well as allow the few radical activist organizations in the state to see what everyone else is doing. Sorry to see the Santiago collective go.

My responsce to people like many of the commentors is always if you want Indymedia to be different get more involved with it. Write more stories and turn your friends and neighbors onto reporting for Indymedia. Some of our best stories come from people who are barlely involved with our collective. And where did that guy get the idea that real independent journalism paid two pots to piss in?

my brain garbage on the subject 28.Nov.2004 17:02


I wonder if indymedia is run by consensus built on email lists? Not having email, myself, like wondering is all I can honestly do. Lacking clarity, independent actions at any cost is going to suffer a pretty furious wrath at some point, no matter how careful. But I am out of school. If it is the case, the logic would be that most have email over routine access to the web??? Seems pretty bogus, as by this kind of logic, we would run indymedia from cell phones, far out ahead in usage. (My understanding is that email is also often a related to a relationship with an internet provider. If I am correct, which I somehow doubt, running indymedia exclusively from lists might be a mistake in the long run.)

If consensus is to be reached on a website with open publishing, logically at least it should be a decision making process openly published on the website(s). I believe it is called transparency.

Someone should translate this 28.Nov.2004 18:53


Someone who knows Spanish should translate this. It seems to be the most info. about the Santiago split.


wtf! 28.Nov.2004 19:13


wtf is happening here!!

collectives from latin america asked to santiago about why they dont let people enter the collective and the santiago indymedia collective response with a childish statement full of lies and you cant verify that??

this really sucks, its incredible you took a statemente with lies and forgot the reponses of other collectives in latin america

why ecologists cant post in imc santiago?
why artists cant post in imc santiago?
why people who were not anarchists cant post in imc santiago?
why imc santiago people are hiting in the streets?
why you fucking talk about something you dont know?

we are the independent media, WE DONT LIE
we belive in diversity, we dont hit people because they are not anarchists

Band-aids or machetes? 29.Nov.2004 09:34


Santiago's post has numerous faults but one thing is clear, they are more honest than 99% of the American Indymedias. After shamefully participating in an election where opposition to the genocidal American imperialism was to be expressed by voting for Kerry (!!!?), we should have become convinced that we are hopelessly brainwashed and far too cowardly to grip control of our national fate away from the demons that now have it. Chile and the rest of the world have been up against this nambypampby killing monster for centuries now so their vision of reality is a bit clearer. If they were still working with the illusion of favoring democrats over republicans because of some perceived difference fed to them by the excrement American media, then they would have ended up giving their resources and territory to the fascist USA long ago. To them the choice became clear even before the coup d'etat that the Kennedy assassination signalled: you cannot heal a deep machete wound with a band-aid, you must first chop off the head of the machete holder and then apply a total cleansing before stitching up. We cannot, repeat, CANNOT fix the country and all the harm it is doing by reforming capitalism; it is the system that's at fault and even realizing that takes a lot more courage than nambypambiland has shown during the last few decades. I fear Santiago and the rest of the world will be wasting their time trying to communicate with the immoral cowards in this country; maybe they should just clasify us among the dodos of evolution and use their creativity to go their own way. We only serve the world as an example of what not to do now.

Keep The Channel Open 29.Nov.2004 13:02


The brothers and sisters in Santiago are claiming their autonomy, in making decisions they see fitting their situation.

Let us watch what comes of it, and maybe learn. And be collectively responsible to give aid and assistance if requested.

I, for one, don't see "IMC" locked in some precious, mandated illusion of "unity" at all costs, other than that of autonomous anti-capitalist, anti-fascist collectives working in their own provinces, but always with an eye on the common causes, respectful of diverse forms of action and expression as peoples' media in, maybe, an emerging federalism.

En solidaridad con los collectives contra-fascistas chilenos de los