The Independent Media Centre was established by various independent and alternative media organizations and activists in 1999 for the purpose of providing grassroots coverage of the World Trade Organization (WTO) protests in Seattle.
The centre acted as a clearinghouse of information for journalists, and provided up-to-the-minute reports, photos, audio and video footage through its website. Using the collected footage, the Seattle Independent Media Centre produced a series of five documentaries, uplinked every day to satellite and distributed throughout the United States to public access stations.
The centre also produced its own newspaper, distributed throughout Seattle and to other cities via the internet, as well as hundreds of audio segments, transmitted through the web and Studio X, a 24-hour micro and internet radio station based in Seattle.
Another IMC was set up in Washington DC during the April 2000 protests against the IMF and the World Bank in Washington, DC. Philadelphia and Los Angeles quickly followed in their footsteps to cover the convention 2000 protests. Through a decentralized and autonomous network, hundreds of media activists have since setup independent media centres around the world.
More about Independent Media Centres
For those of you interested in getting more involved or just learning more about indymedia, here are some useful links:
process.indymedia.org: 'Get involved with the Indymedia Revolution' This site will point you to some of the documents that people working on Indymedia, both locally and internationally, have developed to give each other advice for how to organize an IMC, both structurally and technically, and to provide more information about Indymedia so you may decide if you want to form your own independent media center.
Two highlights from 'process' are articles from the corporate media about IMC and faq where you'll find a collection of frequently asked questions about indymedia. Questions such as: "Should I believe news I read on Indymedia?", "Are you 'activists' or 'journalists?'".
tech.indymedia.org: Information on software we use, server problems and any other technical problems that
come up are all here.
chat.indymedia.org: (Internet Relay Chat) If you want a specific question answered or just want to see what's being talked about try these chatrooms. The main chanels are #indymedia and #tech. Sometimes meeting are also held in the #meeting channel. Don't know what I'm on about? Here is a help page about irc chat.
docs.indymedia.org: The wiki is a meeting place where people collaborate on common interests. Anyone can contribute using a regular Web browser. It's not too hard to learn and use, and provides possibly the most powerful way to exchange and develop ideas online, in an open, uncomplicated environment.
Another project being worked on is a centralised collection of conflict resolution documents. At the moment the discussion is based in the resolve list. Some sites have their own conflict resolution guidelines already in place. Another useful resource for consensus based decision making, its difficulties and possible solutions is the Collective Book project.