Thursday, July 28, 2005


What's wrong with Indymedia?

The Independent Media Institute (no relation) website: Alternet asks: What's the Matter with Indymedia?

The article is five pages which don't even scrape the surface (of what's wrong), however make for interesting reading nonetheless. The author is a journalist and former contributor to Indymedia, who like yours truly (a former reader) is totally disappointed by what Indymedia is, considering what it could have been.

Our opinions diverge on what constitutes an "exemplary" IMC. She believes Bay Area Indymedia is. I would respectfully argue that she's crazy.

Most of her observations (with the apparent exclusion of rank antisemitism) are similar to mine. An interesting observation from a journalist's perspective was
I know I'm not alone in my frustration with IMCs. "I haven't looked at Indymedia in over a year," says the editor of a nationally distributed radical magazine. "Indymedia? It's completely irrelevant," a talented documentary filmmaker tells me. "I let the IMC use my photos but I don't ever read it," says a freelance photojournalist. More and more, independent media makers (even those who occasionally publish on or are affiliated with an IMC) don't even bother looking for news on Indymedia.
I have previously argued that Indymedia was irrelevant.

Update: Read the comments for an insight into the author's background and possible motives.

Well, no condemnation of anti-semitism or the Indymedia penchant for supporting violence or illegality either.

Unfortunately, Whitney was part of the problem, and there's no evidence to suggest that just because she doesn't post to Indymedia anymore that she doesn't continue with the same nonsense on Indymedia that she now seeks to partly condemn. If you've read any of her work you'll know exactly where she stands.


Jennifer Whitney, a Portland-based activist, writer, and musician, has been detained during protests in New York City, in Union Square. She is a journalist for Narco News, Indymedia, an editor of the book We Are Everywhere, and a founding member of the Infernal Noise Brigade... The latest news, posted to the NYC IMC site by Al Giordano of Narco News, states that he has spoken with Jennifer via a smuggled-in cell phone:

"She is alive, she is well, she has not been poisoned by industrial toxins (like some, reportedly, yesterday, were), she has not been beaten (like others were), she is with most members of the musical group known as Infernal Noise Brigade, also detained, who are also well, and she is of good cheer. And she thanks all the members of the Narco News Team who have worked overtime tonight to locate and protect our own. In a few hours, the jailbreak begins. Here, we leave no Authentic Journalist behind. "

The message I take from narcissists like Whitney is that she thinks she's a "real" journalist and writer who is not being given enough space, respect, or acknowledgement by the IMCs. In other words, they don't meet her standards.

I am not defending Indymedia. Far from it. But the fact that she thinks Indymedia UK and Indymedia San Francisco (actually there are 2 in San Francisco, she mentions one) are good examples says a lot. They're the opposite, as this site has often said. She's part of the problem, not the solution. Like Indymedia, Whitney's motivations for her article should be questioned.

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