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Editorial Policy, Open Publishing


The Open Publishing Newswire is an essential aspect of the Indymedia= project. It was set-up to provide a globally accessible space for anyone to quickly self-publish breaking news, articles, commentary, digital photos and audio.

Los Angeles Indymedia itself is composed of volunteers who moderate= the newswire. In the last year and a half, the Los Angeles IMC Open Publishing Newswire has been besieged with detractive postings, and other items and commentary which are far away from what the Newswire is meant to be: a vital space of progressive and radical breaking news, commentary, articles, and announcements.

There are no easy or perfect solutions to moderating an open newswire, rich with a healthy democracy of views.

We have decided by consensus on the following guidelines to help us decide what postings are appropriate and what are not. We believe that these guidelines will help to make the moderating process clearer for IMC volunteers, for anyone who self-publishes, and will result in an unencumbered, useful and open newswire for readers worldwide.

We especially encourage individuals to publish:

  • Well researched, timely articles
  • Eyewitness accounts of progressive actions and demonstrations
  • Coverage of Southern California issues
  • Media analysis
  • Investigative reports exposing injustice
  • Stories on events affecting underrepresented groups
  • Media produced from within underrepresented groups
  • Local stories with national or global significance
  • Stories on people or projects working towards social, environmental, political, and economic justice Original, underreported stories of local, regional, national, or global importance
  • Stories ignored by corporate media outlets

When May A Post Be Hidden?

An "open publishing" system is founded, fundamentally, on trust. The participants in, and editors of, this project trust that other participants will use the newswire to publish intelligent and insightful news and commentary. As Los Angeles Indymedia's popularity has grown, so has the abuse of our open publishing system. Some of the abuse seems to be juvenile in nature; some it is a deliberate attempt to destroy the project. What's more, an unsystematic and scattershot moderation policy may have confused readers, who might not be aware of what constitutes abuse and what constitutes news.

The Los Angeles IMC editorial collective, in order to maintain the integrity of the newswire and the media commons it creates for our community of participants, may "hide" posts to the Newswire when the content doesn't fit the guidelines we have decided to use (see below).

We'd like to remind everyone that hidden articles are not deleted from the site. All content posted to the newswire can be accessed from a link from the front page, where hidden posts can be viewed.

While we try to avoid hiding posts as much as possible, the following types of items will merit close scrutiny and may be hidden:

  • "Spam" posting; i.e., posts deliberately designed to disrupt the newswire and its basic ability to function. These are posts that are deemed to be devoid of content or analysis and appear to be published with the sole purpose of disruption.
  • Posts the author has requested hidden.
  • Posts that are obviously incorrect or misleading. This includes attempts to spread misinformation or to impersonate another individual.
  • Posts that contain generalized and negative assertions about any race, nation, creed, class, ethnic group, sexual orientation, etc.
  • Posts that advocate the mass physical elimination of a specific race, nation, creed, class, ethnic group, sexual orientation, etc, or that link to websites that advocate the same.
  • Posts that treat the newswire as a personal "bulletin board" with non-political content directed at one or another newswire participants.
  • Unreadable formats (i.e. photos posted as text).
  • Posts titled "test".
  • Duplicate posts (including duplicate photographs).
  • Advertising of products or for-profit services.
  • Pornography, excepting sexually explicit satire.


Every six months, the Los Angeles IMC collective will review this policy and a sampling of posts hidden during the previous six months. We would also like to emphasize that if any collective member disagrees with the hiding of any post, he or she may contact the editorial listserv (imc-la-web) or request to discuss the matter at a Webitorial Meeting. (See the calendar for meeting dates.)

Contacting Us

Members of the Los Angeles Indymedia collective do our best to moderate the newswire in the manner described above, however, sometimes we miss something. We welcome our readers to contact us at info@la.indymedia.org with comments or questions about newswire moderation.

Last updated Fri, 14 Dec 2018 07:55:32 -0800

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