From Parts Unknown...
We are American Wayfarer.
We believe every community, every individual, in this magnificent patch-work, melting pot of a country of ours has a story to tell. Stories are more than just entertainment. Stories are how we educate and inspire each other, how we discuss the things that unify us and the things that make us different. At American Wayfarer we are dedicated to discovering and sharing the stories that characterize the unique flavor of Americana, from yesteryear to the present.
American Wayfarer seeks to explore topics related to the Society, Culture, and History of America utilizing professional methods of Investigation, accumulating Testimony, and hands-on Experience. These core values constitute our basic roadmap for producing stories to educate, stimulate imagination, and provoke thought in our audience.
We call it the SCHITE method.
The Panderkitch Codex
Brian Panderkitch, our CEO and lawgiver, believes in a "free reign" policy as much as possible for our team of writers and contributors. That said, we have a list of "Writer's Advisements" straight from the chief's office that is referred to as "The Codex" and serves as our ethics and standards guidelines. Among the most important entries in the codex are the following:
1. Preserve the Words
While we typically discourage excessive profanity among our writers, we never censor quotes directly from a source as we believe you can't change words without affecting both tone and meaning. Sometimes a story will rely on an author's memory and it may be impossible to recall a quote with 100% accuracy. In these cases, our authors make a note of the possible inaccuracies and make concerted efforts to represent the tone of the conversation being recalled as authentically as humanly possible.
2. Label your Biases
We believe that there is no such thing as truly objective journalism. Its a nice ideal but, like leprechauns, it can't survive in the atmosphere of reality. That said, we think bias isn't such a bad thing. Personal perspective it what gives a story its flair, its style, and its fire. Things only sour when opinion masquerades as fact. We don't expect our authors to purge their biases, but instead to acknowledge and address them. We, at American Wayfarer, will always strive to represent both facts and options in our publications and to always make a distinction between the two.
3. Everyone You Meet Knows Something You Don't
Bill Nye, American scientist and TV personality, once said, "Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don't." Its hard to expand on this little nugget of wisdom. At American Wayfarer, this little quote embodies our conviction that everyone in this country, even this world, has at least one story worth telling, one perspective worth sharing, or one nugget of wisdom worth remembering.
4. Write What Matters
Sometimes having an opinion means making an enemy. The only way to avoid offending anyone is never to say anything more confrontational than "Good Morning." That may once have been the ideal of objective journalism, but its not one we expect of our writers at American Wayfarer. We believe that something worth believing in is worth saying, even when its not popular. Sometimes the unpopular things are the things that most need to be said.
5. Take Everything Seriously Except Yourself
Ideas matter. Every idea, even a bad one, deserves to be evaluated seriously and from a position of scrutinizing respect. Sometimes that can be hard to do, but we believe its worth doing as much as possible. No, not every idea is equally good but sometimes the process of showing (seriously) why an idea is flawed is how we learn about good ideas. In the world of ideas, the greatest mistake is the refusal to communicate. An idea dismissed out of hand is an idea ignored and we don't believe ignorance is ever valuable.
That said, even if all ideas should be taken seriously, we at American Wayfarer don't want to take ourselves too seriously. We are, after all, an internet magazine, not scholars. We'll try not to get too settled in on that high horse of ours.