What is indymedia? / Principles

What is indymedia?

indymedia Germany is an independent and alternative Media network, made up of Media activists, engaged individuals and groups. It offers open, non-commercial reporting as well as background information to current social and political themes. Other alternative media projects should through this be supported by indymedia. indymedia Germany is part of the international Independent Media Centre network.

How did the concept of indymedia arise?

Since the end of the Cold War an unprecedented conglomeration of mainstream media power has occurred. Media corporations promote their political and economic interests over uncountable channels and construct consequently with their monopoly on interpretation, an image of reality that stands in extreme contrast to the experienced reality of many people.

This hindered worldwide the work of different activist groups, whose campaigns for justice were systematically ignored by the large media companies and whose concerns and activities were filtered, distorted or not shown at all – so long as they 'didn't fit in'.

People from all over the world began to fill in these massive 'gaps' with alternative channels of information and new means of transmission. These included things like underground magazines, independent radio and television broadcasters, independent film production, etc.

These first attempts to network and through this to strengthen the global opposition movement was one of the keystones that led to the development of indymedia.

indymedia/IMC appeared before the world public under this name and associated media strategies (focal points: Internet / Open Posting) in November '99 in Seattle during the protests against the WTO and global capitalism. The IMC website during this time featured up to the minute reporting from activists on the ground.

The Internet gave the possibility, independent from a single individual coordinating the massive flow of information, to offer a discussion platform and in cooperation with other media channels, to create the highest levels of public access and openness.

Since then many new indymedia centres providing local and international news have arisen all over the world, often in connection with large political events.

The creation of an IMC in Germany is also strongly connected with the impressions and experiences of local activists in Prague for the Global Day of Action against the IMF/World Bank meeting (29.09.00).

How is the political approach of indymedia in contrast to the mainstream media?

indymedia Germany sees itself as a emancipatory, independent network without commercial interests – here is the information, no fashion section, no 'merchandise' with market value. A central aim of indymedia Germany is to publish news ignored by mainstream media while creating a platform where everyone can have a say – Open Publishing is an important part of this idea.

This form of direct access opens up the borders between consumer and producer, strengthening the consciousness of people in the attainment of their societal right to communicate together – something that is not spoken about in the prevailing information structures. This can therefore be effective in contributing to emancipatory processes both inside and outside the media landscape.

All contributors are themselves responsible – membership or internal hierarchies and leadership structures are in total contradiction to the grounding principles of indymedia. Everyone that brings something to indymedia is simultaneously part of indymedia (and have equal rights too).

indymedia is a part of the movement that it covers.

What will indymedia NOT be?

  • A replacement for existing alternative information structures. indymedia should play a supporting / networking role here.
  • Collection pool for statements from hierarchical, mainstream or commercial groups.
  • Discussion forum or event calendar. indymedia is unsuited for this because of it's structure. Event calendars and forums can be found in the Link list.
  • Platform for sexist, racist, fascist and/or anti-semitic contributions of any type.