Music Library Policy (draft)
This policy outlines what CFRU aims to achieve with its music library and how new music submissions are evaluated. It also provides a process for CFRU volunteers to report concerns about items in our library and how that music may get reconsidered.
CFRU’s Music Library
CFRU endeavours to provide a music library that furthers our mandate, and supports our programmers’ shows and future show ideas. The library acts as both a steady supply of new music and as a music archive. It offers a diverse selection of genres, styles, and artist identities, while supporting our Canadian content requirement and promoting local artists. The music library is managed by the Music Director with a team of volunteers that, together, make up CFRU’s music department.
New Music Submissions
Music submitted to CFRU must be either an EP with a minimum of 3 tracks or a full-length album. Music is reviewed by the Music Director and/or trained volunteers, and is assessed on whether the submission is a good fit for the station.
The music dept. considers a variety of aspects when making this assessment, such as the quality of the submission, CFRU’s mandate, the current needs of our collection, demand for a record or genre, the shows we currently feature as well as the type of shows we would like to have in the future.
Greater consideration is therefore given to music and identities that are often underrepresented or marginalized in mainstream media and the music industry. This includes, but is not limited to, artists who are women, non-binary, BIPOC, 2SLGBTQIA+, or living with disabilities. Local artists, new releases, music that is independently or self-released, and music that is considered Canadian content as per the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission’s MAPL system are also given greater consideration.
The music dept. does not knowingly add music or artists that promote or normalize hate, discrimination, or violence towards any group or individual on the basis of race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, gender and gender representation, age, real or perceived socio-economic status, mental or physical ability, sexual orientation, citizenship status, or source of income.
If a volunteer believes that an item added to our music library is problematic for any of the above reasons, they may request to have it reconsidered (see below), with the option to submit their concerns anonymously.
Reconsidering Music in our Library
CFRU volunteers can submit complaints regarding the content of a record or the actions of an artist or band member(s) using our Request Form in order to have that music reconsidered. The form can be submitted anonymously or with contact info. Complaints will be reviewed by the Music Library Committee, subject to oversight by the Board of Directors. Until further notice, the Music Library Committee consists of CFRU staff members and/or board members.
For allegations about an artist or band member(s), a link to an article by a reputable news source is required in most cases. Other sources, e.g. links to social media posts, or first person accounts, can be considered in certain circumstances.
The Music Library Committee will review a submitted request at their next monthly meeting, and, unless the form was submitted anonymously, the volunteer will be contacted with the committee’s decision.
In its decision making, the committee will consider questions such as:
- What is the potential for harm, particularly for marginalized communities, by playing the music without proper contextualization?
- How likely is it that programmers would refrain from playing the music after being made aware of the concerns?
- Would it benefit future staff and volunteers to be aware of these concerns?
- Regarding recent acts or allegations, what are the impacts on our communities and in society more generally?
- Regarding historical actions or allegations, what were the impacts on society at the time and how do they impact our communities now?
- What is the historical significance of the artist and/or the material in question?
If the committee finds that there is sufficient cause for concern, the standard practice will be to add a notice to the music in question to alert programmers of the issues. This is to ensure programmers have the capacity to make informed decisions, and to recognize that programmers may still have valid grounds for featuring the music (e.g. in a documentary context, or if the music has cultural or historical significance that transcends the artist’s individual legacy). CFRU may also directly advise programmers of behaviour by specific artists if necessary. Alternatively, the committee reserves the right to make the music available exclusively by request, or to remove the music from the library altogether.
The Music Library Committee is only able to reconsider an item in our library once a request for it is received. Therefore, please be aware that the presence of a record in our collection or the absence of a notice does not necessarily indicate an endorsement of its contents or the artist by CFRU.
If, at a later date, new information about a reconsidered artist is brought to the committee’s attention, the committee may either update its notice or re-examine its original decision.
Separate from any content concerns, material may also be culled from the library when storage needs dictate. Music will be reviewed using considerations similar to new music submissions, as well as an item’s value and significance for a music collection, the availability of that item in the marketplace etc.
For questions about this policy or committee decisions, please contact the Music Director by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note that not all music that is broadcast on CFRU comes from the station’s music library. Any complaints from listeners about content heard on CFRU should be submitted using our Listener Feedback form: https://www.cfru.ca/feedback/listeners/