ROGUE IMC DRAFT POLICY DOCUMENT V6
Rogue IMC Mission Statement:
The Independent Media Center (IMC) is an open community resource where everyone is free to be heard in the Rogue Valley, using a website as a focal point. The website functions on principles of open publishing, allowing anyone to publish articles and have a voice.
The intended coverage area is the Rogue River Valley located in Southern Oregon, but we would also welcome contributers from what has been known in the past as the State of Jefferson (or the Klamath-Siskiyou Bioregion). Jefferson is thought to be made up of Northern California and Southern Oregon, the Southern Cascade, Siskyou and Trinity mountain ranges, the Klamath and Rogue River valleys, the Northern California Coast, and the Southern Oregon Coast. These regions are quite a distance from the major population centers of their respective states, and incidentally, from established IMCs. This region is very different than the areas to the North and to the South, both in geography and culture.
An IMC would provide an infrastructure for individuals interested in alternative media (including print, video, radio, and web) working with other members of the IMC to produce meaningful stories, stories relevant to our communities within this region. We hope to provide information technology resources with education on the use of these resources for effective communication and dissemination of information, both within and between our communities.
The IMC does not discriminate based on race, class, age or sexual orientation, we welcome participation from all individuals.
The Rogue IMC is based around the functioning of the general collective which is composed of all who wish to participate. The general collective decides the overall policy of the IMC, while committees perform the more everyday duties of the IMC. Current committees are the editorial committee, responsible for managing content on the website and the technical committee, responsible for keeping the site running. All committees within the IMC are accountable to the general collective, which can override or change any decisions made in separate committees.
General Collective decision making:
The General Collective will make decisions by way of an attempted consensus followed by a vote. Only when it is clear that a consensus cannot realistically be reached will a vote be attempted. The vote must succeed by a 2/3 majority in order to pass the decision.
Eligibility to make decisions:
Any person can contribute to discussion during the decision making process, but in order to confirm or deny consensus, or vote, a person must be actively involved in the IMC. That is, they must do the work to get the representation.
Editorial Collective Responsibilities:
The Rogue IMC hosts an open-publishing newswire. Members of the editorial collective regularly monitor the newswire, keeping their eyes open for particularly significant, well written, informative contributions to add to the front page’s center-column feature section. It is also the responsibility of the editorial collective to remove any newswire post that violates some basic principles.
Members of the editorial collective must be in regular contact via e-mail, and regularly visit and peruse the website’s open publishing newswire. Without communication with others, and keeping ones self up to date on current articles, fair editing may be difficult at best.
Newswire posts will not be changed or edited in any way by the editorial collective, they may however be hidden.
Why a post may be hidden:
The Rogue 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 disregards the guidelines that have been put in place (see below). All hidden posts (exceptions noted below) must be notified to the collective mailing list so that all members of the collective have the chance to agree or disagree with the hiding of the post. If members of the editorial collective have a disagreement over a newswire post, or a feature selection, it will be dealt with via discussion towards consensus. If consensus is not reached within 48 hours a vote will be called within the editorial collective, requiring a 66% majority vote.
Articles that may be hidden, as long as the editorial collective is notified:
– Posts the author has requested hidden.
– Posts which are obviously incorrect or misleading. This includes attempts to spread dis-information or to impersonate another individual.
– Posts that incite violence against members of the community.
– Posts which publish identifying information without the individual’s knowledge or consent.
– Posts which use language, imagery, or other forms of communication whose sole purpose is to promote racism, fascism, xenophobia, homophobia, sexism, able-ism, ageism or any other form of discrimination.
– Persistent nuisance posts to the newswire or comments sections.
– Posts that are deemed to be devoid of content or analysis and appear to be published with the sole purpose of disruption.
– Posts that are simply internal or personal matters which lead to further conflict.
Articles that may be hidden without notifying the rest of the editorial collective:
– Verbatim posts of other media without added content
– Unreadable formats (ie. photos posted as text).
– Posts titled “test.”
– Duplicate posts.
– Advertising of products or for-profit services.
– Pornography, excepting sexually explicit satire.
We remind IMC participants that hidden articles are not deleted from the site. All content posted to the newswire can be accessed through the administrative interface, where hidden posts can be viewed.
Featuring a Story:
An attempt should be made to contact other members of the editorial collective to seek approval before featuring an article. If the article is of a time-critical nature, it should be featured quickly, possibly without a concerted effort to seek the agreement of other editorial collective members. In cases where it is likely there would be disagreement over the featuring of an article within the editorial collective, the article should not be featured without further discussion within the editorial collective.
The editorial collective will reserve the right to correct punctuation and spelling –but not meaning– in the process of featuring a story from the newswire. It will attempt to contact the author when doing so.
The editorial collective encourages individual initiative among it’s members in assisting authors without journalistic experience. We respect the diversity of authors and will help on an individual basis with grammar, technique and style.
Members of the editorial collective are encouraged to collaborate to put out their own articles, and collect smaller material from the newswire to be put together into a larger story. As a member of the editorial collective, before posting one’s own article as a Feature the editorial collective as a whole should be consulted.
In cases where a member of the editorial collective objects to the featuring of an article, a consensus must be sought in order to remove the article. If consensus cannot be reached, a vote must succeed by a 66% majority for the article to be removed.
Criteria for Features:
– Priority will be given to articles that have local relevance.
– Articles should be well written and informative.
– Articles that cover issues that are underrepresented in the mainstream media will be favored.
Accountability of the Editorial Collective:
The editorial collective is and open group accountable to the general collective. If the general collective feels the editorial collective is not representing their wishes, the general collective may make revisions to the editorial policy and ultimately decide who may and may not take part in the editorial collective only if problems arise. If the editorial policy has consistently disruptive members who make it very difficult for the collective to function, the issue must be taken up with the general collective. Any decisions for banning individuals from the editorial collective require consensus minus the individual in question within the general collective.
We strive to make decisions in the most democratic, transparent and accountable manner.
Copyright of Features and Articles:
All posts made to the Newswire are effectively covered by the principles of Copyleft unless specified by the author. The author retains the moral right to be recognized as the author of the article in question, but the article is free for distribution for non-profit and educative purposes. Articles may be reproduced in full for any purpose and in any media provided the reproduction is under the same principles as laid out here, that is, the same representations of the Copyleft of the article must appear alongside the article.
Under no circumstances may articles or features from the Rogue IMC site be reproduced in full in a for-profit medium. However, for-profit media may quote from articles or features in accordance with “fair use” copyright principles.
Specific queries about reproduction of an article or feature can be referred to the editorial collective