[Imc-communication] talking about our tech blues...
bmedia at riseup.net
bmedia at riseup.net
Wed Nov 12 09:16:23 PST 2008
The questions Sofia asks (below) are good ones. As I said before, I'd
really like to see us start talking about what needs to be done, and
how to do it without having to go to places like the Knight
Foundation, the Ford Foundation, Soros, and etc. These questions seem
like a good start. I think various IMCs have done different, creative
things to address some of the problems that this grant was intended to
address, and it would be cool if we could all learn from each other.
I guess I'm still troubled by the idea, not just of paying people for
indy work, but the idea that techs are somehow worth more than other
IMC volunteers. I agree that tech work is a very important, integral
part of indymedia, and that indy techs ROCK. However, I do not agree
that it's harder than everything else, more time consuming that
everything else, or that everything else is "more fun." (I think Steev
said that.) (as a videographer, I can tell you i work long, hard
hours, often all night long, for months at a time, and it's very often
not "fun." i also get pepper sprayed, arrested, clubbed, and stomped
on my police horses.... and i would never ask for pay for that.)
Maybe that's a side issue for now, but it's one I think we should
think about, because it seems to be such an ingrained view - not just
in indy work, but in general. (Past grants and ideas to pay people
usually seem to focus around paying techs. Also, in the US at least,
tech jobs tend to pay a lot higher than, for example, social work....)
I worry that this perception of tech work as requiring payment is a
view that does not take into account class, gender, race, and
privilege issues... At least here in the US, there is a very definite
race/class/gender divide that leans toward well to do white guys
becoming techs more than women, more than people of color, and more
than poor people who do not always have access to the training and
equipment. i wonder how much of the impulse to pay techs is a vestige
Quoting Sofia JarrinT <sofiajt at yahoo.com>:
> My apologies for losing my cool on Monday. I do think we can discuss
> and even express our frustrations about the grant or paying techs
> without pointing fingers at each other or making targeted
> assumptions about an "enemy within." Also, thanks for this email
> below which I think sums up very, very well what happened.
> I think it goes without saying that the Imc structure is complicated
> and therefore, it does take time (even years) to learn all of its
> processes. Not to mention that I've been personally frustrated just
> during this conversation having to clarify things on several lists
> and hoping people are looking at the archives before responding...
> Myself included. Is it even possible to do a global search of our
> Indymedia list archives for say, "grants"?
> As new Indymedias arise, new Imc generations come forward, how do we
> keep our collective well informed? I wouldn't be surprised if in a
> couple of years a new IMC volunteer comes out with a grant proposal
> and we have this conversation yet again.
> But more importantly, and hopefully, the list can move on to what I
> think really we should be really talking about:
> - with all the growth done since 1999, do we have the tech-help
> structure needed to help individual Indymedias cope with their
> technological problems?
> - have we done a tech consulta like the payment consulta to assess
> how Indymedias are doing? I personally don't even know how many
> techs we have out there...
> - do imc-techs have what they need from the Imc-collective to do
> their work? The imc-cms group mentioned they spent "thousands of
> dollars" out of their own pockets to fly people to their last tech
> meet... If it isn't money, then what?
> Moreover, I do think that Indymedia tech work is much different from
> the rest of the volunteer work we do. Not better or worse. But I
> can safely say that to get a web site running, it can easily take a
> year's-worth of really intense work. As an imc journalist, I can go
> to a march, write a report, go home, and relax. It's more sporadic.
> Short-term versus long-term...
> I don't want to speak for techs, but I do think there are many Imcs
> suffering the tech blues out there, and I rather talk about this as
> a collective than see some sites flourish and others shut down.
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