[IMC-Seattle] Re: [Seattle-editorial] Critical Meeting,
Saturday at 1pm - Three Proposals enclosed
webshiva at mac.com
Tue Nov 16 21:50:46 PST 2004
Hi Brandon --
Would you clarify your proposal to "Stop web publishing until there is a collective"? It isn't making sense to me.
We're at a point where we are finally rebuilding the momentum we lost during the hiatus. We've had a series of general organizational meetings, we've negotiated free work space, the website has begun to get more participation (between 20 - 50 newswire posts a day), and we have a media makers networking event scheduled for December 4th at SCAN.
Yikes! The timing of the proposal can't be worse for morale. It's putting into jeopardy a web project to honor our 5th Anniversary as well as any efforts to pull together volunteers who have expressed interest in working on the website.
I may be viewing this proposal as being more nihilistic than it really is, but the first step of any group creating (or even applying to be) an IMC is to create a community newswire. We've got one, however, your proposal is to knock it offline. This seems counter-intuitive. Are you proposing killing the collective? Instituting an organization-wide hiatus? Silencing community participation on the website? Also, how would this affect other working groups such as PepperSpray and Tech? How does this affect members who are trying to pull together an audio working group?
On Tuesday, November 16, 2004, at 06:55PM, brandon <brandon at faloona.net> wrote:
>Please consider attending this Saturday's facilitated meeting, announced
>several weeks ago:
>If you cannot attend, please consider reviewing the three proposals
>below and sending your feedback beforehand to
>imc-seattle at lists.indymedia.org.
>Below you will find:
>- Meeting info
>- Proposal one - brandon
>"Stop web publishing until there is a collective"
>- Proposal two - brandon, devin, laury and rick
>"Adopt new organizational structure and apply as a New IMC"
>- Proposal three - laury
>+++ Meeting Info ++
>When: Saturday November 20th at 1pm
>Where: Meeting Room in Rick's apartment building. 7 story building just
>north of Northgate Way, east of the mall, across from the Northgate Park
>Address: 11050 8th Ave. NE.
>Buses: 5, 16, 41, 66, 67, 75, 242
>+++ Proposal one +++
>Stop web publishing until there is a collective
>The Seattle IMC, as of November 2004, even considering the hard work of
>specific individuals, is not a functional organization.
>Open-publishing and editorial feature publishing on the website will be
>halted immediately and resumed when, and only if, a functional
>collective emerges that meets the standards of the IMC global new-imc
>+++ End Proposal one +++
>+++ Proposal two +++
>New Seattle IMC Organizational Structure
>The Seattle Independent Media Center (hereafter SEAIMC) is a democratic
>media outlet for the creation of radical, accurate, and passionate
>tellings of truth. The organization is dedicated to using media
>production and distribution as tools for promotion of social and
>economic justice in the Seattle area and the state of Washington. Our
>aim is to empower people to "become the media" by providing access to
>available technologies and information.
>We do not conceal our politics behind a false objectivity. With an
>emphasis on local issues, we will seek connections to global systems. We
>intend to illuminate and analyze issues that are affected by the
>increasing corporate domination of society and the subsequent erosion of
>democracy and equal protection under the law. We seek to generate
>alternatives to the current biases inherent in profit-based and
>corporate media and to contribute to the development of an equitable and
>1) We hereby abandon all prior governance structures, policies and
>2) SEAIMC organizational structure shall here fore be replaced by the
>structure outlined in this document.
>3) SEAIMC structure is not derived from a centralized bureaucratic
>process, but from the self-organization of autonomous working groups
>that recognize the importance in developing a unified approach. These
>groups can be centered around a set of tasks (e.g., web design, tech,
>editorial), a type of media (e.g., video, print, web radio), an activity
>(e.g., promotion/outreach, reporting), or some other project.
>4) A working group shall be defined as 1 or more people engaged in work.
>SEAIMC working groups can organize in whatever fashion they find most
>appropriate to their needs (e.g., frequency of meetings, method of
>communication, open or closed listservs, work or skill requirements,
>renewal obligations, etc.) as long as they stick to the SEAIMC
>Principles of Unity (see item #6).
>5) SEAIMC collective membership is granted to volunteers that are
>members of one or more working groups,
>- Collective membership allows participation in SEAIMC organizational
>meetings. This includes:
>+ Signaling approval in tests for consensus
>+ Raising "blocking" concerns
>+ Requesting a super-majority vote
>+ Voting in a super-majority vote
>- Collective membership requires:
>+ Active participation.
>+ Taking responsibility for words and actions.
>+ Willingness to participate in conflict resolution if requested by
>6) SEAIMC Principles of Unity
>a) An open exchange of and open access to information is a prerequisite
>to the building of a more free and just society.
>b) The goal of all working groups is to provide an information
>infrastructure for people and opinions that do not have access to the
>airwaves, tools, and resources of corporate media. This includes audio,
>video, photography, internet distribution, and any other communication
>medium. We support open media making by creating forums for individuals,
>groups and organizations to express their views, anonymously if desired.
>c) SEAIMC is a non-commercial, anti-capitalist democratic collective.
>d) All working groups recognize the importance of process to social
>change and are committed to the development of non-hierarchical and
>anti-authoritarian relationships, from interpersonal relationships to
>group dynamics. Therefore, they shall organize themselves collectively
>and be committed to the principle of consensus decision-making and the
>development of a direct, participatory democratic process that is
>transparent to those involved.
>e) All working groups recognize that the contribution of an individual's
>labor is a prerequisite for participation in the decision making process
>of a working group or at SEAIMC general meeting. Individuals who are not
>committing tangible labor to a SEAIMC working group are encouraged to
>share their views but may not "block" a consensus.
>f) SEAIMC members and working groups are committed to caring for one
>another and our respective communities both collectively and as
>individuals and will promote the sharing of resources including
>knowledge, skills and equipment.
>g) SEAIMC shall be committed to the use of free source code, whenever
>possible, in order to develop the digital infrastructure, and to
>increase the independence of the network by not relying on proprietary
>h) All working groups shall be committed to the principle of human
>equality, and shall not discriminate based upon race, spiritual belief,
>gender, age, class or sexual identity. Working groups are committed to
>the ideal of building diversity within their activities. Bigotry of any
>kind will not be tolerated.
>i) Consensus among members shall be the standard method of decision
>making, but a super-majority of 85% can be used to resolve intractable
>- Consensus shall be explicit rather than implied.
>- Consensus decisions shall be made with a quorum of 60% of membership,
>OR at least 8 members.
>- WITHIN a working group, a different approach is acceptable if
>+ The working group creates a new policy using explicit consensus.
>+ The policy is written
>+ The policy is distributed to all members
>- A super-majority should not be used unless an intractable conflict exists.
>- An intractable conflict is one that threatens the core values of the
>group, or severely delays reasonable progress toward our mission.
>j) Individuals and working groups agree to use Conflict Resolution
>process to resolve conflicts.
>- Members have a right to safety and dignity within the SEAIMC. Sexual
>harassment, intimidation, threats of violence, and acts of violence
>against other members will not be tolerated and will result in immediate
>expulsion from the organization.
>- Members are expected to address concerns about individuals or groups
>of individuals respectfully and in a venue that is appropriately public
>and appropriately safe.
>- Member concerns that have been respectfully raised and continue to be
>un-addressed are priority business for the collective.
>- Members uninvolved with the conflict at hand have a responsibility to
>volunteer to help mediate conflicts.
>7) Any individual or working group that agrees with this document is
>asked to participate in the SEAIMC.
>8) Membership will be revoked in cases of severe conduct violations of
>the SEAIMC Principles of Unity.
>9) Finances and Assets
>a) SEAIMC corporate officers must be active in one or more working
>groups. The authority of the corporate officers of the Washington State
>Non-Profit Corporation Independent Media Center is limited to renewing
>b) All finances shall be handled within the working groups and members.
>SEAIMC has no need for any financial dealings other the cost of renewing
>yearly the incorporation. The corporate officers will request member
>contributions to pay for the incorporation fees. If the membership is
>unable or unwilling to donate the fee, the corporation will be dissolved.
>c) The SEAIMC will continue to operate the space at SCAN as long as the
>arrangement is mutually beneficial. During the tenancy, all members and
>working groups must abide by the access rules established by SCAN.
>d) When SEAIMC relocates, it will be the responsibility of the working
>group or groups to acquire and maintain any space they may need. If more
>than one working group needs a space at that time, they would be
>encouraged to work together.
>e) Any property not claimed by a working group 30 days prior to the end
>of the SCAN tenancy will be disposed of. To be able to claim property, a
>working group must have shown tangible work towards a defined goal for a
>minimum of 60 days during the past 12 months.
>10) Once this document has been approved, consensus cannot alter the
>mission, focus or operational structure of the organization without the
>following extraordinary measures:
>- A proposal and meeting notice must be available two weeks prior
>- A super-quorum of 75% or 20 members should be present at the final vote
>+++ End Proposal two +++
>+++ Proposal three +++
>The Seattle Independent Media Center (here after SEAIMC) is an open
>collective of grassroots journalists dedicated to providing an open
>outlet for non-corporate news and analysis.
>Anybody may participate in the organization by attending our public
>meetings, joining a working group, or participating in an email listserv.
>The SEAIMC is an organization that strives to work with all mediums,
>including print, audio, video, and internet. The website at
>http://seattle.indymedia.org is the online outlet of the organization's
>The SEAIMC is affiliated with the global Indymedia movement. This
>network works to foster media creation based upon the principles of free
>participation and association, mutual aid, open-source software, open
>publishing, and transparent decision-making. As an affiliate of the
>Indymedia network, the SEAIMC remains committed to these principles.
>The website operates two basic media dissemination structures: feature
>stories and the open newswire.
>Feature stories, which are found in the center column of the website,
>are written and/or selected by members of the SEAIMC collective. These
>features represent the organization's daily output of news and editorial
>content. Seattle-area and Washington stories and issues are the focus of
>features, although regional and global stories are published as well.
>Features are typically based on content published on the open publishing
>The open publishing newswire appears in the right-hand column of the
>website, and works as the basic means through which any participant can
>contribute news and editorial content to the SEAIMC website. Text,
>photo, audio, video, and several other types of files are publishable on
>The online newswire is designed to empower individuals to become
>independent and civic journalists by providing a direct, unmoderated
>forum for presenting media, including text articles, audio and video
>recordings, and photographs, to the public via the Internet. Within that
>general framework, we specifically encourage individuals to publish:
>- Well-researched, timely articles
>- Investigative reports exposing injustice
>- Coverage of Seattle-area and Washington state issues
>- Stories on events affecting underrepresented groups
>- Media produced from within underrepresented groups
>- Stories on issues ignored by the mainstream media
>- Stories on people or projects working towards social and economic justice.
>- Eyewitness accounts of progressive actions and demonstrations
>- Media analysis
>The newswire is a democratic forum designed to make available important
>stories, news, and opinions with local relevance. The newswire operates
>on the principle of "open publishing" meaning that anyone with access to
>the Internet can post articles, photographs, audio and video to the
>newswire without prior editorial approval. SEAIMC is dedicated to
>maintaining the newswire as a completely open forum. However, the
>editorial collective regularly watches the newswire, intervening on rare
>occasions to maintain its usefulness as a media resource and as a
>welcoming community space.
>Content published on the newswire is not endorsed by the SEAIMC, and is
>subject to a basic editorial policy designed to facilitate open
>media-making while preventing obfuscation of the newswire as a media
>The intent of the newswire is to enable independent reporters to publish
>news and commentary on contemporary social and political issues.
>Published material that abuses the editorial policy is liable to be
>hidden. Published content may also be grouped together if their subject
>matter is related. Hidden content is not visible on the front newswire
>archives, and is not included in the website search function. The
>decision to hide is made by individual SEAIMC collective members who are
>empowered to implement the editorial policy.
>The SEAIMC reserves the right to hide newswire posts that:
>1) Advertise commercial services or products
>2) Are repetitive or duplicates
>3) Contain or link to pornographic content
>4) Publicize or advocate actions that actively endanger human or animal
>5) Use language, imagery or other forms of communication that promote
>bigotry and/or hatred based upon gender, ethnicity, race, sexual
>orientation, religion, class, age, physical or developmental ability, or
>6) Contain content that has been published on multiple IMC newswires
>7) Repostings of corporate media content that is available elsewhere on
>the internet, or excerpts of previously published material.
>8) Appear in an unreadable format (e.g., posts posted as test) or are
>9) Are obviously false or misleading in terms of author, location, time,
>or actors. This includes attempts to spread disinformation or
>impersonate another individual.
>10) Are unintelligible (e.g., containing numerous spelling or
>11) Are off-topic or are not news.
>12) Are flamebaits made with the intention of provoking argument and/or
>limiting constructive dialog.
>13) Are otherwise inconsistent with the general mission of this website,
>which is to use media production and distribution as tools for promoting
>social and economic justice in the Seattle-area and Washington State.
>Published content that is included in any of the above categories may be
>hidden at the discretion of the SEAIMC. The hiding of articles, however,
>does not indicate that unhidden articles are endorsed by the SEAIMC.
>The newswire is a tool intended to facilitate grassroots media
>dissemination, and the SEAIMC will actively strive to work as a
>community-based participatory media organization.
>+++ End Proposal three +++
>Seattle-editorial mailing list
>Seattle-editorial at lists.indymedia.org
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