Local Autonomous Media

I think I’ve mentioned this in the past and had a really good Jitsi Meet with @themoonisblue about it, but the horizontal Mutu Network of citizen journalism websites that began in France has several sites now in not only France but also Switzerland, Austria, and Belgium as well.

A few folks in the UK have made rumblings about doing something similar over here ever since Freedom published a piece about Mutu a few years ago.

I’ve now written an article for Organise Magazine about LoAM over here in the UK, and am delivering a (virtual) presentation on this for HacktionLab (which is, rather ironically, taking place in my city of Sheffield).

I think a non-commercial, non-hierarchical online network of localised information on campaigns, events, and actions is sorely needed, and I’m interested to hear from folks who’d like to start something up in their town (or know someone who does!)

2 Likes

@MediaActivist

I think there’s a need for this as well.

Maybe off topic, but SF has the following calendar for activist groups to independently post events: Calendar : Indybay

We need something like this in the UK, in addition to the Mutu.

I don’t myself have the bandwidth to do this, but I think it would be useful to consider the following:

  • There are tech collectives/worker co-ops (such as Autonomic) that need more projects (i.e. more money)
  • There are people (to some extent, like me) who can help fund this project

It might be useful for you and me (and whoever else) to approach some collectives and ask them if they’d be willing to help lay the foundation for this in an open-source manner, with the proviso that they could be paid.

Otherwise, the (likely) sheer amount of labour necessary to start something like this is probably not something that will come about through volunteers alone.

Ie, I think we need to pay labour.

2 Likes

Yes! That’s exactly the sort of thing I think can be included/incorporated into such a site – a place to go to know what’s happening in terms of events, campaigns, projects, protests etc.

I’ve been in contact with the folks in France to see if we can simply replicate what they’ve done, to at least some extent, rather than reinvent the wheel. I am aware that the digital infrastructure were/are their main costs financially.

Ok cool. If you hear back, please let me know. I am interested in donating to sponsor the cost of such infrastructure.

If the costs additionally require programmers, I’m sure we can find ally programmers.

1 Like

@MediaActivist

Seems relevant to you: Monthly Meet Up (online) for Community Tech community of practice - Events - Cooperative Technologists Community Discourse Forum

1 Like

Fabulous, thanks!

A member of the Mutu Network over in France is visiting the UK between June 12-18, specifically in the Brighton/London areas, if anyone would like the opportunity to meet her and pick her brain on how it developed there and just generally talk tech/activism?

@MediaActivist

I won’t be able to meet them, I’m afraid.

Do you think that an in-person meeting (rather than one over zoom) is important to understand how the network was set up?

1 Like

I don’t believe so at all, no, but I guessed if one of them is over in the UK wanting to meet with someone I’d at least see if anyone was available hehe!

Oh I didn’t know they wanted to meet with one of us.

I will be in London on Monday and Tuesday. I could meet them, although I should disclaim that I’m not someone who would on the Mutu project anytime soon, although I would like to support it in an ancillary way (code PRs or money) if that is at all possible.

If you gave me their contact information @MediaActivist – under the assumption that they want to meet one of us – I could try to meet them on some day next week (I could extend my stay in London for a bit).

1 Like

They might still be around, drop me your email if you like! :slightly_smiling_face:

@MediaActivist

I sent it to you via a private message on discourse :slight_smile:

1 Like

Hi all, just an update on this. Had a piece published in Freedom News: Mutu Network challenges media moguls - Freedom News

I also tried to argue the need for Mutu in a media activist manifesto I’ve published on my site: Manifesto

tl;dr: while the Fediverse provides an opportunity for decentralised media, “the medium is the message” and rather than an online network based on mutual aid and info-sharing being reduced to upvote/downvote Reddit culture replicated to some degree by Lemmy and Kbin, the Beehaw instance offers an example of what a radical media network might look like, here in the UK or indeed globally.

I’m thinking of setting up a Signal group chat for folks who are interested in helping to make this happen! Just give me a shout!

“Information as part of mutual aid!”

1 Like

Definitely interested, especially off the back of having read the Manifesto (belatedly). Should I ping you the number I use for Signal?

I’ve bookmarked the other piece for the weekend, hope all is well @MediaActivist!

1 Like

That’s awesome! Yes, feel free to ping it over. Should have something up and running next week!

1 Like