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Indymedia and March 30th (M30) -National Strike
Preparing for coverage of March 30th -National Strike
Indymedia contributors should start to think now about how this site will report the strike called for March 30th. There is no certainty that the strike will go ahead, some deal may yet be done to avert it, but if the stoppage does go ahead we need to report it in a way that befits the occasion. A national strike would have profound significance both nationally and internationally. Up to a million people will be involved one way or the other, the world will be watching Ireland.
Indy reports of demos marches and strikes have up until now tended to be written by valiant individuals and written as well as can be expected by any one person. But how can any one person working in isolation be expected to reflect all the complexities, contradictions, all the excitement and energy of the mass movement now taking shape in Ireland?
To publish a serious report for M30 will mean upping our game, bringing in new people, widening our base and changing the way we report mass events - from a largely individualistic approach to a more collective one. It will entail planning and preparation, the setting up of groups of reporters, photographers, audio-visual and lay-out people in advance. An ah-hoc newsdesk/news centre for the day itself should be considered with telephone links to take in reports from across the country.
We could prepare background and research for a feature in advance. Here are some proposals for the day itself . They are my own views and not the Indymedia collective’s.
To do it properly we'd need :
A bank of reliable correspondents who would agree to be contactable by telephone to live-update on what's going on in their workplaces, localities etc. It shouldn't be left up to these people to contact us on the day, they may forget.
A group of people to staff telephones throughout the strike -high-pressure work that would have to be done in a real space, not on-line, so as to rotate both the work and the telephones. These telephone people would write down reports quickly without worrying too much about grammar, spelling etc, to be sub-edited on-line.
A group of sub-editors and proof-readers to then put the reports, as well as reports that come in online, directly onto the newswire with a rough linking narrative which can be fine- tuned as it goes along.
A group to work on visuals and audios.
A lay-out team .
We have to put a call out to all indy contributors - anybody who has ever posted a report or comment to the site to help on the day. We shouldn’t be afraid of seeking advice from professional journalists or from indymedia sites abroad that may have had experience in dealing with big events like this. Many of indy's regular contributors will of course be on picket lines, rallies etc on M30 and not in a position to post to this site. But a group of volunteers should be in contact with reliable correspondents by arrangement throughout the day by telephone.
Workers are planning and mobilizing for the strike itself at this very moment indymedia Ireland must mobilize its resources too.
We should act on the assumption that the strike will be going ahead, but, in my view, even if it is for any reason cancelled, the nature of the times will bring mass forms of struggle over the coming period. Indymedia should start thinking about how to develop in such a way that it can reflect such struggles. This site can have a very important impact for the times ahead and in the process develop itself in a big way.