Editorial Policy

A place for proposed updates to the editorial policy.

The live version of Indybay’s editorial policy is located here:
https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2002/08/04/1395001.php

Your thoughts and suggestions are always welcome. Updated: April 2017.

Fundamentals

The Indybay newswire operates on the principle of open publishing, an element essential to the global Indymedia network. Simply put, open publishing is to news and information what open source code is to software. In practice, the open publishing newswire allows anyone to instantaneously self-publish their work on https://www.indybay.org.


People are encouraged to “become the media,” to use their own skills and abilities of observation, writing, and creativity in posting text, video, audio, photos, and artwork directly to the website. The post is then viewable at the top of the breaking newswire.


The use of, and belief in, open publishing rests on two central assumptions:

  • People who post to the newswire will present their information in a thorough, honest, and accurate manner.
  • Readers are intelligent and aware, skeptical and inquisitive of the posts they read and videos they watch, and are able to distinguish for themselves what is content of value and what is not.

Our Philosophy and Your Responsibility

We classify and hide content in a way that we feel helps promote the usefulness of the site. If you have any suggestions on how we could make the site more useful, we are open to hear your suggestions.


Please be civil in your posts; if an editor sees a flamewar starting that seems to be overly personal or to just contain insults, the comments may be hidden. We want to keep this site a friendly place for people to post news and discuss issues, and our goal is to facilitate that. Feel free to email us any suggestions. This site is here to serve your needs and we would love to hear from you.

Administration Overview

The editorial collective is responsible for creating and updating feature articles, as well as moderating the open-publishing newswire. While the features are compiled and cupdated by the editorial collective, the open-publishing newswire is designated as an space for publication of news, media, and commentary by Indybay contributors like you!

Classifying

The newswire is divided into three separate sections:

  • Local Newswire: This section contains posts that are substantially local in nature, and that the editorial collective reasonably believes to be accurate and newsworthy stories fitted for syndication.
  • Global Newswire: This section contains posts that are not necessarily locally focused, and that the editorial collective reasonably believes to be accurate and newsworthy stories fitted for syndication.
  • Other/Breaking Newswire: This section is where all posts appear immediately after being published. Not all articles published to Indybay are highlighted to the local or global newswire. Many articles submitted through the open-publishing newswire remain in this section, including repostings from corporate media outlets.

The process for the classification of a posting is, roughly: A member of the editorial collective will classify an article based upon their understanding of the Indybay Principles of Unity, this editorial policy, and their personal judgement. Editors will not promote (syndicate) articles which could undermine the newswire service, e.g., articles containing (not reporting) hate speech, etc. The classification of a post is contestable and subject to review by members of the editorial collective.

Editing

Editors may combine related posts together in order to occupy less space on the newswire, or when a new article seems more appropriate as a comment on an existing article. Editors may also make typographical, spelling, grammar, and formatting improvements. Articles containing false, libelous, abusive, etc. material or hate speech should be hidden when seen by an editor.

Hiding

Indybay is founded on the principle of open-publishing. Reality dictates that the editorial collective will at times decide to hide posts and comments. This is not a decision that is taken lightly, and the editorial collective does its best refrain from hiding. Our vision for the function of the newswire, and the general framework in which all decisions to hide will be made, are as follows:

  • The newswire is intended to be a community media resource, a space free from spam and abuse in general; and
  • That space will not contribute to the oppression of traditionally oppressed and marginalized groups.

Members of the editorial collective will hide articles and comments based on at least one of the following points:

  • The article or comment constitutes abuse of the newswire (see note below);
  • The article or comment is deemed too difficult for people to read; e.g. poor formatting, too hard to understand, etc.;
  • The article or comment undermines Indybay’s Principles of Unity; e.g., right-wing propaganda or hate speech; or
  • The article or comment constitutes a spam attack (see below) on the newswire.

The editorial collective may remove copyrighted material on request of the copyright owner. Please see Indybay’s Copyright Policy for more information.

Comments

Commenting on posts is an essential aspect of Indybay. It allows, more information to be added, points to be refuted, ideas to be expounded upon, arguments to be had, and discussions to be hashed out. If you disagree with the content of a particular post that someone has contributed or can provide further relevant information, you can say so by commenting via the “Add Your Comments” link at the bottom of each post.


The process for hiding and editing comments is the same as that for articles. Special care will be taken to not stifle rational debate and dialogue. To be clear, flamewars are not generally considered debate and/or dialogue, while cogent arguments and analyses are.

Spam Attacks

A spam attack is defined as a pattern of abuse of the newswire by a particular poster or posters. If there is a spam attack on the Indybay newswire, the spammer’s posts will be hidden.

Contact

Comments, questions, and feedback regarding this policy, and Indybay in general, are highly encouraged. Please write to us at indybay@lists.riseup.net.

Notes

Indybay’s Principles of Unity can be found here:
https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2003/12/08/16643971.php


The phrase “abuse of the newswire” is necessarily vague. Editorial collective participants each have different conceptions of what this means, so each proposal to hide/edit posts or comments will be taken on a case-by-case basis.


The term “post” refers to anything that is self-published by a reader/participant and which appears on the newswire.


This document, and all Indybay policies, is constantly up for review and debate. The editorial collective invites suggestions, comments, criticisms and ideas to improve this editorial policy.