Editorial Guidelines

Northern England Independent Media Centre (IMC) is run by an editorial collective that anyone can join and take part in as long as they agree to the principles contained within our mission statement. The site is operated on an open publishing basis: anything can be posted up by anyone.

These policies are rooted in our mission statement.

  1. It must be news (not purely comment, opinion or rants unrelated to a recent event or action)
  2. It must be as accurate as possible
  3. Content should not promote, incite or glorify any form of exploitation, oppression, discrimination or domination, including environmental degradation, animal abuse, violence, nationalism, racism, sexism, queerphobia or homophobia
  4. Content should be respectful to others, even if you disagree with them
  5. No plugging of commercial services or products, political parties or other hierarchical organisations
  6. No undermining or belittling of other people’s activism
  7. Any material re-posted from elsewhere must cite the original source and make clear whether any changes have been made
  8. No repetition. If you have a different perspective or extra information on a story that’s already been posted, put it in an addition to that piece.
  9. Non-English language posts must have at least a summary in English
  10. Translation into other languages than English, especially those spoken by immigrants to the region, are strongly encouraged

You have an option to post anonymously if you need to do so for your personal security. Otherwise, please register and use the same identity consistently – this reduces the opportunity for trouble-makers to pretend to be you.

Registered users who produce consistently good material may be invited to have their submissions automatically ‘promoted’ (see below) and/or to join in with the ‘moderation’ process, through which content that breaches these guidelines is hidden from view. In order to prevent power from being concentrated in the hands of a few people, it’s important that as many people as possible join in with this. Difficult decisions can be shared by discussing them on the mailing list imc-northern@lists.indymedia.org or in our IRC room, #northern (instructions here.)

The best articles in the newswire may be “promoted” by the editorial collective to be displayed more prominently on the site. Usually this will be to highlight well-written first-hand reports of local direct actions and grass-roots political campaigns.

Our motivation for running this site is to help make a future in which rationality, compassion and respect for others are the norm. For this reason we require that users show respect to each other and restrict additions to providing factual information relevant to the particular item being added to. Remember that this is a news medium, not a discussion forum.

Northern Indymedia has three main news elements: the open publishing newswire, events calendar, and the features column.
The newswire and calendar are open for anyone to post to in line with the editorial policy.
The features in the main (left hand) column of the Northern Indymedia site reflects postings to the newswire. Features highlight specific issues to make them more accessible to people visiting the site by providing an overview and analysis. Northern IMC volunteers collaborate in the production of features on the imc-northern email discussion list and or crabgrass. Any individual can join the imc-northern list and propose a new feature. This can take the form of an idea or a completed feature (an abstract of 50-80 words and a body with at least one link to the newswire, and preferably links to background information).
If no-one on the list objects within 24 hours to the proposed feature, and if it is in completed form, then it will be uploaded to the main column. The 24-hour rule ensures that everybody can contribute to the main column and allows time for collaborative improvements and considerations.

How to write an article
Here are some suggestions for how to write a news piece for Northern Indymedia.

  • First, get the basics right:
    All news postings need to say what happened, who did what to whom, where, when, how and why.
  • Be accessible:
    • Provide background information and context when explaining complicated issues
    • Avoid over-complication and jargon
    • Use short sentences
  • Be original:
    Your article should include your own observations and/or analysis. If your report is based on another person’s account of events rather than being a first-hand account, say so.
  • Show respect:
    • Concentrate on the issues and actions instead of personal attributes
    • Avoid ‘weasel words
  • Do your research:
    • Abstain from reporting rumour and unsubstantiated assertions.
    • Don’t be afraid to use footnotes and references if available.
    • Include photos, audio or video evidence to show you’re telling the truth and illustrate the detail of what happened
  • Be honest and transparent:
    • Be clear which part of your report is fact and which is discussion or conjecture
    • Are you clear about your agenda and beliefs?
    • Identify yourself and your relevant (vested) interests.
    • If you use a pseudonym, use it consistently.

Licensing and legal
Because this is a common, all content submitted to the site must be free from any license that prevents re-use. You can stipulate that any re-use be non-commercial if you wish.
By default, all the content is published under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike as this licence gives the work the greatest freedom and allows it to be incorporated in other like-minded open projects. If you wish your work to be licensed for non-commercial use only, then please state Licensed by Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales at the bottom of the page.
For the Zines section the default is non commercial, so if you wish to make your zine available for commercial re-use you need to stipulate Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike

Allegations or Reports about Infiltrators

How to deal with suspicions or allegations of infiltration, and how these should be reported on an open newswire, are always going to be difficult. This is an infrequent problem but can be traumatic and even divisive when it happens, which is why we have prepared some guidelines about how such problems should be reported. Read them here.

Northern Indymedia is an interactive site offering inclusive participation. All postings to the open publishing newswire are the responsibility of the individual authors and not of Northern Indymedia. Although Northern IMC volunteers attempt to ensure accuracy of the newswire, they take no responsibility legal or otherwise for the contents of the open publishing site. Mention of external websites or services is for information purposes only and constitutes neither an endorsement nor a recommendation.