I have been involved in this website for some time. Quite a few academic researchers have attempted to analyse it, but on the one hand, much of their efforts went into understanding the dynamics of how it works, and on the other hand, inevitably their analyses were limited to an external vision and whatever glimpse they could get from interviews with volunteers. I would like to analyse it from the inside, which is something that has not been done so far and would be very useful for indymedia volunteers.

Contents I hope to cover.

History: evolution and expansion. From a single site in 1999 for a single event to more than a hundred non-event driven sites today.
The global site, www.indymedia.org – where its contents come from – the local sites and the editorial collective.
The internal structure, in a local (with two examples) and in a global level. The political motivation for it to be the way it is.
How decisions are made. Process. Autonomy. Communication. Email lists. Internet Relay Chat (irc).
Interaction between local and global levels. Interaction between local editorial collectives and the communities in which they are embedded.
The stated aim – mission statement and its fulfilment – success in covering stories that do not appear anywhere else.
The non-stated aim(s).


Self-documentation is vast – work is done on email lists using a piece of software, Mailman, that enables the archiving of every email publicly, therefore every decision process is documented automatically on the web. A collaborative web-page making software is used called wiki, by which pages are easily editable by the click of a button, and the different edits remain available.

I intend to gather the descriptive content from my own experience and knowledge as well as documentation from the sites and the publicly archived email lists. Mission Statements and Editorial Guidelines are all available and linked from the front pages of each indymedia site, together with the Indymedia Documentation Project, elaborated and published on “the wiki”.

I intend to put up my dissertation online as I go along and give those who know me the chance to give feedback on it. I will communicate with them via irc, email and face to face where possible.


I have already gathered reference material from other authors. The website itself has its own documentation, like the Mission Statement and their own procedures and Guidelines.

I intend to get feedback from Indymedia volunteers because I would like this piece of work to be useful for them too.


Meetings with my supervisor will normally take place on Wednesdays, Thursdays or Fridays.

To allow space for this and other assignments I am aiming to finish this dissertation by the 27th of April.
These are the partial deadlines:

By Tuesday the 8th of March I will have written the description of what I intend to analyse. I will ask for feedback about this first draft in order to see what will be useful also for Indymedia to analyse. The deadline for this feedback will be Sunday 13th.

By Thursday 17th I will start analysing what I have previously described and will seek for feedback from my tutor on that Thursday or Friday. On Saturday the 19th I will implement this feedback and put the result online, to give people the chance to give feedback too. The two weeks of Easter can be used to get that feedback.

By Thursday 7th of April I will have implemented this feedback into the paper and will hopefully get feedback from my tutor on that Thursday or Friday.

I will finalise a draft by Thursday 12th of April and hopefully get the last session to asses the content of the paper on that Thursday or Friday.

The following week will be used to read and re-read the paper looking for grammar mistakes. I should finish this by Friday 22nd of April.

During the following week, I will work on the online version of it, hopefully finishing on the 27th.