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Indymedia Ireland To Formalise Its Operating Rules

category national | indymedia ireland | feature author Wednesday June 15, 2005 16:04author by Indymedia Ireland Editorial Group - Indymedia Ireland Report this post to the editors

It only took us 4 years to decide who we are, what we do and how we work

Humourous image

Over almost 4 years of operation Indymedia Ireland have evolved a set of working practices and processes for keeping this site running and making it live up to its goals as best we can. Until now most of these operating rules have been hidden away among mountains of posts on the newswire, or even hidden inside the heads of individual editors. At our recent meeting we discussed the following documents which formalise how we work. We hope that they will make it easier for new people to get involved and understand how we work.

These documents are scheduled to be fully discussed, amended and agreed at our next meeting on June 29th. In the meantime, we offer them up to our users for any constructive criticisms that they might have. This is in keeping with our philosophy of facilitating as many voices and opinions as possible in all discussions about policy. The last major document that we agreed, our editorial guidelines were initally discussed on this newswire article and some of the suggested amendments were finally incorporated into our current document.

We are on the verge of updating our software to the new Oscailt 3.0 version which should give us the technical capability of expanding indymedia Ireland in a number of new areas. We hope that local collectives can start in areas around the country, with their own newswires on the site. We also hope to provide space to new types of material. Although we might be technically capable of all these things, we are in need of as many people with ideas and enthusiasm as ever.

So why not think about getting involved in some of the work of indymedia Ireland? At this stage, you need almost no technical skills to provide useful assistance in running the site and if computers aren't your thing, there are a huge number of other ways in which you can help out in making Indymedia Ireland a real voice of the people. We have nothing to lose but our mental chains.

Indymedia Ireland Collective - Basic Rules

  1. The indymedia collective is the ultimate decision making body for indymedia Ireland.
  2. Membership of the collective is made up of all those who do a certain minimum amount of work for indymedia and who the collective accepts as a member. (merely contributing material to the newswire publicising one's own events or group is not considered indymedia work)
  3. All members of the collective have an equal say in decisions.
  4. The collective is the sole responsible body for setting mandates for working groups, for agreeing communications with the international network and for agreeing the aims and principles of indymedia ireland.
  5. The collective makes decisions at real-world meetings which should be held once a month and should have an agenda circulated in advance.Members who can not attend collective meetings can vote by proxy on any of the agenda items.
  6. Although we have yet to produce a statement of our basic aims and principles, we adhere to the principles of the global indymedia network and the network's Principles of Unity
  7. Collective members are encouraged to join the Independent Media Support Group, which currently funds our operating costs.
  8. The running of the web-site is mandated to the internet collective.

Indymedia Ireland Internet Collective - How We Work

Section 1. What is the Indymedia Ireland Internet Collective and what is its mandate?

  1. The indymedia Ireland Internet Collective is the group responsible for the Internet presence of Indymedia Ireland, in particular for the management of the site and domain www.indymedia.ie. It is a sub-group of the overall Indymedia Ireland Collective [see above] and fulfills the mandate given by that group. Roughly speaking this mandate is to run all aspects of the indymedia.ie website in accordace with the aims of the indymedia collective.
  2. All members of the Internet Collective have the following rights
    1. The right to vote on promotion of articles to features. If any 3 members vote for an article before there are any objections it is immediately promoted without any delay.
    2. The right to vote on the promotion of photos to the top of the newswire column. If any 2 members vote to feature a photo, it is featured immediately.
    3. The right to vote on the appointment of members and the definition of mandates for the sub-groups and the distribution of administration and moderation priveleges on the site. These decisions follow the default decision making process.
    4. The right to create and propose features and any other general privileges decided by the collective.
    5. The right to vote on changes to the editorial guidelines, to add new topics, regions etc and to vote on any major proposed changes to the website.

Section 2. General Rules for Internet Collective Members

  1. Collective members are people who have been granted a username and password by the collective. All members have equal say in decisions. Decisions are made on the imc-ireland-editorial@lists.indymediaSTOPSPAM.org mailing list.
  2. Anybody can apply to join the collective Alternatively an existing member can propose a new member.
  3. The internet collective operates according to the maxim 'dictatorship of the doers'. This means that applicant members will be expected to have demonstrated a willingness to do work for the indymedia project before they are accepted as members.
  4. An applicant member becomes a full member following a decision by the internet collective to accept their application.
  5. Any member who has been inactive for 3 months will be deemed to have resigned, although they can of course rejoin by going through the membership process again.
  6. Members should work to develop the site in line with the aims and principles of the Indymedia Ireland Collective.
  7. Members should follow all decisions related to their role as an imc volunteer taken by the editorial collective and act within their mandate. Otherwise members are free to carry out whatever political activity they please as long as they make it clear that they are not acting or speaking on behalf of indymedia. We suggest that members specify that they are "1 of IMC" or something similar when acting in a personal capacity.
  8. Members should disclose any significant political affiliations such as membership of political parties, organisations, etc. to the rest of the collective.
  9. Members should respect the privacy of other members and not use their privileges to access or share any information about others without the explicit agreement of the collective.
  10. Membership privileges can only be revoked by the request of the member him/herself, or by a decision of the collective that the member is no longer trusted to follow their mandate.

Section 3. Sub-groups of the Internet Collective.

  1. There are three sub-groups of the Internet Collective, Adminsitrators, Techies and Newswire Moderators (daleks).
  2. The Newswire Moderators' mandate is to moderate the content on the newswire in line with the editorial guidelines.
  3. The Admininstrators' Mandate is to carry out any changes to the oscailt configuration, such as adding new topics, adding new members etc. that the collective decides.
  4. The Techies' mandate is to ensure that the site is functioning properly, to take care of the hosting and to guard the security of the site and the privacy of users, to the best of their ability.

General Rules For Decision Making

  1. All decisions require somebody to propose it. Anybody can put forward a proposal, whether they are a member or not. The proposer should carry out the decision once approved or should find a member to volunteer to do so.
  2. Generally decision making methods for actions specify the number of approvals required, the time allowed for objections and a mechanism for resolving disagreements in cases where there are objections.
  3. The collective, or any subgroup can agree a particular decision making mechanism for any specific action within their mandate.
  4. If there is no specific decision making method defined for a particular action, the following default method will be used

Default Method For Decision Making

To be used in cases where there is no more-specific process agreed.

  1. The decision is approved if a proposal is supported by three members and there are no objections.
  2. For online decisions, the proposer should specify a time limit. If there are any objections to this time-limit it defaults to one week..
  3. If any member objects to the proposal, the proposal is debated in an attempt to reach a consensus.
  4. Debates should have a specific time limit. For online decisions this defaults to one week. The proposer can, at any stage in the debate, modify their proposal in an attempt to reach consensus.
  5. At the end of the time limit, each member can express their opinion.
    • Yes - signifying support for the current proposal
    • No - signifying that the member is against the proposal but has no problem going along with it if it is the majority opinion
    • Extension - signifying a wish to extend the debate
    • Block - signifying a strong opposition to the proposal as it stands.
  6. If any member votes to extend or block, a new time limit is agreed and the debate continues. In the case of real-world meetings, the decision is deferred until the next meeting.
  7. For any particular decision, each member can only vote to extend once. Members can block repeatedly, but only the first one carries an extension.
  8. Whenever a time limit is reached and there are no outstanding extensions, the votes are tallied. If there are no blocks and more Yes votes than No votes, the decision is passed. Otherwise it fails.
  9. If a majority vote yes and there are outstanding blocks at the end of the process, the collective will engage in a crisis discussion to attempt to resolve the problem. This discussion will culminate in one of the following outcomes:
    • The blocker(s) being excluded from the collective (requires agreement of 75% of members)
    • The collective dividing in two and sharing the existing resources of the collective to run two autonomous IMC's which will cooperate in those areas where they do agree.
    • The overturning of the original proposal


PDF Document printable PDF file of organisational structure chart 0.02 Mb

 #   Title   Author   Date 
   Flowcharts, is it?     Ray    Wed Jun 15, 2005 23:49 
   Please help / comments     readme! readme! readme!    Thu Jun 16, 2005 02:45 
   Cruisin for a brusin     Rejecting this process    Thu Jun 16, 2005 11:06 
   oh yes, well the citizen produced a flow chart just like that one in the illustration above     mr bloomsday    Thu Jun 16, 2005 11:23 
   Some responses     Chekov - 1 of Indymedia Ireland Editorial Group    Thu Jun 16, 2005 12:12 
   and in relation to imc-ie having a real physical space in dublin....     dunk    Thu Jun 16, 2005 15:11 
   here's a user survey which is part of bcn indymedia's recent efforts to improve     mr bloomsday    Thu Jun 16, 2005 20:09 
   Great work guys!     Eoin    Thu Jun 16, 2005 23:54 
   There's something the matter with Indymedia     Justin Morahan    Fri Jun 17, 2005 03:34 
 10   misguided     nahh    Fri Jun 17, 2005 03:48 
 11   Christian Brothers Men     dermo /east wall    Fri Jun 17, 2005 04:42 
 12   Let Them Eat Cake     banron ach le glr domhain    Fri Jun 17, 2005 05:24 
 13   Great article     Ed    Fri Jun 17, 2005 13:21 
 14   Justin makes a good point on trolling and the use of this site.     Anthony    Fri Jun 17, 2005 15:53 
 15   another puzzling "hide"     indifreedom    Sat Jun 18, 2005 08:40 
 16   Caught out     ciaran    Sat Jun 18, 2005 14:18 
 17   On Balance     Seeking balance    Sat Jun 18, 2005 15:49 
 18   evil censors!!!!     Chekov    Sat Jun 18, 2005 16:43 
 19   Clean the messers off the site     Mrs Mop    Sat Jun 18, 2005 19:12 
 20   The purpose of the comments section     R. Isible    Sat Jun 18, 2005 23:50 
 21   Has it really been 4 years...     Jon Glackin    Sun Jun 19, 2005 01:12 
 22   Free Speech for All?     Peter Nolan    Tue Jun 21, 2005 19:16 
 23   need more info     redjade    Tue Jun 21, 2005 19:31 
 24   Getting on The collective     Kieran O'Sullivan    Wed Jun 22, 2005 12:21 
 25   Re: Peter Nolan     R. Isible    Wed Jun 22, 2005 19:52 
 26   Re: Kieran O'Sullivan     R. Isible    Wed Jun 22, 2005 19:54 
 27   Archive searches?     Peter Nolan    Thu Jun 23, 2005 01:06 
 28   And another thing?     Peter Nolan    Thu Jun 23, 2005 01:10 
 29   one reason...     Y    Thu Jun 23, 2005 01:14 
 30   for what its worth     Al    Thu Jun 23, 2005 01:30 
 31   re: peter nolan     Joe    Thu Jun 23, 2005 13:24 
 32   Peter     chekov    Thu Jun 23, 2005 15:11 
 33   Keiran, perhaps you should read the document more closely     Chekov    Thu Jun 23, 2005 15:14 
 34   Meeting?     Jon Glackin    Thu Jun 23, 2005 15:23 
 35   Doh!!     Jon G.    Thu Jun 23, 2005 15:27 
 36   Is THIS allowed?     Peter Nolan    Thu Jun 23, 2005 18:24 
 37   The drawbacks of anonymity     Peter Nolan    Thu Jun 23, 2005 18:35 
 38   That site is not run or edited by Indymedia Ireland Peter -     eeekkkk    Thu Jun 23, 2005 18:38 
 39   Peter     redjade    Thu Jun 23, 2005 18:39 
 40   Speaking of credibility Peter     R. Isible    Thu Jun 23, 2005 18:45 
 41   Archive?     "Peter Nolan"    Thu Jun 23, 2005 18:51 
 42   No research for peter nolan folks     eeekkkkk    Thu Jun 23, 2005 18:56 
 43   try google     redjade    Thu Jun 23, 2005 18:58 
 44   The BNP     Peter Nolan aka Peter Nolan    Fri Jun 24, 2005 00:56 
 45   Heritage and other bloggers     Peter Nolan    Fri Jun 24, 2005 01:07 
 46   Google searches     Peter "Muggle" Nolan    Fri Jun 24, 2005 01:14 
 47   "No true Scotsman"     Peter Nolan    Fri Jun 24, 2005 01:28 
 48   puppy pete     Prof. Badman    Fri Jun 24, 2005 02:22 
 49   Another thing     Badman    Fri Jun 24, 2005 02:39 
 50   Ignore not the plank in your own eye....     Peter Nolan    Fri Jun 24, 2005 20:07 
 51   Dealing with FI fruitcakes     Fruitcake    Fri Jun 24, 2005 20:22 
 52   Jaysus Ye Boys In The FI Really Keep Things Simple     d'other    Fri Jun 24, 2005 20:41 
 53   debating school     Badman    Fri Jun 24, 2005 20:53 
 54   from the Indy-Blogosphere...     redjade    Sat Jun 25, 2005 22:50 
 55   Debating school?     Peter Nolan    Sun Jun 26, 2005 02:43 
 56   Come out, come out wherever you are!     Peter Nolan    Sun Jun 26, 2005 02:47 
 57   principles before personalities     mannix    Sun Jun 26, 2005 04:12 
 58   Confusion     Justin Morahan    Sun Jun 26, 2005 04:14 
 59   more idiocy     Badman    Wed Jun 29, 2005 11:42 

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