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    "Conversations with Harold Hudson Channer"

              Upcoming Cable Television/Web Show: 

        For details of airing see bottom of page

              Guest For  Tuesday June 20,  2006



Dear Members of the List & Others: We are VERY happy to announce:


                          Like a Beautiful Soaring PHOENIX - The




          Utilizing the much improved Windows Media Player format:




                              JOHN  TARLETON





            Volunteer Coordinator / Editor / Writer

      New York City Independent Media Center



NYC Indymedia Phone Number:


On the Origins and Context of Indymedia by Evan Henshaw-Plath (Anarchogeek)

Love and Rage in Seattle by John Tarleton

Subcomandante Marcos on the Need for an Independent Media Network

Nurturing New Writers at The Indypendent

The Indypendent Sweeps The Ippies

The New York Model: Indymedia and the Text Message Jihad


The global Indymedia network was launched in Seattle in November 1999 as a website
and as a small downtown storefront space that was to be commonly shared by all sorts of alternative radio, tv and print journalists who would be covering the Third Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the protests that were planned against the WTO. It was widely expected that whatever protests that took place against the WTO’s profit-first policies would be ignored or trivialized by the mainstream corporate media and that some sort of counter-media presence had to be created to tell the rest of that story. Indymedia was that response.

Indymedia was originally envisioned as a one-week endeavor that would close down with the conclusion of the WTO meetings in Seattle. Of course, the WTO protests in Seattle exceeded everyone’s expectations and as the police and National Guard cracked down Indymedia--all of one week old--became an indispensible news source for finding out what was really happening in the streets. Activist-journalists could come in straight off of tear-gas soaked streets and use a revolutionary new feature called “open publishing” and upload their stories, photos, audio and video clips directly to the Indymedia newswire which could be read by anyone in the world with a computer. In its first week, Indymedia received over 1.5 million hits.

In the aftermath of Seattle, activists in other cities realized that they wanted to have Independent Media Centers in their cities as they faced the same problems of having issues they worked on frequently be ignored or slighted by their local corporate media outlets. A second IMC opened in Boston in Feb. 2000 and a third in Washington, D.C. in April 2000. By the end of Indymedia’s first year, there were chapters in over 40 cities including New York. One thing to be clearly noted about Indymedia is that it didn’t just miraculously emerge in Seattle but was the product of years of collaboration and cross-pollination of various alternative media movements from Public Access TV to to documentary film collectives to pirate radio to zines to earlier activist websites like the Direct Action Media Network and Infoshop. Much of the theoretical inspiration for Indymedia came from a January 1997 communique from the Zapatistas and the source code that made open publishing possible came from a tech collective based out of Sydney, Australia. It was the serendipitous development of “open publishing” just weeks before the anti-WTO protests that made it possible to bring everything together at the first Indymedia center and leap to the next level.

Organizing for the New York City Independent Media Center began in May 2000 and it went on the air in September of that year. The newspaper was started at the same time to serve people who were unable or unwilling to access the Internet. In Indymedia, each local chapter is accorded a tremendous amount of autonomy as long it adheres to basic core values of creating inclusive, participatory, not-for-profit grassroots media rooted in progressive and radical social movements and their struggles. The paper  in turn was one of several projects initiatived inside the NYC Indymedia Center including an audio team that did streaming Internet broadcasts, a video team that produced several feature lenght protest documentaries, a photo team and a web team that oversaw the nyc.indymedia.org open publishing website.

The newspaper grew gradually during its first year. In the aftermath of 9/11, we quickly produced a couple of special issues that asked hard-hitting questions about where we were headed as a country and suddenly we found we had a much larger audience. We had a surge of volunteers and I began holding reporting workshops in Nov. 2001 to do basic skill shares around lede writing, story organization, interviewing, research, etc., etc. We continue to do these workshops several times a year.

Hundreds of volunteers have contributed to the paper in one form or another whether as writers, editors, photographers, designers, illustrators, distributors, tablers, etc., etc. A number of our people have gone on to professional journalism jobs, to internships at publications like The Village Voice and The Nation and to be admitted to the best J-schools in the country. Others maybe only had one story they were burning to tell and we helped them to do that. The members of our collective come from a wide variety of backgrounds and interests. The oldest member of The Indypendent is a 78-year-old former Timesman who covered the U.N. for the Times in 1946 and who now covers the U.N. for us. The majority of our volunteers are in their 20s or 30s, recently out of school and looking for an outlet where they can develop their abilities and act on their idealism in a way that their daytime jobs do not make possible. Some of our volunteers have years of professional experience and others have no experience at all and learn as they go along. ..A few examples...Sarah Stuteville, Bennett Baumer, Sierra Freeman...Volunteers not only write, edit and layout the paper but also do  distribution, fundraising and promotional work as well.
For making decisions, we use consensus process. No one can issue unilateral orders or commands. A veteran member of the collective will tend to have more influence during discussions than a newcomer because of their greater experience. But for someone to get a decision made, they still have to convince the group as a whole

 that there’s is the best course of action.

Our current press run is 15,000 with thousands of more online readers. We went biweekly at the beginning of the Iraq War and full-color a year later in the spring of 2004. We’ve won more “Ippies” for excellence in community journalism than any other member of the Independent Press Association of New York in each of the past two years. Nonetheless, we still have a number of recurring challenges we have to deal with due to the unique nature of this project including reconciling our desire to be as democratic as possible to the need to get a high quality paper out the door every two weeks, how to divide  up the “grunt work” that makes the paper possible, how to balance our coverage of local, national and international stories which we see as interrelated, how to detatch ourselves enough from our preconceived ideas to report in a fair and accurate manner...no need to inflate or exaggerate. the truth can be damning enough...

My role in all this is as an editor and a writer and as The Indypendent’s volunteer coordinator. A long time ago I was graduate of the Univ. of Missouri School of Journalism and covered sports and news for several daily papers. By the time I was 24, I had left that world behind. I took the basic skills and a deep desire to write with me but wanted to find and experience my own truths, which I didn’t think could be found in either the university classroom or the corporate newsroom. Over the next eight or nine years, I hithchiked over 75,000 miles in 17 countries always with a backpack full of books and journals. At various times, I  harvested wild blueberries in Maine, cherries in Colorado, planted trees in the Virginia highlands, picked apples in Vermont, New Hampshire and Wisconsin, was an English teacher in Mexico City, a human rights monitor in Chiapas, a street performer in El Salvador and wrote half a novel in France. I started producing my own website in 1995 at the beginning of the Internet boom and met up with Indymedia in Seattle and subsequently participated in several other of the early Indymedia websites before hooking up with NYC Indymedia in May of 2001.   

The Seattle WTO protests certainly played a big role in my connecting with Indymedia. I went out there to write about it for my website and ended up joining the direct action blockades that shut down the WTO and came out of it with a much better story to boot. Looking over the Indymedia website afterwards, I felt it came far closer to conveying the truth of what I had seen and experienced  and the remarkable people I had met and interviewed than the caricatures generated by corporate journalists who covered the demonstrations. There was a tremendous surge of  optimism and mass protests against global capitalism following Seattle.  The high optimism of that time seems misplaced  given everything that’s happened since 9-11. Nonetheless, the need for robust independent media is as great as ever.                         



                                          Tuesday, June 20, 2006

                            10:30 - 11:30 AM  / (NYC Time)

              Channel 34 of the Time/Warner &Channel 107 of the RCN 
                     Cable Television Systems in Manhattan, New York.

  The Program can now be viewed on the internet at the time of cable casting at:


       NOTE: You must adjust viewing to reflect NYC time & click on channel 34 at site


                                    241 West 36th StreetNew York,N.Y. 10018 Phone: 212-695-6351 E-Mail: HHC@NYC.RR.COM


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