[Imc-uk-network] A Response to the 'restructuring' Proposals from Birmingham Indymedia
birmingham at indymedia.org
Wed Jun 16 14:01:29 PDT 2010
A Response to the 'restructuring' Proposals from the Birmingham Indymedia Kollective:-
We feel it is necessary to make a statement about the historical and existing structure of Indymedia UK, in response to some factually incorrect comments made by some members of Indymedia London:-
"collective" - A group of entities that share or are motivated by at least one common issue or interest, or work together on a specific project(s) to achieve a common objective. Collectives are also characterised by attempts to share and exercise political and social power and to make decisions on a consensus-driven and egalitarian basis.
Indymedia UK was decentralised in 2003, when the Mir CMS was launched. Decentralisation included other regions from the predominantly London orientated collective who were running the UK website. Autonomous local collectives were initiated in a number of regions, working under the Mir Content Management System, but with autonomy with regards to local editorial policies, the running of the local collective, and later moderation. However the burden of moderation has generally been shared across the Indymedia UK collective.
Moderation and features for the UK front page and the running of the Indymedia UK website since the decentralisation has been undertaken by the Indymedia UK collective. This collective is made up of members of local collectives and additionally individuals not associated with a local Indymedia collective. The Indymedia UK collective operated using a similar model to the global Indymedia website collective; the use of email lists for discussion and decision making, IRC chat, and infrequent face to face meetings.
In the years since the decentralisation of Indymedia UK, several local collectives have moved to an independent Content Management System. Since articles from these local indymedia websites would not appear on the Indymedia UK newswire, members of these collectives had less of an incentive to be involved in the Indymedia UK collective, and therefore interest waned. As a result members of local collectives still utilising the Indymedia UK CMS were predominantly undertaking moderation responsibilities on the Indymedia UK website.
"network" - An association of individuals having a common interest, formed to provide mutual assistance, helpful information, or the like: a network of recent college graduates.
Network meetings have been held periodically, and are named as such to indicate that they exist for all Indymedia collectives to discuss common interests. However, these meetings have often been dominated by discussions which relate specifically to the Indymedia UK collective and website.
In summary, there has always been a UK collective, and processes in place to make decisions regarding the running of the Indymedia UK front page and website. This is the status quo. The commitment to a new syndicated website does not preclude existing processes. With regards to a recent comment '..adding a top layer of editorial control..', there are numerous precedences for newswire articles hidden on the UK website but not on local Indymedia websites. The loss of interest in the Indymedia UK collective is unfortunate, but has been due to the non-implementation of syndication from local Indymedia websites (which was agreed at the Nottingham network meeting in 2008 but not implemented until 2010), and more importantly unresolved political rifts which are still raw. In the past Indymedia UK has not handled political differences well. There is even a reluctance to talk about politics.
We believe the proposed restructuring of Indymedia UK is a result of the poor handling of political differences. We call on all collective members to embrace working together to resolve these political rifts and differences, and to abandon ongoing attempts to revise the structural history of Indymedia to exclude individuals for reasons of political expediency. Birmingham Indymedia proposes that political differences, and how to reconcile them are discussed in depth at the next network meeting.
Birmingham Indymedia are endorsing Shiar's proposal for reviving and restructuring Indymedia UK:-
Birmingham Indymedia Kollective
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