Thursday, August 10, 2006


UK Indymedia Does it Again

Yesterday, a terrorist plot was foiled in London which could have killed thousands.

UK Indymedia is reporting nearly nothing about it.

I mean, they wouldn't want to detract from their usual condemnation of Israel.

Oh, there was this.
Fake Terror Obfuscates Lebanon and Iraq Failures

Unable to window dress the obvious failure to eradicate growing resistance in Lebanon, Iraq, and Afghanistan—even with the mighty propaganda power of a complaisant media—the neocon intelligence apparatus has staged yet another terrorist event, or would be terrorist event.
Who stands to gain from it? Who do you reckon.
Finally, as attention has now shifted to Muslim bad guys (either imagined or a parade of patsies), Israel will likely increase the severity of its criminal behavior against the civilians of Lebanon and those of Gaza as well, as the American public will be navel gazing video footage of inconvenienced air travel passengers.
Last time I raised an example of UK Indymedia totally ignoring a major story and hinted at its worthlessness as a news source, I received this reply:
Shocking idea; when mainstream media all report on the same topic on a given day, maybe the job of alternative media isn't to parrot the same editorial focus.
"Editorial focus". Right. So if the mainstream media report say, the facts...

So, I was the person who made the "shocking idea" remark. And I stand by it here too. And, so you know, I generally post supportive comments here and have become highly critical of what Indymedia has devolved into.

That said, if Indymedia was living up to its original vision of open citizen journalism, I think we would see at least some articles on the UK site about the situation. Maybe some individuals would share their first-person accounts of trying to travel after attacks were thwarted. Or share what must be some tough internal questions that get raised when contemplating that several of the terrorists were UK citizens.

I do think the role of alternative media is to report on issues other than what the mainstream press might make a fetish of obsessing over. But that said, I think it's safe to say that the thwarted attacks probably have really shaped the everyday lives and thoughts of many Brits, and the fact that the UK Indymedia site is bereft of many articles about that, does show that it's become disconnected from the community it serves. (Or that it's just decided to serve a small fringe community, which would be an enormous shame.)
A number of articles have been posted to the UK UK Idymedia site on this subject including an excellent piece talking about how many Brirish Muslims are seeking an Islamic Britain. This together with the others we removed. They will be posted to the IMC Monitoring team site later this month

IMC Monitoring Team Member
I have heard about you guys.

Can you please email me via the address at the top left. Thanks.
Anonymous: it's become disconnected from the community it serves. (Or that it's just decided to serve a small fringe community, which would be an enormous shame.)

I think that's an important distinction, and a key point in understanding what's become of Indymedia. Each collective decides -- or comes to a de facto decision -- about whom they are serving. Are they there to be a voice of the entire community, some subset of the entire community, some particular ideological position?

And I think there's a pretty strong correlation between those sites that have chosen the last of these, and those sites whose collective evaporates. The problem, of course, is that -- kinda like when a massive star goes nova and blows most of its material into space, leaving behind only a black hole -- this process is irreversible. Once a site goes black hole like that, as UK is not alone in having done, there can be no happy ending, because there's nothing anyone outside the particular collective can do.

And -- to keep with the astronomical analogy -- once an IMC goes black-hole, it just spirals into itself tighter and tighter, shedding energy until you get something like SF-IMC or Vancouver.
"open citizen journalism"

An utter joke. Just go to Amazon and read Joe Blow's reviews of anything to get a sense of what the average mind can't do.

Facts are wanting in the biased mainstream media, and it's mostly noise and graphics, but the indymedia is the last thing I'd consider as an alternative. It's populated by nothing but appeasers and wacko religious cultists. Yeah, multi-culti peaceniks (AKA hate Whitey types) are an irrational cult unto themselves, just as bad as the Christians they demonize. The self anointed "intellectuals" offer me nothing.

There's no true source of facts anymore, from any side. It's all propaganda riding piggyback on ad after ad after ad after ad....
David: I agree entirely. By the way, DC Indymedia should be added to that list of "black hole" Indymedia collectives. It's sad, and really just a little bit nutty, that a project beginning as an open newswire has been hijacked and repurposed by some editorial groups into a niche fringe media outlet enforced by heavy censorship.

"Her majesty's secret service": Indymedia's present failure shouldn't be taken as an inditement against citizen journalism as a whole. Before Indymedia devolved into its current mess, it wasn't unusual to find well written and researched articles contributed by folks with more credentials and expert knowledge than you'd find in a typical mainstream media newsroom.
There are good Indymedia sites that offer the alternative news most here are seeking. The short lived Indymedia GB site was one and the Belgium Dutch version is also good as it gets contributions from real journalists. The current UK site is just a joke, their obsession is always the same - how can we link this to Jews ?
I am another person who once worked on the UK Indymedia website. The site is now controlled by a very small group who have a Stalinist approach to editorial control and have corrupted it. The GB site WILL be back and we hope to see the UK site dead and gone by the end of the year.
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