Editorial Guidelines

Bristol Indymedia editorial guidelines

Bristol Indymedia is an open-publishing platform that brings to light stories of genuine local concern to the people of Bristol and the South West of England.

The nature of the content of the site is determined by the participation of people from within this geographical area, and the interests and skills that they bring to the Bristol Indymedia project.

The different sections of the site

Newswire

Bristol Indymedia adheres to the open publishing ethos. Everybody is free to post on the Newswire or to add Comments to Newswire articles. However, Bristol IMC volunteers will hide postings which contravene the Open Publishing Guidelines above.

Comments

Everybody can add their own Comments at the end of each article. Comments are also subject to the above Open Publishing Guidelines. A Comment may be used to:
- State an opinion about any given posting.
- Add information/rectify misinformation.
- Correct inaccurate or malicious information.

Corrections and rectifications can be given prominent status by contacting us with the qualified accurate information.

Features (front page of site)

Bristol Indymedia volunteers administer the site and produce feature articles. These articles highlight postings to the newswire, interesting blog posts and are sometimes opinion pieces that have been submitted to the site. Sometimes these articles may have been edited or added to by Indymedia volunteers.

Blog aggregator

The blogs aggregator is under Bristol Blogs and Wider Blogs it automatically lists recent articles from the set of subscribed blogs. The links open up website of the article in a light box for you to read.

Open publishing

  • The content of the Newswire is generated by anyone who wants to contribute.
  • The Open Publishing Guidelines below have been created to ensure the integrity of the site.
  • These guidelines are under constant review.
  • If you would like to have input into this process then attend one of the Monthly meetings which are advertised on the calendar.

Newswire Open Publishing Guidelines

Please note: the following are guidelines, not rules set in stone, and volunteers make every effort to consider each posting on its own terms and in relation to the spirit of the guidelines overall. Inevitably no list of guidelines can cover every eventuality.

Posted articles or comments (referred to here as ‘posts’) will be hidden if they are considered one or more of the following:

Disruptive:

Contributions by individuals who habitually publish content which the below guidelines discourage.

Repeat posting:

Content that is re-posted or text that was originally a comment posted as a ‘new’ article.

Elections:

For our reporting position during elections, see our hierarchy guideline below.

Non-Bristol/South West:

Posts have to relate to Bristol or the South West of England as our aim is to share local news. Bristol Indymedia collective acknowledges that national/world events have an impact upon the people of Bristol/the South West of England, the purpose of Bristol IMC is to share local news. There are other Indymedia sites that can be posted to that are more geographically relevant if your article is not about Bristol or South West of England, do a web search to find them.

NB: This does not include articles which analyse the impact or potential impact that national/world events have upon Bristol/the South West of England – postings which articulate such connections are welcome.

For example:

  • a posting about the situation in Iraq would be hidden
  • a posting from someone from Bristol relating their experiences in Iraq would not be hidden
  • a posting discussing how the amount spent by the UK on bombing Iraq could have funded x amount of hospital care for people in Bristol would not be hidden

The second and third examples make clear the link between local and global concerns.

Discrimination:

Posts using language, imagery, or other forms of communication promoting racism, fascism, xenophobia, sexism or any other form of discrimination.

Inaccurate:

Posts that are clearly inaccurate or misleading. Where it is uncertain that the intention of the posting was to mislead, the inaccuracy may be questioned or amended via a Comment, rather than the article being hidden.

Advertising:

Posts with personal or product promotions. Occasional posts for independent and/or not-for-profit events, benefits, awareness raising events etc. may be permitted.

Hierarchy:

The newswire is designed to generate an open news resource, and is not a notice-board for political parties or any other hierarchically-structured organisation. One purpose of this guideline is to prevent the website becoming dominated by any particular group. Occasional postings announcing a public meeting or local campaign may be permitted.

Respect:

Bristol Indymedia is intended to represent the world we are striving to create, rather than the world we live in. A cornerstone of this principle is respect for others, therefore articles or comments that are abusive rather than relying on force of argument are not acceptable.

Sometimes we hide articles

  • Occasionally we must hide postings that do not adhere to the Open Publishing Guidelines.
  • Hidden articles are viewable by clicking on hidden articles.
  • Very rarely we may delete articles posted to Bristol Indymedia, especially if related to incitement.
  • Because of the ‘real time’ nature of the Newswire it is not possible to monitor its contents 24 hours a day, but we aim to hide offensive material as soon as possible.

Participants are welcome to notify the volunteer collective of any articles they feel should be hidden through contacting us.

Legal editing of articles

A few articles posted on this site may have had a portion removed, or have been completely deleted from the site if we consider them to be a form of incitement and will not appear in the hidden section. This is always indicated as such on the article if it has not been completely removed.

BIMC is committed to media democracy; this means that you may read the words of people who claim to do things you don’t agree with. BIMC is committed to maintaining the Bristol Indymedia site as an outlet for open news in the South West.

If you feel that an article should not have been hidden/deleted you can contact us or come to a Indymedia meeting, see calendar for dates and we will be happy to discuss it.

Banning Usernames

Moderating abusive comments takes a considerable amount of time and energy from the project. If a username breaches the discrimination and/or respect guideline 5 times in 1 month (taken from the date of the first hidden post, running a calendar month forward) they are temporarily banned. This generally covers comments which are abusive, and not comments which are hidden for being off-topic. However, repeatedly posting off-topic material after warnings have been issued to stay on-topic, may also result in a ban on the discretion of the collective. An Indymedia volunteer will try to email/post a comment warning the user prior to a ban. Banned users may contact the collective to appeal this or use our grievance procedure if they feel unfairly treated.

Banning Procedure

  • A temporary ban is initiated. The individual is contacted where possible informing them of this. The ban is lifted at the next meeting if the individual displays a willingness to abide by guidelines.
  • If the individual cannot be contacted directly, then a temporary ban is automatically lifted at the next meeting, if disruption abates in the intervening period.
  • A permanent ban is implemented if further disruption occurs after lifting a temporary ban, or if the individual does not display a willingness to abide by guidelines after being informed of the temporary ban.

Indy-Jargon

Indymedia and Independent Media Centre (IMC):

Is used interchangeably by participants within the IMC network to describe both the international network of websites and the many collectives of volunteers that administer it. Bristol Indymedia does not currently have a physical open-access space, but the website does serve as an open-access virtual media centre.

Participant:

Anyone taking part in the Indymedia project, whether submitting material or browsing. Whilst anyone can become a volunteer and contribute to Bristol Indymedia in this way, all participation in the website is considered an active and useful role.

Legal Disclaimer

Bristol Indymedia is an interactive site offering inclusive participation.

  • All postings to the open publishing site are the responsibility of the individual authors and not of Bristol Indymedia.
  • Although Bristol Indymedia volunteers attempt to ensure accuracy of the Newswire, they take no responsibility legal or otherwise for the contents of the open publishing site.
  • Any mention of external web sites or services is for information purposes only and constitutes neither an endorsement nor a recommendation.

See our legal page for more information.

Anti-Copyright: Free for Re-Use

All content is creative commons and is free for reprint and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere, for non-commercial use, unless otherwise noted by the author.

For more information, contact us (coming s00n) or if you have a complaint, see our complaints page.

Last Revised Jan 2014