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Indybay Feature

Indymedia and Indybay History

by indybay

Indymedia History

The Indymedia project was started in late November of 1999, to allow participants in the anti-globalization movement to report on the protests against the WTO meeting that took place in Seattle, Washington, and to act as an alternative media source. By 2002, there were 89 local IMCs around the world spread between 31 countries (plus the West Bank) and 6 continents. By January 2006, the Indymedia network had grown to what is now over 150 Indymedia outlets around the world. The country with the most IMCs is the United States with 60, followed by Italy with 15.

IMCs produce print, audio, photo, and video journalism, but are most well known for their open publishing newswires: internet weblog sites where anyone with internet access can publish information. The content of an IMC is determined by its participants, both the users who post content, and members of the local Indymedia collective who administer the site.

The origins of IMCs themselves came out of protests against biases in corporate media reporting. The first IMC node, attached as it was to the Seattle anti-corporate globalization protests, was seen by activists as an alternative news source to that of the corporate media, which they accused of only showing violence and confrontation, and portraying all protesters in a negative fashion. Many of those who helped start the first site had been involved in previous attempts at Indymedia like sites in previous years. CounterMedia was one such site that formed to cover the Democratic National Convention in 1996. A-Infos and Infoshop were anarchist centric news sites that allowed user involvement. The “alt” usenet groups also provided an Indymedia like experience even before web browsers became widespread.

Local IMC collectives are expected to be open and inclusive of individuals from a variety of different local revolutionary, left-wing, anarchist, communist and other anti-capitalist stances, whether or not these have any definite political philosophy, so that even those without internet access can participate both in content creation and in content consumption. Editorial policies, locally chosen by any Indymedia collective, generally involve removing articles which the Indymedia editors believe promote racism, sexism, hate speech, and homophobia.

The overall Indymedia network is decentralized to the extent that the local IMCs operate independently once they are authenticated into the IMC network. Local IMC collectives vary widely in their openness, editorial policies and coverage of different issues Along with the local collectives are IMC websites operating along particular themes, such as printed media or biotechnology. Along with contributing their own media, core organizers maintain IMC's open publishing infrastructure, enabling different people throughout the internet to publish their news. IMC editing is done by a system of layered admin which contributors apply to join for each site, by participating on open email lists and attending open meetings.

imc_pdf.gif PDF Interview With Jeff Perlstein About Indymedia's Founding

Indybay History

Indybay started in 2000 and was initially closely tied to Media Alliance, a San Francisco based media resource and advocacy center for media workers, non-profit organizations, and social justice activists. One early Indybay project was a page exposing bad landlords. Another event that helped pull in many early Indybay volunteers was the National Association of Broadcasters(NAB) Conference that took place in September 2000 in San Francisco. Indybay soon broadened its coverage. Local labor struggles, forest activism in Northern California and police brutality were quickly a focus of the early site.

After 2001, Indybay developed more of a focus on antiwar protests and immigration issues. In 2002 new pages were added focusing on LGBT issues, Women's Rights, Local Electoral Issues and specific international conflicts. Animal Liberation was added as a page a year later. In 2004 Regional Pages were added and the Central Valley became a page partly run by its own collective. Santa Cruz started as its own separate site in 2001, but integrated with Indybay in 2006 as an autonomous editorial collective. Local reporters also regularly post from the South Bay, the North Bay and the North Coast.

List of Indybay Topic Pages
Animal Liberation, Anti-War, Arts + Action, Drug War, Education, En Español, Environment, Global Justice, Government, Health/Housing, Immigrant, Media, Labor, LGBTI / Queer, Police State, Racial Justice and Womyn

List of Indybay Region Pages
North Coast, Central Valley, North Bay, East Bay, South Bay, San Francisco, Peninsula, Santa Cruz, California, US, and International

List of Indybay International Pages
Americas, Haiti, Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan

audio pdf Troublemaking: The Worst and Best of Indybay

(Slideshow with audio, presented at LA Indymedia 10-Year Anniversary, November 2009)

A History in Links

Independent Media Before Indymedia

countermedia1996.jpg ainfos1999.jpg

-- IGC (LaborNet, PeaceNet ...), AInfos, Infoshop News
IGC 1998:
IGC Now:
Ainfos 1998:
Infoshop News Kiosk 1999:
--CounterMedia (August 1996 DNC Coverage)

Indymedia's Birth In Seattle

globalsite2000.jpg globalsite2000_2.jpg
-Seattle protests
First Indymedia coverage
post Seattle snapshot (2000):
Post WTO Seattle site snapshot (2000):
Global site takes modern form
Current global site
Current seattle site

Indymedia spreads

argentinaindy.jpg basqueind.jpg DC in 2000:
global site in June 2000
(by then one can see liks to sites in Belgium, Boston, Calgary, Hamilton,Italy,Los Angeles, Mayday, US site, Mayday UK, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington D.C., and Windsor)
within a year links to all over the world including:
Europe, Australia, Canada, S America (see list in left column)
and now US and topic based sites: and

Indybay Born

indybay_2000_1.jpg indybay_2000_nab.jpg August 2000:
September 2000:
National Association Of Broadcasters Conference:
October 2000:

Housing Page/Media Alliance

indybay_2000_housing.jpg Media Alliance in 2000
Housing Project (later snapshot but mostly same content as in 2000)
Poverty & Housing Page Archives:
Poverty and Housing Page (no deals with many other issues effecting poor people):
Mission Anti-Displacement Coalition Storms Live/Work Conversion Project
Street Newspaper Conference (NASNA)
More recent housing news:
Newsom and Gentrification

Indymedia and Indybay in 2000

praha2000.jpg A16 in DC/ IMF and World Bank Protests
S26 Prague/Praha
Indybay December 2000

Indymedia and Indybay in 2001

indybay2001_1.jpg indybay_2001_forest.jpg
Snapshot of Indybay coverage FTAA, May Day, RTS

-Bush inaguration
-Quebec FTAA
Local globalization coverage:
Our new globalization page:

Environment and forest defense
July 2001:
- environment page now:

G8 genoa
-italy coverage
-local coverage

WCAR and indymedia coverage
South Africa Site:
Race page now:

Indymedia and Indybay in 2002

indybay2002_immigrantroundup.jpg indybay2002_quit.jpg
-immigrant roundups
-INS roundups:
-immigrant page now:

Palestine coverage
-protests at UCB
-palestine site
-Palestine page and more local coverage

Insolent Youth incorporated (man shoots police officer claims credit on site)
-mainstream coverage

Labor Protests:
-Early coverage (day labor, SEIU, May Day...)
-ILWU lockout
-Safeway lockout and strike
-Hotel strike
-Current Labor Page:

Indymedia and Indybay in 2003

indybay2002_antiar_helicopter.jpg indybay_2003_warstarts.jpg

Iraq War
-helicopter pictures:
-arrests and black bloc
-war starts/ city goes crazy

Iraq page:
-local reporters in iraq
-iraq news
-need for international page
(for stories without pages such as) Aceh:

Miami FTAA:

Indymedia and Indybay in 2004

indybay_central_valley.jpg -New Central Valley Page
Spying On Peace Fresno:
Peace Fresno (as seen in F911):

Reclaim the Commons (Biotech and globalization)

Drug War
-med marijuana:
Gary Web (CIA, Contras and Cocaine)
-current drugwar page:

Haiti coverage
-local coverage:
-Haiti page:

Womyn's page (only updated by women)
-due to problems in the network with representation
-abortion coverage
-current page:
indybay2003_gay_shame.jpg indybay_2004_gaymarriage.jpg
Queer Coverage
-Gay Shame & anti-Consumer pride protests
-Gay marriage

education coverage
-student protests
-school closures:

Indymedia and Indybay in 2005

-RNC (2004):
-Counter inaguration:
-Current Page:

Animal Liberation:
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