Open source and open publishing are similar technological applications implemented by Indymedia to promote radical democratic values such as de-privatizing technology, increasing and decentralizing participation in news production, and leveling bureaucratic hierarchies. Open publishing guidelines allow users to contribute original content or to comment on other postings.
Arnison (2001) defines open publishing as a process of creating news that is transparent to readers:
- They can contribute a story and see it instantly appear in the pool of stories publicly available. . . . They can see how to get involved and help make editorial decisions. If they can think of a better way for the software to help shape editorial decisions, they can copy the software because it is free and change it and start their own site. If they want to redistribute the news, they can, preferably on an open publishing site. (’ 26)
Open publishing allows information to be corrected and supplemented faster and more efficiently. As described on a web page linked to the IMC site, open publishing is ‘‘an essential element of the Indymedia project that allows independent journalists and publications to publish the news they gather instantaneously on a globally accessible web site.’’ (http://docs.indymedia.org/view/Global/FrequentlyAskedQues tionEn#newswire)
Lawson and Gleason suggest:
The content produced by open publishing makes browsing indymedia sites a mixed bag of thoughtful analyses, activist dispatches, on-the-street news items, rants, and reprinted media from unknown publications or institutions. Without a central editorial authority dispatching reports (or fact checking stories), readers are obliged to think critically as they are reading*/to allow a story to provoke further research, further reading, and*/perhaps*/further writing. (2002, p. 12)" (http://www.victorpickard.com/upload/rcsm157052.pdf)