The Federation News Service is an in character independent news agency dedicated to providing citizens of the United Federation of Planets the latest news and stories from across the galaxy. Out of character, the FNS facilitators are Lieutenant Commander Jo Marshall and Lieutenant Commander Samira Neathler who have joined us today so we can learn more about this important part of our community!
DeVeau: Thank you both for joining us! Can you please start by giving us a short overview of the Federation News Service and how it supports our StarBase 118 community?
Neathler: Thank you for the interview and putting the FNS in the spotlights. The idea of the Federation News Service is a newspaper set in the future that, just like any other paper, lets the readers know what is happening in, not only Starfleet but the wide universe out there too. Next to the monthly ship reports, people from the fleet can submit their own stories in a wide variety of subjects like Culture, Business, Life & Travel, etc.
Each month, the First Officer, or someone else, from every ship in Starbase 118 writes a mission report about what has happened on the ship or mission wise the past month. It gives the readers the opportunity to keep track of what is happening on all the ships in the fleet, without having to read every single sim.
Marshall: Not to mention, it acts as a bit of advertising for each ship and the ‘Fleet out there, working in tandem as a sister to Starbase 118. We’ve recruited people to the ‘Fleet through the articles we publish, get articles submitted to us from other RPG groups in the wider community, and help with plot arcs through ours. If someone has a cool idea for a plot arc they want to run concurrently to their mission on ship, we can support it with well-timed articles.
What is your favorite thing about working on this taskforce?
Neathler: It keeps me up to date with what is happening in the fleet. And the other writings are things you can use in your sims. As the articles published by the FNS are canon.
I especially like the continuity in some of the stories. For instance, recently a Burger Nagus opened on DS224. A few weeks later another reporter submitted an article that mentioned food poisoning in Subway Sam’s located on the same deck of that station. And even though none of the articles hinted towards it, as a reader, I couldn’t help but wonder if there wasn’t a connection between the two events.
Marshall: For sure, and the sheer breadth of creativity our writers have astounds me weekly! We’ve got so much lore to work with so we end up celebrations of major events coming back around, or memorials of Dominion War issues, or making up sports reports (Thunderbolt Sports Report!) for the future, its mind blowing. Our writers make every article excellent, and our editors help polish them up for the publishing. It’s so collaborative and feels like a little collective.
We’ve also had instances of published articles becoming missions, as well. Writers submitting articles have inspired a mission or two for ships around the ‘Fleet, and they’ve tied in their mission to the events of the article. It’s a fun way to interweave all these elements of our community together and amazing when it happens.
Who can join this taskforce?
Neathler: Anyone can join the taskforce. Even non-members can submit articles through the FedNewsService website at the following link: https://fednewsservice.com/submit/
Marshall: If anyone is looking for a secondary creative outlet, or just to add some flavour to their ship lore and missions, it’s well worth getting in touch to see how we can help you achieve those goals.
How would a new member join this taskforce?
Neathler: They can send a message to Jo and they can find more info about the FNS on the wiki: Federation News Service Team – 118Wiki (starbase118.net). You can even create a new character as a reporter, an alter-ego, the person who’s writing the articles.
Marshall: Usually, we ask anyone wanting to join to submit a story on the above address so we can get a feel for the type of articles someone wants to write, like the application to the group does. You can submit one-off articles, or submit an article intending to join and help us write more creative content.
What are some challenges you face with running the FNS?
Neathler: We’d like to publish more articles besides the mission reports. It’s a great opportunity for members in the fleet to write about smaller side plots happening, especially during shore leave, that somehow don’t reach the monthly reports but that I would love to read about. Like why does a certain Vulcan Academy no longer allow a couple of people to enter their premises. Or that time when a certain ship encountered not one but two Gormaganders floating in space.
Marshall: Exactly that. We had a great submission a few years ago for Genkos Adea, concerning the arrest and trial of his father for murder. It was spectacular, and we want more like it. We’d like folk to submit articles for their b-plots and side missions; all these intricate details you put into your sims and take some time to think about, we want to read about it, too. It doesn’t take much; a couple of paragraphs and a title, and our team of writers and editors can help flesh it out.
What are your visions for the future of this team and the FNS?
Marshall: We run an article a week on the FNS submitted by our reporters, and I’d like to see those becoming more involved in the plots and missions of the ships in the ‘Fleet. The more we get people involved in what we do, the easier it is to see how this article-led newspaper service can be an influence for good (or evil) on the community as we know it. We’re planning on developing more plot arcs for the future, branching out into some yellow journalism, and running a plot through the FNS itself. It’s absolutely a great time to get involved with the team and see your articles making the headlines in the group.
Thank you both so much for your insights on the Federation News Service Taskforce!
You can join the Federation News Service Taskforce here.
You can read more about the Federation News Service on the wiki.