b. 24 Nov 1999, Seattle, WA

Global network of radical grassroots media collectives

In 1999, grassroots journalists, anti-globalization organizers and international tech activists launched a bold experiment: a grassroots media effort to cover the World Trade Organization ministerial in Seattle, and the protests that would shut it down. The Independent Media Center website easily surpassed mainstream media coverage of the epochal event, documenting police aggression in the streets alongside in-depth analysis of the harms caused by deregulated global capitalism. The Indymedia model proved easily replicable, combining anarchist-inspired organizing principles, grassroots “be the media” journalism, and an innovative open publishing system first developed by free-software activists in Sydney. Indymedia centers soon organized in other cities. The Indymedia network now circles the earth, with over 175 independent sites publishing news and information in some 20 languages. Indymedia anticipated participatory blogs by several years—turning journalism into a conversation, and provoking generative questions about credibility and editorial standards in all news media.

The media's job is to interest the public in the public interest. -John Dewey