Santa Cruz Indymedia :
Santa Cruz Indymedia

Make IMC a threat again

Personally, I agree with the bulk of Jennifer Whitney's criticisms of Indymedia. I have been making most of them myself for quite some time. There are two points, however, where we disagree.

(1.) Reposts, at least on SF-IMC, not intended to "fill column space." They are there because they are about things that we feel activists, their friends, their allies and their potential friends and allies should know, and do something, about. They is to whom this site is addressed. They are not the only people whom activists should address over the internet, far from it. But they are to whom this particular site is addressed. On this site, we are not interested in talking to or hearing from anyone else, not here, not now, not ever. It's a big net. People who want to talk to, and hear from, our enemies are perfectly welcome to do it somewhere else.

The internet, though technically a broadcast medium, is not about broadcasting at all. It's really about narrowcasting. We're addressing a specific audience for a specific reason, i.e., to keep them abreast of events to which it behooves them to be cognizant.

Anyone who would like to see this site carry a higher percentage of original material, is welcome to contribute. If you, yourself, are not personally contributing, don't complain about lack of contributions. Complaining accomplishes nothing constructive. Contribute instead. As long as your contribution more or less fits our guidelines, we'll provide you with bandwidth and a select audience.

Our guidelines are simple: no disinformation, no enemy propaganda, no gibberish, no spam, no flame wars, no capslock. Tell the truth, but leave out the parts that might put comrades in danger or prison. It's as simple as that.

Show some style, too. This is journalism, not a creative writing class, a debate society, usenet or a HS BBS. Speak plainly and clearly. Use simple, direct sentences. Go easy on the commas. Go easy on the adjectives. Include the Five Ws: who, what, where, when and why. Follow the basic structural outline found in all good journalism. First tell them what you're going to tell them. Then tell them the Five Ws. Then tell them what you told them. Then shut up. It's as simple as that.

Journalism is not rocket science. It is craft no more difficult to learn than sheetrocking. Like sheetrocking, its success depends, not on the complexity of the plan, but upon the precision of its execution, especially including the cleanup afterwards. If you screw up the execution, and neglect the cleanup, your end result will look bad. This is a fact of life. Spellcheck, especially people's names. Avoid grammatical errors and logical fallacies. No sentence fragments, either. Read Strunk and White at least once. If you can't afford an camcorder of a tape recorder, buy a notebook and a pencil and get out there and find stories. If you're paying enough attention, you won't have to leave your neighborhood. Stories are everywhere.

Above all, be not afraid. Believe in yourself. Yes, you *can* do this. You have it within you. You have no shortage of stories that need to be told. They are all around you. Find them. Tell them. It's that easy.

(2.) In some of her choice of favorites, Jennifer Whitney contradicts both her own guidelines, as well as a number of basic political principles. She claims to like "carefully edited" websites with " journalistic principles." She also claims to like North Texas IMC. This is a contradiction. NT-IMC is so poorly edited that it fairly brims with disinformation. Consider, for example, the forgeries of my name and disinformation about me that they have neglected to edit out:

Since, for the most part, I only have the time and energy to track lies about myself and a few of my comrades, I can only imagine what kind of crap that NT-IMC publishes about other people and other topics.

Journalistic principles and careful editing are also severely lacking at another of her favorites, Indybay. Indybay's politics suck, too, but that's already been addressed. Even a cursory perusal of their [comments] page makes it all too clear what pathetically low standards of editing they practice. The last time I looked, topics included such burning issues of the day as "GET OVER YOUR INSANE OBSESSION WITH 'ZIONISM" YOU STUPID BRAINWASHED FUCKING FREAKS," "HOW MUCH ANTISEMITIC, EXAGGERATED ANTI-ISRAEL AND ANTI-ZIONIST PROPAGANDA BULLSHIT IS HERE," and "Why do indymedia leftists want to suck the dicks of fascist, murderous islamic terrorists?" Latest authors included such notables as "EDITORS-MORE LOONEY SPAM TO DELETE," "Kurt Brown, AKA Saint Ram Bone," and "ahahahahahahahahaha ah aa aha ha h." If that's the kind of people you wish to address and to hear from, then by all means, go to Indybay. You'll fit right in. But if you want hard news and cogent analysis, stay right here. You're already in the right place.

Then there's the matter of Champaign-Urbana IMC. Yeah, they do some good work, but every last bit of it is politically negated by two very, very bad things that they do. First of all, they use work done by IMCistas across the network as props in a fundraising hustle for their 501(c)3, which they claim represents Indymedia. It does not represent "Indymedia." It represents them, especially its board of directors. They've bought a building, and who knows what else, with money they have raised this way. In short, they're pimping rest of us, and what do we get back? Nothing.

UC-IMC also harbors in its midst the notorious Zionist mole, David Gehrig, whose vile, racist spew defiles, degrades and discredits the entire network. Is Indymedia not against racism? If it is not, then it is a fraud and a sham, all it's good deeds are negated and it is with out credibility, as is every IMCista who fails to even speak up. To distribute racist propaganda is a deeply, deeply immoral act. To do it in the name of Indymedia, and by extension the Global Justice Movement itself, is worse. To ignore that it is happening is bad as doing it yourself. The time has come for all righteous activists to speak up against it. Silence = Complicity.

Are IMCistas not willing to rise up and take Indymedia back from the racists, the homophobes, the misogynists, the warmongers, the profiteers and the apologists for exploitation and ecocide? If not, then how dare you, with a straight face, call yourself activists for Global Justice? If you are not willing to fight for the honor and integrity of the Indymedia network, you are no Global Justice activists. You are frauds and shams. Get over it. Clean up your acts and make IMC a threat again.

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