Many people who work in rock and metal journalism aren’t journalists. Many people who work in journalism don’t know enough about rock and metal. Rock News Desk is staffed by professional journalists who know about rock and metal – and that won’t change because we’d be breaking faith with you, the reader.
These are the ten commandments under which Rock News Desk operates.
1. We will always maintain quality at any cost
Rock News Desk will educate, inform and entertain with everything we publish. You won’t read articles about bands who are looking forward to playing shows, or wade through comments about where artists get their ideas from. Our stories will be written to the length they need without artificial padding or screeds of irrelevant or boring material. They will be written with accuracy, pace and character.
2. We will never act like the fount of all knowledge
Our service is designed to present the biggest stories of the day so you don’t need to go looking for them. We expect you to drop in, take a look then move on. Whenever it’s appropriate we’ll provide links to more information.
3. We will always give you a reason to read
Headlines and intros are designed to persuade the casual reader, who’s not a fan of the band in question, that there’s something for them in the story too. We won’t abuse that – if we sell you a read it’ll be worth buying.
4. We will never copy and paste anything
While we do lift stories and quotes from other outlets, we type everything again from scratch. It’s the best way to get inside the details of the story rather than slavishly repeat what someone else has reported. On many occasions we gain a better understanding of what the story is about than the outlet which originally published it.
5. We will always remember our place
We stand between you and the people we write about. We’re not them, we’re not their friends, we’re not in any way more important than you just because we’re writing about someone people admire. We will never act like we’re somehow closer to the spirit of rock and metal than you are. We know we’re not.
6. We will never take your support for granted.
The only reason you’ll ever visit us is because we have something you want to know more about. We won’t expect something for nothing from you. We want you to trust us to deliver, and we want to be worthy of your trust.
7. We will always do all the work.
We believe in the power of text as the most portable and convenient of modern media. We won’t expect you to fill in any blanks in our articles – we won’t write a quick introduction then leave you to watch a video or listen to audio to discover the essential facts of any stories. Nor will we pass you to another outlet to discover salient points. Although of course you’ll often find more detail in other places.
8. We will never blur the lines between fact and opinion
We want to know what you think, and on occasion we believe it’s worth telling you what we think. When we do, comment will be marked as comment and not presented as if it’s part of a news story. Although we’re sure you’d be able to tell anyway.
9. We will always make sure stories are world class
Our rules for inclusion are simple. A story must be about someone the general audience cares about, or it must be about something the general audience cares about – and preferably both. We don’t subscribe to the amateur excuse of publishing poor articles because it’s a “slow news day”. Some days are better than others and that’s true in every walk of life. But if there aren’t any stories worth your attention on any given day, we won’t publish fillers – we just won’t publish at all. And yes, it does happen from time to time.
10. We will never employ SEO tricks or keep you clicking
Corporate bodies are obsessed with “search engine optimisation” to wave their wares in your face, whether you want them or not. They employ tricks like multiple clicks to stories or photo galleries, because they use the total number of hits and clicks as a measure of how well they’re doing. We believe the only valuable measure of success is how happy we, and you, are with our work. That’s not quantifiable in SEO tricks or click tricks, and we won’t ever try to go there.
Naturally there will be times you won’t feel we’ve kept to our commandments. When that happens please let us know – we can’t fix it if we don’t know it’s broken. When appropriate we will issue public apologies and we’ll aim to publish them at the same size the inaccurate story took up; so for example if a story which turns out to be wrong was the day’s lead article, the apology will also be a lead article.