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Table of Contents

Open Publishing

The Pittsburgh IMC Newswire works on the principle of Open Publishing, an essential element of the Indymedia network that allows anyone to instantaneously self-publish their work on globally-accessible web sites. The Newswire encourages people to "become the media" by posting their articles, analysis, videos, audio clips and artwork directly to the web site. You can publish to the Newswire by clicking the "publish" link on any page and following the easy instructions. Indymedia relies on the people who post to the newswire to present their information in a thorough, honest, accurate manner.

The editorial collective develops sections of the site that provide edited articles, including the center column of the front page and various feature pages, but there is no designated collective that edits articles posted to the Newswire.

If you disagree with the content of a particular article that someone has posted or can provide further relevant information, you may comment on the article through the "add your own comments" link at the bottom of each post.

A spam attack is defined as a pattern of abuse of the newswire by a particular poster. If the editorial collective reaches consensus (at a meeting or on the listserv) that a specific individual is launching a spam attack on the Pittsburgh IMC newswire, the spammer's post(s) may be hidden from the newswire by a member of the editorial collective.

Each instance of recognized spam will be considered individually, and the reason why the editorial collective perceives the post(s) as spam will be stated on the editorial list, as well as in a comment on the hidden article itself. When a member of the editorial collective hides a post, (s)he shall immediately notify the editorial listserv.

The editorial collective reserves the right to hide content inappropriate or unrelated to the purpose of the IMC. Guidelines for this are listed below, and hidden posts will still be accessible from the unabridged newswire which is located one click away from the front page.

Contact imc-pgh-editorial if you have any questions.

Editorial Policy


Center-column features are determined by the editorial collective. A collective member or non-member suggests a feature by emailing and including the following: name of the article nominated, article id (the number in the url after the year and month) and a short write-up that is a draft of the feature text. The ed. collective then has 6 hours to consense to the feature. If no objection is held within 6 hours, or at least 3 members of the editorial collective consent to posting the feature, the feature is posted by a collective member. (Amended 9/18/2004)

Hiding posts

The Pittsburgh IMC editorial collective reserves the right to "hide" posts to the newswire that

Please note that these criteria are "necessary but not sufficient" for hiding, and the ultimate decision to hide or display will be that of the collective as a whole.

When a post has been hidden, a message is sent to the editorial list identifying the article and the reason why it was hidden.

If you believe that, despite being in violation of one of the above policies, an article or comment being hidden is preventing an important perspective from being heard, we invite you to create your own web site and host that content yourself. We can only take responsibility for a website which fits our mission as an organization, so if you do not support the Indymedia principles of unity, you should not expect to be involved in this website's content.

Becoming a member of the editorial collective

One of the current members of the editorial collective must sponsor the new member. The collective must form a consensus (see below) to the addition of the new member. The sponsor of the new member is responsible for training the new member.

Local/Global sorting

Editors who are unsure how to sort a post should send email to the editorial list for discussion. The following regions are considered to be local:

Decision Making

Consensus is a decision making process based not on "majority rule," but the greater agreement of the deciding community. Instead of a majority making a decision for the group, all people in the decision making body have equal voice and power. Consensus is reached when all members of a group, committee, or organization agree that a proposal is best for the group; individuals may not agree with everything in the proposal, but a commitment to community building and needs makes consensus work.

Why do it?

The Pittsburgh IMC uses consensus for many reasons. It allows us to collectively explore solutions until the best one for the group emerges. Consensus assures that everyone has a voice in the decision making process, synthesizing all ideas into one plan that all participants agree to implement. Since all participants agree to the decision, people are more invested in carrying out what has been decided. The process promotes commitment to carry out decisions.

Consensus is important in allowing minority opinions and concerns to be heard and considered, and encourages cooperation among people with divergent views. It attempts to minimize domination and empowers the community in the process of making a decision.

How do we do it?

First, the issue is defined: what needs to be decided.

Next, we discuss the issue. After the group has had enough time to discuss the item, someone makes a proposal (some proposals may be brought to a meeting beforehand) for a specific plan of action. The facilitator (or other individual) can ask for a proposal if she/he feel that people are repeating the same points.

After a proposal is made, people can offer clarifying questions. This is not the time to speak for or against the proposal. This is an attempt to flesh out exactly what the proposal entails.

Then, we list out all the concerns people may have with the proposal. An attempt is made to resolve each individual concern through further discussion or amendments to the proposal. If there are no concerns, there is consensus.

In the event there is not consensus: The facilitator will ask for any stand asides. People who stand aside have concerns that have not been resolved, but will not "block" the proposal from moving forward.

The facilitator will then ask if there are any blocks. People who block have serious concerns that have not been resolved and cannot allow the decision to be made by the group; blocks are serious decisions, and they must be based on a belief that the proposal being put forward goes against the principles of the group or organization, or will do serious harm to the purpose of the group. If there are no blocks, there is consensus.

In the situation where a decision must be made and a consensus cannot be reached, anyone can ask for consensus to take a vote.

In order to take a vote when there are blocks 80% of the group must be in favor of voting. If there is a decision to vote then a 75% majority is required for passage.

In special cases where people block because they feel the decision in question would violate the Pittsburgh IMC's principles of unity they may ask that the following proceeder be used:

We will "vote to vote", and then the proposal will be put off until the next IMC meeting (not to be less then 7 days from then)

In these situations we will strive to get the widest input possible by widely publicizing the issue at hand. The proposal in question should go out to all imc distro lists and be posted on the website without commentary.

At the next meeting we will go over the proposal once more, but no one will be able to invoke a special block that delays the vote.


Communication between members of the collective occurs at meetings and on the mailing lists. The meetings are held on a regular basis and announcements can be found on the appropriate list and by checking the calendar.

Last updated Sun, 04 Mar 2007 00:24:11 -0400

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