ABOUT THE IMA
The Independent Media Association, formerly known as The Media Fund, operates as a cooperative, dedicated to promoting the work of independent media.
The Independent Media Association supports news organisations that are run in the public interest. We support financially independent and factually accurate sources of information.
Independent media is financially independent. It is not beholden to vested interests of the powerful, whether that be the government, corporate advertisers or billionaire owners.
This means it can hold the powerful to account, as news media should, and focus on the news that is in the public interest, rather than the agenda of its paymasters.
All IMA partners have to either be NUJ (National Union of Journalists) members and abide by the NUJ code of conduct, or they have to be regulated by IMPRESS, the only press regulator to meet the standards the Leveson Enquiry set.
As such, you can trust that all IMA partners - whether their content chimes with you or not - are trustworthy sources, held to the highest standards of accountability.
Changing The Industry
Independent media is the only kind that can truly hope to act in the interests of the public, rather than acting in the interests of the already powerful.
By helping the independent media sector to take a larger place in the media industry, we are able to reform the extremely concentrated and unrepresentative state of media that currently exists.
What We Do
We not only bring together the work of independent media organisations under one roof, but also further their impact, through lobbying, campaigning, marketing, promoting, networking, event organising and raising donations where necessary.
How We Work - Join us!
As a cooperative, our partners, workers and donors are all members and get to democratically decide what we do as an organisation. Find out more on how you can join, either as a donor here, or a media partner here.
This document was written for the governance of The Media Fund. The IMA is constitutionally the same organisation with different branding, and as such, the governance document still applies.
Changes to the governance document can be made at a General Meeting.
These are the cooperative rules of the IMA. The IMA is a multi-stakeholder cooperative, with three different types of membership. The rules are laid out under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014.
1. IMA: REMIT AND ACTIVITY
The remit of the IMA will be to act in the interest of its members and the independent media sector more broadly.
It will do this by advocating for the independent media sector and of its members, by coordinating activities such as networking events, training, logistical and administrative support and by providing or sourcing advice and help for common challenges the sector faces.
2. ROLE OF THE OVERSIGHT BOARD
The role of the board is to oversee the operations of the organisation and make sure it is fulfilling the mandate set at the general meetings by the membership. The oversight board will be elected equally from workers, media partners and donor members.
3. RULES FOR MEDIA PARTNERS
We ask that media organisations meet three criteria to become members of the IMA.
That they are financially independent. We take this to mean that the organisation gets less than 50% of its income from corporate or state sources.
That they are factually accurate. We take this to mean that the organisation is part of IMPRESS, and/or that all of its members are part of the NUJ. This has to be the case within twelve months of joining at the latest
That they are voted on democratically by the other members. Make an application to join the fund via email and then we will put your application up to be ratified by other members if you meet the first two criteria.
As part of our constitution, we would like to reinforce the need for the Independent Media Association and its partners to abide by the NUJ Code of Conduct, as stated below.
At all times upholds and defends the principle of media freedom, the right of freedom of expression and the right of the public to be informed.
Strives to ensure that information disseminated is honestly conveyed, accurate and fair.
Does her/his utmost to correct harmful inaccuracies.
Differentiates between fact and opinion.
Obtains material by honest, straightforward and open means, with the exception of investigations that are both overwhelmingly in the public interest and which involve evidence that cannot be obtained by straightforward means.
Does nothing to intrude into anybody’s private life, or cause grief or distress unless justified by overriding consideration of the public interest.
Protects the identity of sources who supply information in confidence and material gathered in the course of her/his work.
Resists threats or any other inducements to influence, distort or suppress information and takes no unfair personal advantage of information gained in the course of her/his duties before the information is public knowledge.
Produces no material likely to lead to hatred or discrimination on the grounds of a person’s age, gender, race, colour, religion or belief, legal status, disability, marital status, or sexual orientation.
Does not by way of statement, voice or appearance endorse by advertisement any commercial product or service save for the promotion of her/his own work or of the medium by which she/he is employed.
Eeks the consent of an appropriate adult when interviewing or photographing a child for a story about her/his welfare.
Members must also be a part of IMPRESS or join within their first 12 months as an IMA partner.