Indymedia (horizontal) organisation:
An Indymedia site:
An indymedia site is structured in four parts:
the banner: it's an image on the top with the indymedia logo, often with links to static documents like "contact", "who we are", "policy", and other useful documents on the site itself.
the left column: it contains links, categories, an internal search engine and the list of other indymedia sites.
the right column: is called the "newswire" and it contains open posting articles made by users.
the central column: it contains features.
The most important part of the site is the newswire because the idea of indymedia is that everyone is the media, instead of the broadcast model (one corporation spreading out its voice to millions of passive people) we implement the peer-to-peer model, everyone being the media of everyone. In fact the newswire is open to everyone that want to publish an article, and every article is open to everyone who want to post a comment to it. In this way "visitors" (that are potential writers) can have an idea on the subject by many point of views.
A local node
A local indymedia site is run by the local collective who have the task of administer the site and putting together features: a feature is a special article on a specific and normally recent topic with links to newswire articles and it appears on the central column, like an editorial.
A local collective works through a mailing list with the method of consensus: a proposal is accepted if is not rejected or there is no reaction from others within 24 hours. For important/critical issues a reaction and a longer deadline is required. Reactions are normally corrections, little changes and discussions.
A local node (collective, site and the reality around them) tries to get out the internet too, builiding a indymedia-like (horizontal, communitarian, with open content) radio station, tv station, newspaper and workshops. Often indymedia nodes are linked with local hacklabs, wireless network community and Open Source groups and geeks, squats, self-organized social centers and grassroot movements.
The global network
As said above, indymedia is a network, a network of local indymedia sites and collectives. So each node is connected with each other not only by the list of indymedia sites on the left column but also with person to person relationships built through global mailing lists, IRC chats, wikis, collaboration like translation, technical help, events such protests or meetings.
"Traditional" and "important" meetings are the annual the G8 and the WTO summits. During these events the local indymedia collective build an Independent Media Center (IMC) with the help of local groups and international indymedia activists.
Everything in indymedia is made by volunteers, writers, translators, photographers, video makers, activists, web designers, system administrators, linux geeks and so on. The servers are built by donated hardware or bought with self-raised money, bandwith is very often donated. Software is as most as possible free software and the various CMS (Content Manging System) are under GPL.