Policy work begins at the Media Co-op: invitation to participation

Oct 6, 2010

Policy work begins at the Media Co-op: invitation to participation

This post has not been approved by Media Co-op editors!

Here at the Media Co-op, we recently procured a small grant to work on setting up standards and frameworks that set limits and make suggestions for how we behave while working in the Co-op, how we make decisions together, who makes which decisions, and so on.

In other words, we're working on policy.

It's a difficult and far-from-glamourous task, but it is an essential one for any organization that wants to grow beyond a small group of people who have developed a working relationship based on mutual trust and understanding. When you don't have to build that kind of relationship with everyone you work with, you need some pre-existing structures and norms to keep interactions fair, easy to understand, and efficient.

(Note: this policy discussion is about the Media Co-op network, which affects, but is not the same as, the locals -- e.g. the Vancouver Media Co-op or the Halifax Media Co-op. Many locals have their own policies which govern their work.)

Here are some of the policy areas we will be discussing:

  • Basis of unity
  • Kinds of decisions (e.g. whether to do an ad trade; changes to the budget) and what body is empowered to make them
  • Conflict resolution
  • Hiring and equity
  • Harassment
  • Anti-oppression in the workplace
  • Central's obligations to locals and vice versa
  • Framework for how a local can leave the network, or be kicked out
  • Working groups' rights and responsibilities
  • Staff accountability
  • Board accountability
  • Inter-local accountability mechanisms
  • Fundraising: priorities and communication between locals, and local-central fund-sharing
  • Starting new locals: requirements
  • Starting new locals: phases
  • Editorial policies (featuring, deleting, hiding)
  • Participatory budget process

What do you think?

Is there anything you'd like to see added? What do you think are the most important areas to tackle?

Input is welcome from all Media Co-op members, readers, and any lurking policy experts.

As the process continues, we'll be focusing on particular areas, and asking more specific questions. But for now, let us know what you think about this list.