Monday, February 18, 2008

Volunteers and interested people could visit the Belgian Indymedia headquarters in Brussels on Sunday during their second open door day. Around 50 people came to hear about the organisation’s evolution during 2007 and what’s coming up for 2008. A book about citizen journalism, with contributions from both mainstream journalists and several alternative media experts, was also presented. And the Indymedians mingled, with loungy Creative Commons music in the background. was founded in 2000, only a few months after Indymedia’s inception at the alter-globalist protests at the World Trade Organisation‘s summit in Seattle. This made them the first Indymedia on the European mainland. The Independent Media Center’s trademark is politically left, social reporting. The initial growth was slow, but during 2007, the organisation grew to around 110 regular contributors, with the first steps towards regional groups in Brussels and Antwerp. The public today could also visit the brand new media centre with new equipment. And although readership has increased exponentially to around 7000 visitors per day (and with it, server costs), finances have not, leading to a fund raising campaign.

Several projects during 2007 aimed to increase the quality of the articles; research projects such as those on the Belgian elections and formation crisis centred on social issues, where the mainstream media itself recognised that the political debate was often monotonous and lacking content.

Nevertheless, bringing analysis and background will continue a challenge during 2008. During the photographer’s workshop, the possibilities for photo documentary and photo-based interviews vs. simple photo reporting were illustrated as an alternative to bringing “just a bunch of pictures from another street protest.”

As a central player in the field of alternative media in Belgium, Indymedia also wants to stir the debate about participatory journalism. This has led to their first ‘media reader’ about the topic, and the creators hope more versions will follow.

Retrieved from “”