About Portland Indymedia
Portland IMC is a multimedia news service with a social justice focus.
It is part of the international network, "Independent Media Center", also known as "Indymedia" or "IMC" for short. The mission of Portland Indymedia volunteers is to empower everyone to be the media by providing and maintaining the tools & audience using an anarchist model of organization. Portland Indymedia encourages and PULLS content from local, first-hand experiences through OPEN publishing. Instead of pushing content like traditional media. In other words, we provide direct access to media.
Once upon a time, a few years before the invention of blogs and Twitter and social networking sites, Indymedia revolutionized the way media is made. Back then when corporations & powerful institutions, like the IMF, wanted to black out insurrections and dissenting voices it was relatively easy to do so. They had exclusive influence on the media. Then here came this wild idea. This Open publishing program, written in fancy new code that enabled comments to articles! The news content was USER driven. And... it was free, as in bye-bye corrupt profit motive. The Zapatistas were using this program to tell the world what was happening to them. When it debuted in the United States, as "Indymedia", during the Seattle WTO protests in 99, it spread like wildfire and the exclusive corporate model has been going up in smoke ever since. In order to compete corporate media has been forced to cede some of it's power to the people by incorporating the indymedia model into their own models. Every corporate newspaper, TV, and radio outlet now has some place that users can "report" or comment. The indymedia model is everywhere now. That's good, that means we are winning!
But, now that corporations have sort of caught on to the concept of user driven content, what keeps Indymedia important? Portland Indymedia is trustworthy, local, and is motivated by vision instead of money. First, Portland Indymedia gives you the ability to publish anonymously. I mean really anonymous. Even Portland Indymedia volunteers don't know who you are because, unlike Google, Twitter, Yahoo, blogs, social networks, etc, Portland Indymedia doesn't log your IP address or quietly save your personal information that you thought you deleted. The personal consequences of publishing your ideals or exposing corruption can be severe. Having to weigh the possibility of losing your job, housing, school opportunities, privacy, property, and even your freedom against the merits of speaking out often causes a chilling silence. Posting anonymously shelters you from this. Another advantage is, it gives your ideas a chance to be judged on their own merits instead of things like your age, skin color, or the bits between your legs. Second, Portland Indymedia is local, as in actually local. Each IMC community knows itself and tries to promote social justice within a small geographic area. Lastly, no one makes any money doing indymedia work. In fact, it's against our strongest principles, and always will be. Not one dollar changes hands in providing or creating the content or monitoring the site for abuse. Portland Indymedia will never sell out to Google and give away your data. That difference is HUGE. Portland Indymedia is FOR YOU and BY YOU.
Indymedia is also an essential part of supporting other forms of direct action. Cuz how effective is a direct action that nobody heard about, right? Especially for insurrectionary type direct actions. The CORPORATE model demonizes ALL forms of direct action, legal or illegal, because the corporate media is part of a system of institutions that need you to need them. When people are exposed to the reasoning & ideas behind direct action they are more sympathetic and might even consider direct action to solve their own problems. But without unfettered access to the media on your own terms, it is extremely difficult to get your point across.
So you may be wondering, how Portland IMC works
Well that depends on what you're interested in. You can make a RADIO show by coming to a meeting and making an appointment for training in our radio studio. Radio shows are broadcast on the web through the Portland Indymedia website and archived for later listening.
You can make VIDEO news. If you don't have a camera, we usually have a couple that we loan out. Indymedia videographers are often on the front lines, which enables them to capture some of the best legal footage for police brutality cases. But usually leaves our cams well saturated after a good protest and pepperspray melts the delicate little petroleum-based components inside video cameras. Video news can be published through the national & regional Indymedia newsreels and on Indytorrents.org. If someone is interested in putting in the time, we could also do video showings every month like we have in the past.
Easiest of all, you can write an ARTICLE and publish it directly to the Portland Indymedia website by clicking on the big red "Publish" button in the upper right hand corner, posting, and waiting about 5min. Your work will appear in the Open Publishing Newswire column on the right hand side for approximately 2 million pages to be served. Portland Indymedia is the 3rd highest traffic site in the network. Only Brazil & Italy's national sites get more traffic. In the "Contribute To Article" section located below the article, people will begin to fact check and contribute their own experiences. In the "Discussion" section below that, people can add their opinions or disagreements. In this environment, lies and exaggerations don't last long. If your article is local and original, it will be promoted by a volunteer to the FEATURE column in the center where an infinite amount of people will see it as it is syndicated by the Indymedia network all over the nation & all over the world.
The direct action in Indymedia is taking back your voice from those who take advantage of us thinking we need them to speak for us. The power of Indymedia is that anyone can do it. Once the access barrier is broken, truth is free and truth is a very powerful thing. We, the media activists, maintain and carry forward the infrastructure that breaks that access barrier. Because when truth is free, truth can set us free.
Fuck the corporate media!
If anyone is interested in volunteering with us, we have open meetings usually every Saturday 5pm at the Red & Black Cafe 400 SE 12th & Oak in Portland
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