NUSIC CONFLICT OF INTEREST POLICY

It’s in our DNA to be as accurate, fair and transparent as possible.

Obviously our number one reason for existence is to help Notts musicians. A significant part of Nusic’s founding was also forged in the desire to be a local media outlet that had the editorial standards and rigor of a national outlet, not the nepotistic levels often prevalent in local. Let us be direct and transparent with you right now, as we have grown, we have had to be pragmatic at times, plus we have learned to loosen up a tad (which has given us some empathy for the challenges local media outlets have staying going). Is it really nepotistic to shout a charity gig raising money for a great cause that happens to be run by someone you know? Or is it just being editorially appropriate? You’ll note we also said accurate (earlier). At times the right editorial decision will be one that involves someone you know, it is a Top Three gig, it is the stand out Release of the Week. Knowing others doesn’t negate that.

Over the years we have learned the middle ground is not to deny reality, but to be transparent, to say yes we think this is the best gig of the week and we’ll argue the case in Editorial Court (see FAQ 8 for more on that HERE) till blue in the face. Equally you should know that one of the bands has an intern of ours in it. That kind of thing.

For context, here is the BBC’s official take on Conflict of Interest (highlighting by us):

“A conflict of interest may arise when the external activities of anyone involved in making our content affects the BBC’s reputation for integrity, independence and high standards, or may be reasonably perceived to do so.  Our audiences must be able to trust the BBC and be confident that our editorial decisions are not influenced by outside interests, political or commercial pressures, or any personal interests.

There is a danger of conflict of interest in every area of programme or content making. Each department or team must be aware of its area of vulnerability.  There may be particular sensitivities for on-air talent.”

Arguably the most important word in the above is the ‘reasonably’ in the ‘reasonably perceived to do so’. And the most important phrase is ‘must be aware’.

Making a call on what is ‘reasonable’, and ensuring that ‘you are aware’. We deploy a certain number of red lines, if you want to be part of Team Nusic this is how it is going to be:

  • If you work for Nusic you can not enter FSN yourself or have an FS yourself.
  • If you work for Nusic and manage an artist they can not enter FSN yourself or have an FS.
  • If you work for Nusic, and do professional work with artists we cover, you declare that on this page.
  • None of the above exclusions apply to Volunteers. They must simply declare their connection as a potential Conflict of Interest, plus there are some FSN specific rules for volunteers. These are outlined on the FSN page, funny that.

On the ‘must be aware’ vibe we also do transparency declarations where we do not think it is reasonable to ask the team member not to do something, but we feel you should know about the activity / connection etc.

Current potential Conflicts of Interest are:

  • Part-time Nusic Editor Sam Nahirny manages unsigned artist HASHTAGOBI.
  • Part-time Nusic Editor Sam Nahirny is a professional music photographer, having photographed world famous artists such as J Cole, Wolf Alice and Sigma. Sam offers a discounted service to Nottingham musicians which means he has worked with over 20 Nottingham musicians since 2015.
  • Part-time Nusic Events Human Greg Lonsdale manages a professional (as in makes a full time living from) musician ROB GREEN.
  • New Music Podcast Intern Rob Leedell is in a band called THE FINE ART SOCIETY.
  • Nusic Founder Mark Del has no current Conflicts of Interest.

Our goal is to be even more transparent than the BBC at the national level (we could not find any local or regional specific policies), which doesn’t mean there is not to room to improve, but for a small local entity to mimic the world’s most respected broadcaster, hopefully is not too shabby an effort.

Yours in Love of New Music,
Team Nusic x

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