[IMC-Tech] Knight Foundation Grant for Drupal IMC
ryan at linefeed.org
Wed Oct 29 16:49:40 PDT 2008
Sofia JarrinT wrote:
As a member of the imc-cms group and as someone who has been working on
building a new network architecture for IMC that takes into account all
of the issues that were first discussed at the 2006 São Paulo Developers
Summit (including many sf-active developers, Mir developers and a bunch
of Indymedia people who use these codebases), I want to chime in. I also
have questions in the final paragraph.
First, historically, it has been -extremely- controversial to use the
accomplishments and work of the Indymedia network as a whole to obtain a
grant that goes to a decision-mkaing body that is unaccountable to the
IMC network. That is why the imc-finance group was formed. I'm amazed to
hear that the figure is 6 digits and my personal belief is that if the
Knight Foundation grant -is- received, that all of the funds should be
transferred into the global IMC fund that is administered by imc-finance
with a well-known and fair decision-making process for those funds.
In the past, a group of people within Indymedia applied for a Ford
Foundation grant and the network, as a whole, rejected these actions as
an inappropriate representation of the IMC network. This matter was so
controversial that it is discussed on the Wikipedia page for IMC -
This was followed up by an independent group (composed mostly of the
people who were involved in the Ford Foundation debacle) -- the Tactical
Media Fund -- applying for grants and using the collective successes of
IMC to acquire funds. While these events are water under the bridge for
most people, they did establish important precedents for exactly this
kind of situation.
Out of those incidents came an effort by a number of people (including
those who had applied for the grants, myself, others who were concerned
with these issues) to create the imc-finance group which would be tasked
with transparently and fairly administering funds for the global IMC
network. I think that imc-finance has been one of the most functional
global working groups over the years, with broad support from every
Indymedia. I also think that the group requesting funds from the Knight
Foundation should respect this well-established, well-known global process.
Second, I'm also surprised that no one felt in this group was inclined
to talk with the imc-cms working group about this.
>From the best I can tell, the imc-drupal-dev group (while at least using
a code base with more popular support, even though it still requires an
independent, IMC code base) is repeating the mistakes that were made by
the sf-active and mir development groups. This group already appears to
be working in isolation (one of the mistakes) -- if not, someone
involved in the maintenance of a bunch of IMC sites over the past 8
years would have told them this! The lessons learned from these mistakes
are what's driving the imc-cms project.
I would reiterate what Toya said: the imc-cms project has repeatedly
posted to numerous global lists (including imc-tech and
imc-communication) about the intention to create a next-generation
Indymedia CMS that takes into account all of our special requirements:
server seizures by law enforcement, take-down orders by corporations,
the loss of servers due to organizational realities, etc. It is
described as a "cop- and flake-resilient" architecture.
And I also think it's worthwhile to reiterate what Toya said about
funding. There are those of us who made the maintenance of IMC servers
literally a part of our daily lives for going on 9 years now. In an
effort to make the imc-cms process as inclusive as possible, we've dug
into our pockets and spent even more money ... thousands and thousands
of dollars towards including as many people as possible in the imc0cms
So, you can imagine that for those of us who have put out all that
money, it's a little hard to take that a group of people want to use the
Indymedia name to get money that would, I imagine, go go into -their-
pockets in order to pay themselves to build some modules for Drupal that
don't even begin to address the software requirements that the imc-cms
group has come up with in an open, inviting, participatory process with
the intention of putting IMC back into the forefront of innovation.
Finally, it should be noted that the current President and CEO of the
Knight Foundation, Alberto Ibargüen, is the former publisher of the
Miami Herald (a newspaper with strong connections to black ops and
propaganda against Cuba), a board member of Pepsico and a board member
for the Council on Foreign Relations (for all you CFR conspiracy folks).
Further investigation into the Knight Foundation will lead to even more
ugly connections. Whether this matters or not, I don't know -- it
certainly mattered during the Ford Foundation controversy.
That's what I have to contribute to this discussion.
My questions are: has this grant already been applied for? Has the
imc-cms project come up at all within the drupal group? If so, what has
been the consensus regarding the imc-cms group and why wouldn't the
drupal group reach out to the imc-cms project?
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