St. Louis Oracle

St. Louis-based political forecasting plus commentary on politics and events from a grassroots veteran with a mature, progressive anti-establishment perspective.

Friday, May 13, 2005

St. Louis Indymedia is back in operation

The St. Louis Independent Media Center (Indymedia for short) rolled out its new, improved web site on May 9. The site’s server is now based in Seattle. The return of this refreshing progressive local news source is welcome, though long overdue.

It is unfortunate that the site was down as long as it was, and when it was. During most of the renovation, from late January through mid April, the site’s open-publishing Newswire (basically a community blog) was down. Feature articles did not resume until May 9. This meant that the site’s journalistic features were down for the entire St. Louis election campaign, both primary and general elections, for mayor and the board of aldermen, and also for the important school board election. Progressive candidates undoubtedly suffered by its absence, because the site’s predominant readership is generally regarded as progressive. Opportunities to communicate about issues and energize voters were lost. Observers from across the political spectrum agree that both the primary and general elections produced dismal voter turnout.

Though the often anonymous posts to the Newswire need to be taken with the proverbial grain of salt, Indymedia’s primary contribution to the community is its independence; it is a grassroots organization of primarily young people who aren’t controlled by corporate media monopolies. St. Louis' only remaining daily newspaper and its largest chain of suburban weeklies are owned by the same company (which now isn’t even located here); its primary “underground” weekly (RFT) is now owned by a national corporate chain that has softened that paper’s once radical stance; its predominant African American weekly (the American) is very establishment-oriented; and even the voice of the city's young liberals (Arch City Chronicle) has a fairly establishment oriented editorial policy (although the content is much more inclusive than other papers). True progressives now join conservatives and Republicans in complaining about establishment media bias in St. Louis. The establishment media here, though admittedly left of center, are not very far left of center. Their editorials, story selection and even letter-to-the-editor selection stroke the city’s corporate establishment. News from both the Right and the non-centrist Left is ignored.

Indymedia’s return is not totally complete. The community calendar and archives of old articles and Newswire posts are still on the old site, but the new site includes links to both. But the most important features are now operating again. The Oracle is happy Indymedia is back.

6 Comments:

Anonymous dave said...

back off-line? Just tried and couldn't pull the site up.

May 19, 2005 at 1:42 PM  
Blogger St. Louis Oracle said...

I just tried, and its back online. Indymedia has a history of being down intermittently, and it's disappointing that it's still happening on the new improved server. Patience and perserverence are required.

May 20, 2005 at 10:12 AM  
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