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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.

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. — 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 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 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...

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

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.

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Concerned Indybay fan
Monday May 17th, 2010 6:00 PM
Indybay would be taken more seriously as a source of news if there was a system of editing.

There is no fact-checking for stories. There are many questionable facts presented in stories. Some are clearly accidental errors, typos and et cetera. Sometimes errors come about by people speculating, and making guesses. And sometimes errors are clear and purposeful misrepresentation of truth. Whatever be the case, Indybay can't grow as a journalistic outfit while avoiding the issue of editing.

Secondly is a lack of editing in the comments, which often degrade into race baiting, and claims of racism at the drop of the hat. Any poster who disagrees MUST BE WHITE. As well, there are the paranoid crowd who claim that anyone who disagrees with them is an undercover cop or CIA agent, or works for some shadowy black ops. Any poster who disagrees IS A FED AGENT. It's hysteria as opposed to debate.

Overall there is a focus on visceral reaction, and unfiltered emotional response, as opposed to rational intellectualism and civilized debate.

Sadly this will either be deleted or people while say I'm a white cop, without really thinking about this.
by what can you do
Monday May 17th, 2010 8:01 PM
Comments on Indybay seem on average better than sfgate, the BBC or Haaretz even though there are people paid to constantly moderate those (threaded sites like slashdot and DKos tend to have slightly better comments but that is mainly because the comments are more of the primary focus of those sites). Paranoid and crazy people are over-represented in comment sections on all websites since they have more time and reason to comment and act as trolls. Determining who is crazy and paranoid and who isn't is pretty difficult which is why most sites set policies about hate words and like and then let comments devolve into flamewars and at most bulk hide certain threads when they get out of control.
by an indybay volunteer
Monday May 17th, 2010 8:10 PM
The Indybay collective does edit and fact-check certain stories: the feature stories found in the center column of the site. You can tell that a story is an Indybay feature because it's "featured" in the center of the front page or one of the sub-category pages, and there is no "Add Your Comments" link.

The Indybay collective is not able to edit or fact-check the rest of the stories found in the newswire (the right-hand column of the site). After all, anyone can publish with the click of a button, and Indybay is a 100% volunteer project. Readers are expected to contribute corrections and clarifications in the comments. If you have ideas for new/better ways for volunteers to edit and fact-check a continuous stream of incoming content, we'd love to hear about it. You can post here or write us at sfbay-web [at]
by been there, done that
Tuesday May 18th, 2010 7:15 AM
At one time the IMCs held a lot of promise. I know quite a few individuals who helped get the project off the ground back in the day. But over time it has become a laughingstock. And it isn't just the comments. Yeah, I check some of the IMCs these days but it is more for a chuckle than anything else. Seriously, there are loads of blogs out there operated by one person that do a better job than the IMCs, all of which are run by "collectives".
by is it possible?
Wednesday May 19th, 2010 7:20 AM
Would it even be possible to have a radical left non-sectarian discussion site that does not quickly degenerate into flamewars. Perhaps if it were not anonymous but even then there are too many major points of disagreement as well as paranoia about username tracking among people always posting suggestions of questionably legality. DKos is a good example of a center-left site that largely excludes or at least sidelines radical views (not many primitivist vs vegan debates on there or even debates between various Socialist strains) and most threads are still pretty flamey.

Indybay and Indymedias in general manages to include many different radical left viewpoints, but I'm not sure if one could do the same thing with discussions since quick responses and the like tend to degenerate faster than full articles that have to stand on their own.

In terms of fact checking of articles, that also brings up issues when you are in a nonsectarian context. People see what they want from the facts presented and that is often strongly shaped by ideology. Where is the line drawn between crazy and paranoid and factual when different groups may draw the line in different places. Was a pieing at an Anarchist bookfair sexist or about animal rights? What about 9/11 Truth posts? As one restricts what is acceptable debate one risks getting rid of real issues (as one can see on a site like DKos where during the Lebanon war there were almost no recommended or center column stories about what was going on).
by Daniel
Wednesday May 19th, 2010 12:26 PM
The PERFECT is the enemy of the GOOD
by yup
Wednesday May 19th, 2010 5:00 PM
"As one restricts what is acceptable debate one risks getting rid of real issues (as one can see on a site like DKos"

...or at sites like that were edited to death.

Way back in 2004, people used to post to SF IMC and Indybay equally, putting the same stories on both sites, but over time more and more on SF got deleted by moderators, along with any comments that even slightly offended their entitled sense of "the perfect", and eventually people stopped posting there. It wasn't an open-publishing site any more. It became nessie's site for his own personal reposts from other sites, with a minor trickle of a few acceptable posts a week from outsiders. Nothing else was good enough for SF IMC. It was boring, too narrow in scope, and when their server crashed there was no community support for getting the site going again. They had their own site to do with as they pleased, lots of people gave them a chance to see what they'd do, and they ran it into the ground as they condescendingly chased most everyone off. The website today is just an empty indymedia placeholder as it has been for about four years now. Of course, they'll tell you that it's everyone else's fault that their dream of the perfect IMC failed miserably. They'll never admit that SF IMC's demise had anything to do with their own decisions. They'd like to bring Indybay down in the same manner by imposing their own special authoritarian editing style. Fortunately for radicals in the Bay Area, Indybay ain't havin' it.
by anon
Thursday May 20th, 2010 12:56 PM
Indybay, thank you for not keeping IP logs.

Attorney General Tom Corbett Subpoenaes Twitter To Identify Anonymous Critics

The subpoena orders Twitter to provide “any and all subscriber information” of the person(s) behind two accounts – @bfbarbie and @CasaBlancaPA – who have been anonymously criticizing the man on the popular micro-sharing service.