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The Importance of Radical Activists and Journalists Utilizing Indymedia
by indybay volunteer
Friday May 14th, 2010 12:07 PM
Do not rely on the corporate media to tell your story. They are guaranteed to disappoint with shallow coverage that never tells the full story, especially not from your perspective, or from that of those standing up for social and environmental justice. You and your allies must tell the stories yourselves. And you can spread it even further by sharing your news on Indybay.
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The Importance of Radical Activists and Journalists Utilizing Indymedia

As the date for an event that you are interested in approaches — or schemes are being firmed up for something you are organizing and the resistance commences — be sure to have plans in place for documenting the actions in which you participate or witness. If not you yourself, then discuss with others who amongst you can best capture and report on what happens in friendly venues, the streets, or occupations. Do not rely on the corporate media to tell your story. They are guaranteed to disappoint with shallow coverage that never tells the full story, especially not from your perspective, or from that of those standing up for social and environmental justice. You and your allies must tell the stories yourselves. And you can spread it even further by sharing your news on Indybay.

Indybay has a proud 10-year history as a radical news website where activists and independent journalists continue to publish their own news in their own words. Indybay.org — the website of the SF Bay Area and Santa Cruz Independent Media Centers — is a unique and invaluable open-publishing resource where every reader can also be a reporter.

Long before corporate "Web 2.0" sites were allowing users to post photos and video online, Indybay was hosting a wide breadth of activists' stories and media from across Northern California and beyond. Besides the obvious problem of patronizing large for-profit corporations that often work against the interests of social justice, corporate websites routinely hand over personally identifiable information to law enforcement or other corporations, whereas Indybay values your security and privacy in ways such as not logging the IP addresses of those who post to the site. Corporate sites also have a history of taking down radical content and suspending accounts.

Additionally, at mega-sites your content might get seen but it also can easily get lost amongst personal anecdotes and cute cat videos in not much time. That sort of content may be fine in and of itself for what it is, but if you are trying to get your message out to those most attuned to radical actions in Northern California — beyond just your circle of friends and acquaintances — the Indybay audience is who you want to reach.

There are a number of excellent activist blogs and websites out there, but the number of people who can publish to each one is limited and therefore individual websites can not offer the comprehensive coverage that an open-publishing web portal like Indybay can. You are more likely to find coverage of demonstrations from multiple angles and viewpoints on Indybay, which can be useful for rounding out the picture of what happened at actions that are large or fast-moving. If you do already maintain a blog or website, however, and your content is relevant to other Indybay coverage, you are strongly encouraged to cross-post your stories to Indybay and include a link back to your own website.

Lots of people will see what you publish to Indybay. Every single day, Indybay serves between 100,000 and 150,000 page views on average, toward the higher end or above on "big news" days. Over the years, Indybay has established itself as a credible and reliable news source, ranking well in search engines such as google news — people who may never have even heard of Indybay will find your perspective and stories listed amongst those of corporate news outlets that normally dominate the media narrative.

Indybay Is More Than Even Just a News Site

Indybay is not only the place to post breaking news as it unfolds — but after ten years in operation — Indybay is a growing historical archive of many radical actions that have taken place over the years. Unfortunately, some activist websites don't make it over time and their great content (if not cross-posted) is lost to the online world.

A Small Selection of Indybay Center-Column Feature Archives:

Students and Education Workers Take a Stand on March 4th (2010)

Days of Action Against the Tuition Hikes (2009)

Indybay Coverage of the Justice for Oscar Grant Movement (2009 - ?)

RNC 2008 Included Pre-Emptive Raids, Confiscations, Arrests (2008)

Massive Strikes and Student Walkouts for Immigrant Rights (2006)

6th Mega March in Oaxaca followed by Women's March for Disappeared and Killed (2006)

G8 Updates from Scotland (2005)

Protests Disrupt Biotech Industry Convention (2004)

Port Of Oakland Shut Down: Police Fire Concussion Grenades and Wooden Bullets (2003)

Activists Shut Down San Francisco As Baghdad Burns (2003)

Indybay Multimedia Hosting

Indybay has multimedia features similar to what you might be familiar with at other advanced websites. You can post simple text, html, photos, audio, and video in a variety of formats. With few restrictions (i.e. maximum size of each uploaded file being 160MB), you can share as much or as little as you have the ability and resources to do. You don't need an expensive camera to contribute, just a willingness to take the time to write a few paragraphs about your experience. If you are comfortable with digital media, you are welcome to step beyond text posts and share your photos, video, and audio. Don't worry if others have already posted about a certain action — the more perspectives shared on any given event, the better.

Multimedia Examples from the Education and Student Activism Page:

articleOccupy Everything Fight Everywhere Strike March 4!

photoUC Berkeley Strike and Occupation

photoEducation and Student Activism News photo gallery

audiothree songs from Live Week concert on december 11th

videoFinal moments inside the November 20th occupation of Wheeler Hall on video

Publishing to Indybay

There are no pre-requisites for publishing to Indybay. The media-makers who post to Indybay range from professional writers, photographers, and videographers to first-timers writing a few quick paragraphs to describe an event they attended, from organizers listing large and small events in the calendar to individuals who unexpectedly stumble upon a noteworthy protest or speaker they want to tell others about.

From your computer...

To publish your news to Indybay, just go to http://www.indybay.org/publish.php and fill out the simple form. While it's not required, if you or someone you know has photographs or video and experience with preparing them for the web, you can easily add up to 20 attachments to each post.

To publish notice of upcoming events to Indybay, simply go to http://www.indybay.org/calendar/event_add.php and fill in all relevant information for the calendar.

From your iPhone, Android phone, or Blackberry...

To publish breaking, on-scene reports and photos, download one of the Indybay Phone Applications (free) before you hit the streets.

Mobile version of Indybay...

http://indybay.org/mobile/index.php


If you should find you ever need assistance posting to the site, contact site administrators at sfbay-web [at] lists.indymedia.org.



Make Media, Make Trouble

The San Francisco Bay Area and Santa Cruz Independent Media Centers are all-volunteer, non-commercial, democratic collectives of Northern California independent media makers and media outlets, and serve as the local organizing units of the global Indymedia network.