It can be difficult to maintain a brand identity without putting some thought into how one should communicate with your audience. The following is a house style document that sets out the parameters for contributing writers to maintain a consistent editorial style. This is like a business personality profile that sets the tone for how you interact with your customer/client/audience making it important to use language that communicates effectively with them.
Detonation Magazine – House Style (for volunteer contributors)
1.0 Style Principles
1.1 In-keeping with current trends, we will adopt a personal,conversational approach to articles on the website provided they adhere to paragraph 2.
1.2 Detonation is a Christian ministry, and all content must reflect this. There is no specific statement of faith contributors must profess beyond that they have openly accepted Jesus Christ as the son of God and the personal salvation of one’s soul. Further semantics may be discussed where relevant, but may not be allowed to become a divisive force.
1.3 The scope of the website is to include news, reviews, and culturally relevant articles to anything that can be described as ‘Hard Music’ with a Christian remit. This can mean CCM or Ministry artists, but does not prohibit focus on Christians within bands that are not necessarily Christian as long as the distinction is made. See paragraph 4 for details.
1.4 Cultural articles should have a spiritual relevance where possible.
2.0 Spelling, Punctuation & Grammar
2.1 Spelling, Punctuation & Grammar, except as a direct reference or quotation, must always be correct.
2.2 While I won’t go so far as to prohibit it, use of the vernacular is generally discouraged.
2.3 Be clear on what is factual and what is an opinion; with this caveat both types of discourse are encouraged.
3.1 Christian: openly professing faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God.
3.2 CCM: Christian Contemporary Music. These are artists &bands made up of Christians whose primary focus is to provide entertainment from that worldview.
3.3 Ministry Bands: Artists & bands whose focus is to use music to further the word and/or work of God in terms of evangelism, teaching and otherwise expanding the kingdom of God.
NB: Recognising the work of a ministry band is important because they need the support of the Church. It is also important to recognise the difference between CCM & Ministry bands because not all Christian entertainers are able to minister or teach.
3.4 Secular: anything that does not expressly profess faith. There is a remit to cover Christian musicians & artists in a secular environment with clear distinctions being made (see paragraph 4)
3.5 Hard Music: amplified music generally featuring distorted guitars and forceful vocals. Including but not limited to rock, metal and their respective subgenres. Specific attribution of genres/subgenres will be left to the discretion of contributors, but they must be prepared to argue their point with the editor.
4.0 Remit & Scope
4.1 Music: CCM & Ministry artists/bands are at the core of the Detonation remit, although Christians working in a secular environment are also worthy of note. All of these must be clearly distinguished in any given article.
4.2 News: Articles relating to the subjects of 4.1 should be treated with the same clarity and distinctions.
4.3 Culture: There is scope for articles not specifically music related, provided they are culturally and/or spiritually relevant to the demographic Christian Hard Music represents. Each article after this fashion will be treated on its own merit.
4.4 Wider cultural relevance: While it is important to note that 4.1 – 4.3 are strict outlines, contributors should be able to demonstrate a wider knowledge of the wider hard music scene(including secular artists) and/or the wider CCM & ministry cultures where relevant, although references that fall outside our remit should be clear in purpose and description.
For instance, we may feel it necessary to compare a Christian artist to their secular counterpart which is important for the sake of a) being clear about a description and b) making Christian music more accessible to people that know little about it. On the other hand, we should be wary of introducing immature Christian readers to secular content that would test their conscience. No doubt many of us were careful to listen to only Christian metal when we either first got into metal or first became Christians and we should honour that where possible among our readers.
- Detonation Magazine
- Contemporary Verse – Unheard Prayer