Code of Ethics and Conduct for http://www.the-lost-art.com ™ www.preservingthepitch.com ©

Code of Ethics and Conduct for http://www.the-lost-art.com ™ www.preservingthepitch.com ©
IntroductionIn order to settle the debate on ethical behavior at the-lost-art.com (TLA), different opinions have been taken into consideration and with these, a code of ethics has been developed that hopefully, the whole organization can agree on and adhere to. TLA operates as an independent video/radio station, promoting the values of the underground through music. At the same time, TLA is also a business, in need of structure to help the organization run more smoothly. Part of that structure is this code of ethics and conduct.Business Ethics As with any business, TLA should strive to operate in an ethical manner. What exactly does this entail, though? Most professions have a code of ethics and running an Internet video/radio station should be no different. No matter the size of the business, ethics should always be a top priority (Heydari, et al., 2011). After all, an ethical business is a successful business.Honesty in business is perhaps the most important ethical value. Through honesty, trust, as well as reputation builds. A reputation for honesty and trust can greatly help a business to grow. For instance, a large part of the reason Amazon.com has been successful is their reputation as an ethical, honest, and trusted company (Heydari, et al., 2011). For TLA, this includes honesty between management and performers, fans, and sponsors, as well as vise versa. If TLA operates as an establishment based on honesty and trust, its reputation for excellence will grow.Respect also forms the foundations of a successful business. As with all aspects of life, this comes down to the Golden Rule, treat others as you wish to be treated. Whether a performer, part of the management team, or just a fan, be respectful of each other. With respect comes a measure of professionalism. If the people involved in TLA do not respect one another, no one else will have respect for TLA, and this organization will not grow.TLA should always strive to provide the highest quality service and listening environment possible. An ethical business pays attention to the needs of their customers, or in this case, listeners. In order to be ethical, and thus successful, TLA needs to adjust the environment to fit the listeners. Pay attention to the desires of the people listening and always try to make sure the TLA experience is the most ideal for everyone. After all, the audience is why TLA operates in the first place and they are critical to its success.A Look at Similar Websites’ Codes of Conduct When searching the Internet for a code of conduct or ethics concerning similar websites to TLA, there is not much to be found. Most streaming video sites such asustream.com or dailymotion.com have a legal “terms of use” form to sign in order to broadcast. However, a code of ethics or conduct is absent from these sites. YouTube.com does have a set of community guidelines, which are reasonable. Most of the guidelines contained on the website are of a common sense nature, such as no pornography, no gratuitous violence, and no stalking. Interestingly, YouTube begins their community guidelines with the statement, “We’re not asking for the kind of respect reserved for nuns, the elderly, and brain surgeons. We mean don’t abuse the site,” (http://www.youtube.com/t/commu…..guidelines). The community guidelines also stress the values of free speech and having fun. These values should also hold true for TLA. Committing the organization to an ethical environment sets it apart from other Internet electronic music stations, as competing websites have no set of guidelines for ethics or conduct. Code of Conduct for On-Air Talent  With the help of the survey that was sent out, a firm set of rules for on-air talent has been set up. These rules focus on the biggest areas of concern amongst the people that make up TLA. Out of one hundred surveys that were sent out, twenty-five people responded back. These answers were tabulated and the rules are based on these results. The following are the rules decided upon:

  1. No smoking of any kind on camera. The results of this question came up with 68% of the votes replying in the negative. Smoking on camera makes TLA appear unprofessional and sets a bad influence for those who may be watching. If smoking is absolutely necessary, step off of camera to do so.
  2. Drinking is allowed on camera, however it must be done in a cup. While 80% of those surveyed felt that drinking should be allowed, 48% of the people replied with the stipulation that drinking only occur in a cup, not out of a bottle or can. In addition, drinking alcoholic beverages should be kept to a minimum. Enjoying a beer or two, in a cup, is fine. However, no one wants to watch a deejay become absolutely inebriated during his or her show. It makes TLA look unprofessional and again, is a negative influence for our younger viewers.
  3. Keep a shirt on while broadcasting on TLA. Of those surveyed, 68% replied in the negative when it comes to removing clothing during a broadcast. Nate Propst, aka NazT N8 put it well with his statement, “Are we broadcasting new episodes of the Whites of West Virginia? It’s just plain trashy and I should be a fairly good judge being from North Carolina.” Again, TLA is trying to maintain a professional atmosphere, and removing clothing during a broadcast does not look professional.
  4. Swearing is allowed while on the air. However, use good judgment when doing so. While 60% of those surveyed agreed swearing should be allowed, most of these put on the stipulation that excessive swearing not be allowed. While an occasional curse word is all right, using an expletive every other word makes TLA appear unprofessional. In addition, swearing in the music is acceptable. TLA is an independent station, and until a time when this organization falls under the control of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), TLA will uphold the value of anti-censorship.
  5. All on-air talent needs to respect the audience. Pay attention to the feedback the audience gives. If the chat room comments on the volume, adjust it accordingly. If the crowd is saying they do not like the camera angle or the video is too dark, change it. Above all, never make insulting or offensive remarks to the audience. The goal of every show is to get people to come back, as well as bring in more people. If a performer offends the audience, they are unlikely to return.
  6. Respect each other as artists and performers. When starting a show, make sure to get into contact with the previous performer to make sure they are ready. Do not cut the stream without checking with the other person first. No one likes being cut off. Also, keep the comments about other performers positive. If there is something negative to say, form it as constructive criticism. Do not trash talk other deejays or producers performing for TLA.
  7. Self-promotion is acceptable while broadcasting on TLA, to a degree. Never is it acceptable to promote a show on a competing Internet station. However, a brief announcement about a show coming up in a club is acceptable. Here is a great suggestion for tasteful self-promotion; “The more ethical thing to do would be to direct viewers to one’s own Facebook page or website, and announce events there.” While self-promotion is acceptable, try to keep it to a minimum.
  8. Management, and only management will deal with infractions of these rules. If a problem occurs, report it to the proper people, and do not deal with it personally. For the first and second offense, a warning will be issued about offensive behavior. Upon the third intentional breaking of the rules, the performer in question will be put on probation, which includes a temporary loss of his or her time slot. Depending on the seriousness of the infractions, management will make a decision as to whether the loss of a time slot becomes permanent.
  9. Above all, have fun. TLA is here for the music first and the pleasure associated with music. Have fun with the shows. If the performer is not having a good time, neither will the audience. “The video should look like something where the crowd wishes they were there.”

Code of Conduct for the Chat Room

 As with other areas of TLA, respectful behavior is expected in the chat room. In order to maintain a friendly and open forum for people to enjoy the music, TLA asks these few common sense guidelines of netiquette.

  1. No racial slurs, sexist remarks or any other hate speech. TLA is a place for everyone and no one should feel unwelcome due to disrespect.
  2. No harassment or bullying, sexual or otherwise. In other words, please do not be a jerk.
  3. No “flaming” or typing in all capital letters, as this is the Internet form of yelling. No one likes being yelled at, so please refrain from doing so.
  4. Respect other people’s opinions. If in disagreement with someone, make this known in a tactful manner.
  5. Keep comments about the performer and the music positive. Like the saying goes, “If you do not have anything nice to say, do not say anything at all.”
  6. If someone is acting in a disrespectful or offensive manner, they will be sent a private message from the TLA chat room administrator, kindly asking them to change their behavior. If the offending behavior continues, the administrator will ask the person in question to please leave. Repeated offenses will result in a ban from TLA.

 

Other Areas of Concern

 In addition to the recommendations above, there are a few more topics upon which people have expressed concern. First, many people mentioned in their surveys the topic of keeping disputes private. This goes along with respect. If a problem arises with another member of TLA’s team, confront the individual directly. Please refrain from making arguments public, such as on Facebook. It does not reflect well on the individuals involved, or TLA. If the issue is serious enough, report it to management, rather than trying to deal with it as an individual. Rest assured that TLA’s management has everyone’s best interests in mind and will do what they can to make TLA enjoyable for all.

Next, though TLA does have a central management making final decisions, it still operates as a democratic organization. Everyone’s feedback is important to the growth and success of TLA. For this reason, it has been suggested that a voting system be put into place, where the group can decide upon all major decisions. Though the set-up of such a system is beyond the scope of this report, it deserves a mention here as several people suggested such a thing in their surveys. If you have any ideas for setting up a working system of voting for TLA, please contact management with your ideas.

Finally, while TLA is a business, the style of music and the idea behind it make a part of underground culture, rather than “mainstream.” The biggest factor in this is the style of music and the atmosphere that underground music brings with it. Nate * aka Natural Nate summed up the values of the underground very well, “Honesty, respect, and one unity.” TLA should also strive to uphold the underground value of accepting everyone, based on a mutual love of music. Above all, TLA should always remain a place for anyone to enjoy music.

 Conclusion

 Please consider these guidelines for ethical behavior and adhere to them, in order to keep the experience of TLA enjoyable for everyone. Thank you to all of the people who contributed to this report; your feedback was helpful. If there are any questions, please direct them towards the management team.

 

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