from the Board of the Independent Media Institute
April 17, 2018, New York City
To Independent Media Institute Supporters:
We wish you could have been with us this week as we met with the staff of IMI to discuss the organization’s future in the aftermath of our recently announced sale of AlterNet. We had the honor of meeting with some of the finest progressive journalists working today. We heard from Kali Holloway, IMI’s senior writing fellow and project director, who will be covering social justice issues and also overseeing IMI’s new annual grant program for emerging women journalists. We received a fascinating preview of Steven Rosenfeld’s series on factors affecting democracy and the upcoming 2018 midterm elections, as well as the latest from Jefferson Morley on his reporting on the secret world of intelligence and security agencies. IMI’s environment and food editor Reynard Loki spoke about his work around the intersection of climate change, animal rights and food. Manager of Editorial Projects and Programs Administrator Jenny Pierson explained the process for editing the journalism produced by IMI fellows. The board was also briefed by Executive Director Jan Frel on Valerie Vande Panne’s Local Peace Economy coverage, looking at activism and visionary efforts to make our society dependent on more sustainable systems and infrastructure. It was inspiring to listen to them talk about their work, and it left us even more excited about IMI’s future as we re-focus the organization on its core mission of using independent media to create a positive impact in the world.
IMI will maintain a strategic partnership with AlterNet, now owned by AlterNet Media, to distribute special media projects on a range of pressing social and political issues, from the economy to the deep state, social justice, gender, equality and the environment. New projects we are exploring include long-form investigative reports, podcasts, book publishing and video. We also want to continue IMI’s many decades of work cultivating emerging voices and diverse viewpoints in independent journalism.
In addition to establishing a robust foundation for IMI’s work going forward, in recent months we have taken steps to ensure that IMI is the safest and most productive workplace possible. As many of our supporters are aware, IMI is one of many media organizations whose leadership has recently addressed allegations of sexual harassment. Like most of those organizations, we took steps to act quickly and proactively to ensure the safety of the workplace and its employees. At IMI, those steps included removing the organization’s executive director; conducting an independent assessment of current and some former staff—an assessment that revealed no new allegations against previous leadership or anyone else on staff; strengthening anti-harassment policies and updating complaint procedures; offering regular interactive training; and conducting ongoing anonymous employee audits. We are committed to maintaining a fair, safe and productive workplace going forward.
We have great hope for the future of IMI and are actively recruiting new board members to help shape IMI’s direction during its next stage. Many thanks to the longtime readers of AlterNet and supporters of IMI, and we hope you will accompany us on this next iteration of our mission.
The Board and Management of the Independent Media Institute