Open Publishing is essential to the principles Indymedia was originally founded on in 1999. Indymedia websites around the world are dedicated to providing media access and creating a vital space for reporting and commentary that truly reflects the communities we live in, as opposed to passing news items through the filter of the corporate mainstream media.
Unfortunately, open publishing has also become a way for neo-Nazis, homophobes, sexists, and others to disrupt our site and harass our readers.
Discovering a way to edit out the bad and promote the good without impinging on our open policy has not been an easy task, and every site in the global network has learned to deal with it in different ways. The following are the solutions members of the Boston Indymedia collective have unanimously agreed to so far. Your ideas and suggestions are always welcome by email at imc-boston-office(at)indymedia.org.
The following are the types of posts the Boston IMC would like to encourage on the newswire:
1. Original, timely, well-researched articles, audio clips and video clips
2. Eyewitness accounts of news events
3. Coverage of issues that affect Bostonians and the
Greater Boston area
4. Investigative reports
5. Media created by or about groups that are underrepresented in the mainstream media.
6. Positive stories about people or projects working towards social and economic justice.
7. Music, art, book, food and other reviews.
8. More original stories about or from:
• The home countries of Boston’s immigrant communities (e.g.,
Brazil, Haiti, Cape Verde, etc.)
• Rank and file members of Labor Unions
• Other groups underrepresented in the mainstream media (i.e., stories about race, gender, gay rights, and more)
The more diversity we can embody in our news coverage, the more potential Indymedia has to bring disparate sections of Boston’s active communities together. We would like to become a forum for news and for mutual understanding for all Greater Boston’s residents.
We also reserve the right to hide any post that the Boston Indymedia collective deems counter to our mission of providing media access and a constructive forum for the residents of Greater Boston.
We have consensed on hiding the following types of posts:
1. Hate posts; posts that explicitly express sexism, racism, homophobia, or other forms of prejudice.
2. Threats of Violence.
3. Slanderous or libelous material.
4. Personal attacks or insults.
7. Duplicates or extremely similar posts.
8. Disruptive or provocative material clearly intended to impede constructive activity on the site.
We have consensed on deleting these kinds of posts:
1. Any hate posting that also carries media such as photos, audio or video clips (to prevent the use of our server as a linkable storage space)
2. Any post by an individual known by Indymedia to have consistently acted in a disruptive manner and that the collective has unanimously identified as a sabateur.
3. Stories, pictures, video footage or other material that could potentially incriminate or otherwise endanger activists.
A note about events:
We are trying to improve the placement and usability of our web calendar. We strongly encourage posting events on our web calendar and not on the newswire, and may begin hiding event postings on the newswire at some time in the future. Ample and highly visible notice will be given of this new policy if and when it takes place.
In selecting postings to feature in the center column, the Boston IMC's editorial collective looks primarily for articles that:
1. Are original and are not simply reprints from mainstream/corporate sources;
2. Have timely relevance for Boston readers along with local details and connections where possible;
3. Put events, such as protests, in context instead of simply providing a blow-by-blow account--remember to cover who, what, when, where, why and how;
4. Use factual information from reliable sources; and
5. Are reasonably well written.
These guidelines help us to maintain a site with both integrity and openness. They are only guidelines.