CMAQ's global mission

sebas, Wednesday, February 20, 2002 - 12:23

Quebec's Centre for Media Alternative is a physical meeting point and a virtual platform for independent and alternative information.

1. To break with conformity: a convergence for alternative media and independent journalists

By forging a partnership network with other local and national media organisations which, just like us, think information should be freed from the mass media’s rigid models, CMAQ wishes to consolidate and enlarge the scope of the independent media community in Quebec. Further, CMAQ is open and eager for any kind of services exchanges with independent journalists from here and elsewhere.

CMAQ is also trying, through a team of dedicated volunteers, to guarantee dynamic coverage of local events on current social issues. Eventually, CMAQ would like to better organise this latter function by putting together a collectively managed pool of volunteers and an assignment calendar.

2. By and for citizens: a democratic forum for exchange and reflection

Essentially, CMAQ wishes to be as much a meeting place for the activist community to exchange and evolve as an outlet for citizens who want to reach their contemporaries and who, otherwise, have limited means to make their voices heard.

On this topic, the “open publishing” principle, initially put forth, by the Independent Media Centre (IMC) in Seattle in 1999, was a genuine revolution in the exercise of democracy. From now on, any citizen or independent organisation wishing to spread information, publish a critical analysis, promote an event or simply diffuse alternative coverage on current events, while potentially reaching thousands of people and more, find open publishing a precious and efficient tool.

Obviously, the CMAQ wouldn’t be complete without its dynamic discussion forums where current social, political and economic issues are constantly debated in a constructive and engaged context.
Also, with its new site, CMAQ is proud to join the “open source” community, which means that in the future, the source code will be available for reutilization and restructuration by any individual or organisation who wishes to join the independent media community and adopt the open publishing philosophy. This transition is, we think, an essential aspect of our contribution to the establishment of an effective democracy on the Web.

3. A crossroads for services exchanges

Up to January, 2002 Alternatives in Montreal was the CMAQ's home. The CMAQ is now headquartered in a Community Centre in Montreal's largely working class and immigrant neighbourhood of Parc-Extension. This transition will allow CMAQ to get closer to the general public and to the various cultural groups who give life to this part of the city. It will also give the CMAQ volunteers a feeling of belonging and independence which will likely encourage them and give them confidence.

The CMAQ wants to share its technical infrastructure with the community, providing it with material support and giving it access to its office and media production equipment.

Also, to give greater visibility to the hard work put in by local activists promoting social justice, the CMAQ will collaborate with a plurality of local non-governmental organisations who share the same social mission, to support the creation and the hosting of their own Web sites.

4. The role of popular education

The CMAQ also wishes to participate in the spreading of knowledge by sharing the various abilities of its volunteers, notably the technical expertise acquired since its creation.
Thus, the technical team will give workshops on how to find and/or spread alternative information using the new technology, from assisting the Parc-Ex Community Centre’s CyberCafe users, to the organisation of courses on Web site creation, and more. Moreover, if CMAQ itself doesn’t have the ability to offter journalism or topical workshops (say on globalisation, climactic change or fair trade), it would like to be a physical place (office and auditorium) likely to facilitate the organisation of such events as meetings, conferences, film screenings, etc. We would like to initiate events that will contribute to the livelihood of popular and civil education, while facilitating the journalistic training of all interested.

5. To put ideals in practice: a mobilisation space

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, CMAQ wants to be mobilisation space for the community. The Events section and its calendar provides local activists with the tools to promote local, regional and national events. The obvious goal being to consolidate the activist movement and (re)awake the people to the efforts being made, by various networks to promote social justice.

More than ever, another world is possible. But the work yet to be done is colossal. The Centre for Media Alternatives - Quebec wishes to contribute to the “Peace Effort” by giving itself the mission of convincing every Quebecer that this new world can only be built by and for them and that, let it be known, each and every one holds in his or her heart an indispensable part of it.

To conclude, we need to thank our brothers and sisters of IndyMedia. We would like to underline the exceptional work they put in throughout the world in the past 3 years or so. Without them, it is very likely we would not be here today. These women and men are the pioneers of the movement and, we couldn’t repeat enough the extent to which we owe them our more sincere respect and gratitude. So, boyz and girlz, we salute youz.

CMAQ: Vie associative

Quebec City collective: no longer exist.

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Ceci est un média alternatif de publication ouverte. Le collectif CMAQ, qui gère la validation des contributions sur le Indymedia-Québec, n'endosse aucunement les propos et ne juge pas de la véracité des informations. Ce sont les commentaires des Internautes, comme vous, qui servent à évaluer la qualité de l'information. Nous avons néanmoins une Politique éditoriale , qui essentiellement demande que les contributions portent sur une question d'émancipation et ne proviennent pas de médias commerciaux.

This is an alternative media using open publishing. The CMAQ collective, who validates the posts submitted on the Indymedia-Quebec, does not endorse in any way the opinions and statements and does not judge if the information is correct or true. The quality of the information is evaluated by the comments from Internet surfers, like yourself. We nonetheless have an Editorial Policy , which essentially requires that posts be related to questions of emancipation and does not come from a commercial media.