Former editorial policy (2002-2007)

simms, Wednesday, July 14, 2004 - 16:19

We consider that by publishing on the CMAQ's site, collaborators tacitly accept that their articles and other submitted documents can be freely reproduced by other alternative media, provided the author's name is mentioned.

The contributors, and only the contributors, are responsible for the content of their submissions. The content of articles and other documents does not obligate the CMAQ in any way.

Submissions which do not respect the Editorial Policy will be rejected.
Rejected submissions are viewable in this section.

In cases of sexism, racism, homophobia, hate-mongering propaganda, defamation, or threats, the relevant submissions or comments will no longer be freely accessible. Abuses of this nature can be reported by writing to info(a)

Comments made regarding submissions are also bound by the Editorial Policy, and must be respectful towards other users. Comments which contravene these rules will be deleted.

The following Editorial Policy text was adopted [in its French-language form] on September 1st, 2002 by the members of the Collective who participated in the first CMAQ "Jamboree", held at Val-des-Lacs, Québec.

I. Definition and goals of the CMAQ

The CMAQ is as much a meeting point in physical space as it is a virtual platform for the exchange of alternative and independent information. It aims to be a true embodiment of democracy by encouraging citizen involvement through -- and for -- the re-appropriation of information.

The CMAQ belongs to the Indymedia network (learn more about Indymedia) and supports the philosophy of Open Publishing.
However, since its beginnings, the CMAQ Collective chose -- as opposed to the rest of the network -- to function using a validation system for its submissions, which disqualifies submissions that transgress its Editorial Policy. Material submitted to the CMAQ is thus validated by a Committee BEFORE rather than AFTER its publication online.

The selection is determined according to a set of criteria resumed in the CMAQ's Editorial Policy.

This choice stems from of a concern for rigour and a will to insure the cohesion of the site.

The validation system effectively allows to:

  • manage the revision, organisation, classification and coherence of the information;
  • avoid the pitfalls of overly lax publishing ;
  • guarantee the transparency of the editorial process;
  • allow for non-hierarchical, collective-based functioning and maximal democratisation of the validation process (the Validation Committee is open to any user who wishes to participate in it. Responsibility for the process is thus shared by a community rather than by an individual or a closed, restricted group);
  • maintain a link of trust at the heart of a broad users' community thanks to the horizontality of the decision-making process.

Any material which does not meet the requirements defined in the Editorial Policy is excluded from the main categories listed on the main page, but remains accessible to users via the "Hidden Zone" (Dungeon).

Any exclusion must be justified explicitly by a comment appended to the submission, which is then redirected to the Dungeon, and by an explanatory letter to the contributor (if a return address is known for the latter).

The contributors, and only the contributors, are responsible for the content of their submissions.

II. Validation Process: Refusal Criteria

1. Absence of pertinence

The pertinence of a submitted document is evaluated according to whether it presents perspectives of social transformation and / or promotes Social Justice.

Privileged themes are, for example:

  • globalisation and its many repercussions
  • free trade economics
  • resistance and opposition to injustice
  • popular mobilisations
  • the environment
  • the development of alternative economic models (for example, promotion of free software, fair trade, or participatory economics)
  • values of equity and solidarity
  • culture as a means of civic involvement
  • ...

It should be clear that any promotional material of a commercial nature (with the goal of making profit) AND that which has no clear link to the promotion of social justice will be rejected to the Dungeon.

Open publishing philosophy predominates: when in doubt, we publish.

2. Material of a defamatory nature

Any material of an insulting, sexist, racist, homophobic, or hateful (i.e. inspired by and / or inciting to hate) nature will be rejected to the Dungeon.

In order to agree on a consensual definition, the validators will refer to the definitions of the above terms as they appear in dictionaries.

Open publishing philosophy predominates: when in doubt, we publish.

3. Copyright violations

Because open publishing philosophy is inherent to the CMAQ, it is most often extremely difficult to insure the protection of author's rights for submitted material.

In the sole case of the obvious violation of a document's copyright, the document is submitted as a link.

The CMAQ strongly advises its contributors to remain vigilant on the issue of copyrights and, when in doubt, to submit an URL with a concise summary of the document.

Furthermore, it may be considered, on a voluntary and non-systematic basis, that the validator ask the author of submitted material for agreement regarding publication of the latter on the CMAQ's site.

Open publishing philosophy predominates: when in doubt, we publish.

4. Illegibility / unintelligibility of material

The contributors, and only the contributors, are responsible for the content of their submissions.

Submissions which are graphically meaningless (e.g. edfgub0rwivn-wrf20tkbçvpl3t) will be relegated to the Dungeon.

Spelling and syntax

Insofar as the text is legible, the validator reserves the right to correct flagrant spelling errors.

It is not permitted for the validators to change other than minor syntax errors, if and only if the corrections made do not modify the meaning or integrity of the text in any way.

Insofar as the text is illegible because of extremely deficient spelling and / or syntax (i.e. that which is judged to possibly impede the comprehension of the content or the transmission of information), the validator reserves the right to:

  • communicate with the contributor, if a return address is known, so as to explain the reasons for refusal and discuss with him / her in what way the document can be corrected prior to publication;
  • if it is impossible to communicate with the contributor (as in the case of an anonymous submission or an inoperable e-mail address), the refusal must be explicitly justified with a commentary appended to the rejected submission, in the Dungeon.

5. Duplication

In cases of documents which have previously been submitted (whether under an identical title or a different one), the validator adds the term [DUPLICATA] to the text and rejects the submission to the Dungeon.

III. Validation Process: Instructions

In order to insure maximum transparency for the validation process, we reproduce below the main instructions to be followed by members of the Validation Committee. You may also consult the "Validator's Manual", which contains examples and details for every instruction.

1. Communicating with the Validation Committee

A validator confronted with a document whose pertinence cannot be established and whose non-defamatory character is unobvious, or one who is tempted to refuse validation of a copyright-protected document, may refer, on a voluntary basis, to the opinion of the Validation Committee.

Any exclusion must be justified explicitly by a commentary appended to the submission, which is then redirected to the Dungeon, and by an explanatory letter to the contributor (if a return address is known for the latter).

2. Correction of factual errors

Certain factual errors can find their way into submissions. For example, names or dates could be erroneous, citations could be misattributed, counts could be over- or under-valued, etc.

  • insofar as the information is verifiable and the error correctable, the validators reserve the right to make the necessary corrections, by appending an explanatory comment to the submission, listing the source of the correction;
  • in cases where the information is difficult to verify (for example when dealing with a crowd count), the CMAQ defers to its "notice of dissociation", namely: that the contributors, and only the contributors, are responsible for the content of their submissions;
  • whenever it is possible, the validators should always contact the collaborators to inform them of corrections they make. Otherwise, all corrections must be explicitly justified with a commentary.

3. Layout and re-classification

The validators reserve the right to:

  • improve a submission's layout if it impedes its legibility (for example, long spaces in between paragraphs, fragmented paragraphs, etc.)
  • modify a title for practical reasons (for example, when the title is too long, or not representative of the content, or absent altogether, etc.)
  • add, rectify, or shorten the text of a summary (while accounting for the way it represents the content) if a submission is to be made part of the headlines
  • reclassify a submission into one or another theme or category, as appropriate, depending on its content
  • reduce the "weight" of a photographic document deemed too "heavy"

The validators are not obliged to notify the contributor regarding these types of modifications.

4. Communicating with contributors

The CMAQ's site allows contributors to submit material on an anonymous basis, without a return address. However, this possibility raises potential problems in the case of a refusal to validate.

  • in cases where communication with the collaborator is impossible, the validators must systematically justify any rejection or modification by using the comment module;
  • a rejected submission will remain accessible in the "Dungeon" section, with a justification for its refusal appended as a comment.

The CMAQ strongly encourages its contributors to create a user name and supply a valid return address. This will resolve the communication problem.

IV. Headline Selection and Management

In order to insure a greater diversity of methods and viewpoints, headlines are collectively chosen and managed by members of the Validation Committee.

1. Selection criteria

Headline selection criteria are as follows:

  • Documents presented as headlines must always be related to current events.
  • Documents pertaining to large mobilisations taking place, by order of priority, in Québec, in Canada, in the Americas, and elsewhere in the world will be highlighted.
  • No category is formally excluded from the headlines. However, "communiqués" should rarely be made into headlines, and submissions from commercial press should be extremely rare in the headlines (such a selection should be justifiable through other pertinent selection criteria).
  • Hence, the order of priority for headline selection is as follows:
    • I. Newswire / Analyses
    • II. Communiqués
    • III. Commercial press
  • The other selection criteria are originality, diversity of sources, opinions and topics, as well as the overall quality of the document.

2. Headline dynamics

The Content Committee favours the pertinence of documents used as headlines while encouraging, as much as possible, a frequent -- even daily -- rotation of material appearing on the front page.

CMAQ: Vie associative

Quebec City collective: no longer exist.

Get involved !


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.