Tuesday, February 27, 2007


What's the Point?

A well referenced and thoughtful post appears on the Investigative Blog, entitled From Indymedia to Indyjournalism. One point stands out:
Indymedia and Blogger.com

Indymedia’s early role as an open bulletin board filled an important niche. At the time, there were very few news websites that weren’t related to existing newspapers, and the free publishing systems that existed (Geocities, Angelfire) did not lend themselves to regular updates. The Active software created a system where people with only a rudimentary understanding of html could upload their stories, without needing to FTP them to the server, rename files, etc.

The open publishing system worked well, particularly during the events that individual Indymedia sites were often created to cover. It was not long however before it became obvious that this openness was a liability afterward, where Indymedia sites became sites of flamewars, racist commentary, advertising and porn. Regular posters developed the habit of posting articles to the newswires of every available Indymedia – undermining the necessity of having geographical sites in the first place.
The space for an unedited, unrestricted, uncensored newswire exists outside of Indymedia – any number of blog sites – blogger/livejournal/xanga/myspace etc all allow for this open publishing format. Therefore, it’s not necessary for Indymedia to continue supporting the publication of garbage in the name of free speech.

So then what’s the point?
An excellent question, and one we are currently asking ourselves, in terms of the future of this blog. It would seem by now, the point has well and truly been made.

Holy damn! You no doubt went blind reading that site. Tiny type, low contrast. What're they smoking?
It is one of my key gripes concerning Indymedia websites: they are generally vanity projects for a few folks who want to have some “prestige” added to their personal blog related thoughts. It is like Steven Argue from Santa Cruz Indymedia, who also publishes a zine called “Liberation News”. A zine where he is the sole contributor. What is the point, other than making it seem like you are backed by a vast and supportive network?

I understand having a website that gives people dates to upcoming events in their local, but what is the point of having separate Indy locals if they all carry the same blame Israel drivel from “Electronic Intifada”?
An example of Indymedia quality news reporting about an important social issue or just another opportunity to bash Israel ? You decide ?

Indeed, I was a regular contributor to my local Indymedia (Argentina) until I decided to open my own blog, where I can filter out the nazis.

The issue also was that it was impossible to know if there was just one person with multiple nicknames, or several nazis. Now I know how many there are in my blog: 0.
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