IMC Ontario Workshop Feedback

 

Feedback from Anarchist Bookfair Workshop (October 2002) and other places

 

Positives:

  1. part of a global network that is gaining prominence
  2. collaborative website, with many publishers, and more readers
  3. potential for many individuals working on various static pages for the website
  4. resources that can be cobbled together to create media centres for actions
  5. experience in covering protests and other issues
  6. experience in print, pictures, radio, and video
  7. interest in volunteering
  8. Gives everyone a sense of ownership. Anyone with access can post to Indymedia, and see their article or comment up shortly after.
  9. Has organic growth, independent of the website maintainers. This constant updating brings people back to the site, without too much work from the website maintainers.
  10. Brings previously unheard points of view to a public forum.
  11. Allows media makers to get their content out quickly, and have it quickly retrieved by independent publishers.
  12. Get many points of view, rather than filtered through world view of a small group.

 

Critique:

  1. not striking a good balance between open publishing and comfortable web space for the environmental and social justice movements
  2. site could use a facelift
  3. needs more local coverage throughout Ontario (and people to do this)
  4. no ongoing training or support for volunteers
  5. no ongoing organization to deal with the issues; e-mail doesn’t seem to work for most discussion
  6. some anarchists don’t like the somewhat top-down nature of indymedia, and have serious (and legitimate) concerns about the global organization, which could be a barrier for working with allies
  7. open publishing allows the easy spread of disinformation, hate propaganda, etc. using our resources.
  8. legitimate work gets drowned out by off-the-cuff rants and asinine comments.
  9. because of power dynamics (including access to technology and time) and its free-for-all nature, the newswire becomes a white-male-dominated forum.
  10. because of the open nature, there is no coherent message from our website, and analysis loses out to sensationalism (just like the corporate media).
  11. stuff gets lost easily on the single newswire — hard to find what you want.
  12. People don’t understand the open publishing concept, and blame us for the content.

 

Possible Solutions:

  1. we need an organization in Toronto that meets regularly, or we need to be able to refer Toronto people to other groups to meet their needs
  2. web site and editorial policy need overhaul
  3. we need to figure out what IMC Ontario is, and whether it really can exist as an organization
  4. should we have regular spokescouncils, with active collectives sending a member, and at-large members also attending?
  5. for Ottawa, and people who can’t travel, should we do teleconferencing, computer IRC, or what?
  6. what services do we offer as IMC Ontario?
  7. Implement categorization by topic and locality, and have subgroups work on certain topic areas, with a separate set of features for each [TWiki handles this]
  8. Allow easier access to the editorial collective, but more accountability — each person has their own password, and must state reasons for their actions [Done — need to add to TWiki]
  9. We will clearly state that appeals should be directed to imc-ontario-editorial.
  10. We will revoke privileges for editors who abuse them, and review their decisions.
  11. Two levels of article hiding: First level will still have the article one click away, but not directly in your face (and will explain that it’s hidden and why). The second level will only be accessible for those with an editorial password only (for serious breaches of legality, etc.).
  12. More restrictive editorial policy (balanced by one-click hiding as mentioned above)
  13. In order to accomplish this, we could port our software to the San Francisco version of Active (or Baltimore’s DadaIMC?) [or TWiki], and do some custom programming to meet our needs. Later, when Active 2 is finished [if it ever is], we could port to that, and get more advanced features.

 

Feedback from Toronto Social Forum (January 2003)

 

Why has indymedia come to be?

 

What does it mean to activists/movements/society?

 

Key Elements to be Healthy and Vibrant

 

How do we implement these ideas?

 

Feedback from Toronto Social Forum (March 2003)

 

Accessibility

 

Supports and Obstacles to Involvement

 

Physical Meetings