May
9

The Founding Principles & Charter of Saving Country Music

May 9, 2012 - By Trigger  //  Random Notes  //  10 Comments

(This is one in a handful of upcoming “house cleaning” articles that is being published to establish and clarify certain things about Saving Country Music, and is not necessarily meant for entertainment purposes, though obviously reading and commenting {including comments of how I take this stuff way too seriously} is still encouraged.)

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Saving Country Music grew out of an organization called Free Hank III that was specifically designed to help Hank Williams III in a contract dispute with his label Curb Records. Once the Free Hank III goal was accomplished, it was decided the organization should continue on under a different name, and that certain principles should be laid down on how Saving Country Music should proceed. These principles have been alluded to many times over the years in articles and comments.

With just as much purpose as to lay these principles out once and for all for the rest of the world as to reinforce these principle and make them more accountable to Saving Country Music, the founding principles of Saving Country Music are being communicated below, along with the Saving Country Music charter.

The Saving Country Music Charter

Saving Country Music’s purpose is to preserve and pay forward the roots of country and roots music and its people, to fight for purity of the genre, for balance and fairness within its focus and ranks, for an insistence of emphasizing talent, for creating appeal for talent through education, and for establishing the freedom of the individual artist.

Saving Country Music’s 10 Founding Principles

People First, Then Music

Music is just the excuse. Saving Country Music is about people, about creating community, and spreading knowledge, wisdom, and understanding through the vehicle of music and musical discussion. The same philosophies and approach to personal empowerment can be brought to other sectors of life: visual art, theater, food, manufacturing, etc. Music just happens to be our passion.

Always Keep a Broad Perspective

Stay fiercely independent of music scenes, cliques, trends, tribes, labels, entities, and hype. Understand the recent modern orientation has been for people’s perspectives to narrow. Always work to widen musical and cultural perspectives, both on a personal level, and of readers and listeners by reaching out to all the different elements, scenes, and perspectives that fall under the broad umbrella of “country” music, and country’s cultural impact. Work diligently to erode stereotypes. Encourage the exchange of differing and dissenting ideas and viewpoints.

Keep Clear Lines Between News, Facts, Reporting, and Opinion

As a site that regularly reports on news, but also gives opinion, lines between news and opinion must always stay clear. Always state facts devoid of opinion and always cite and link where possible to sources. Only use “unnamed” sources when absolutely necessary, and always keep a private log of such sources and all communication between them. Take a journalistic, unbiased approach to news reporting. Show respect to other media entities, and try to never “step on toes” by veering too far out of your established sphere of coverage and influence.

Always Be More Positive Than Negative

For every story written with a negative or critical perspective, there must be at least two stories with a positive or constructive perspective, despite the appeal or popularity of such stories. In the short-term, the news cycle or other circumstances can throw this ratio off. But over the long term, the imbalance towards the positive must be maintained.

Show No Favoritism, Avoid Self-Promotion

It’s all about the music. Be responsible with the public platform Saving Country Music has created, and never use it for self-promotion of you, or any of its other principals, including for personal music, creative, or business endeavors aside from specific ones related to the site, or the personal endeavors of friends or other close associates. Topics and coverage should be based on the quality of the content, not the personal relationships that may or may not exist with the artists or entities or subjects to be covered, or the personal feelings one may have about an artist or subject or entity.

Never Discuss Politics or Religion Unless Necessary to the Music

As inherently polarizing subjects that are regularly the flash points in the greater culture war, political and religious subjects should be avoided unless they are specifically germane to a musical or cultural subject. Entering into or creating political or religious discussions can immediately alienate half of a given set of readers, listeners, or fans. If politics or religion must be discussed, they should be approached as general as possible, without giving specific viewpoints, but how those viewpoints affect the music or cultural subject, and with respect paid to both sides of the discussion. Specific political or religious beliefs (democrat or republican, Christian or atheist) should never be elucidated or asserted by you or other principals of the site within the site’s context.

Walk Up to the Line, But Don’t Cross It

Sarcasm is safe, slander is not. Use humor when possible to log disapproval, not outright hatred. Always know where the line is between an artist or entity’s public persona and their personal lives. Never bring family into discussion unless specifically germane to the subject. Never make personal threats, especially ones alluding to bodily injury. When criticizing an individual or entity, always show respect by naming them by name; never hide behind ambiguity. Specific to women, never refer to them as “bitches” or any other derogatory term. When meeting or communicating with someone on a personal level, always be nice and be willing to put personal or musical differences aside.

Have utmost respect for everyone, especially adversaries. Understand the best way to defeat adversaries and adversarial viewpoints is by showing respect and attempting to understand differing viewpoints. Never criticize based on assumptions, but facts and research. Work to see common ground, not just to wedge apart from adversaries, or wedge apart the public in reactionary activities. Give credit where credit is due.

Embrace & Encourage Criticism

Admit mistakes when they are made, and attempt to learn from those mistakes. Embrace criticism; thrive off of it with the understanding that constant, relentless self-judgement, and an open mind to criticism from others is the key to evolution, growth, and understanding.

Be Honest

Always be completely honest about facts, subjects, and opinions, regardless of the popularity or ramifications of that honesty. If the results of that honesty are deemed too damaging or steep, then avoid the subject or opinion rather than lying about it, softening the opinion, or selectively reporting on the subject.

Never Forget Your Roots

Understand where Saving Country Music came from: the people, artists, and entities that helped get it started, the principles, causes, and topics that led to its popularity. Grow sustainably by holding true to all the aforementioned principles, instead of re-shapaing them or straying too far away from them for short-term success. Never worry about the perspective of the here and now. Understand that mistakes will be made, that there will be good and bad moments. But always try to do your best, and let history judge it.

George Miguel
Del Maguey
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