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what are features?

the open-publishing newswire is the heart of the portland indymedia website. In this forum, people can deliver their own original message, in their own words (and photos, audio and video), directly to an audience without editorial interference. Empowering people to become the media in this way is the intent and purpose of open publishing.

many items on the portland newswire (and other IMC newswires), however, are re-posts from other publications. as a way of encouraging more original content, center-column features on the portland website highlight only original newswire items, and use only the author/producers' own words. there is no content in the center column written by an editorial group.

people who upload features for the portland indymedia website, therefore, do not write or fact-check as part of the feature-uploading process. fact-checking, grammatical choices, etc., are aspects of reporting and up to the person posting the original piece. people who upload features may also report and publish to the newswire, of course, since everyone can.

article selection
for an article to become a feature, it should have the following characteristics:

  1. original writing - not a re-post from another publication.
  2. enough information - who, what, where, when. these specifics don't have to be included in the post itself if it is obvious what event is being covered; for example, when people write about something that's been mentioned on the site already. linking to another article with more info is sufficient to provide context.
  3. local issue/story - "local" = cascadia not covered by other IMCs, i.e., seattle or sf bay. this characteristic is optional since some under/misreported global/national issues also deserve to be featured (i.e., war, racism, sexism, etc.).
  4. content is consistent with culture of indymedia and those people working for for positive change in the world - racist posts, etc., are not considered.