Taskforce in Focus – Federation News Service (FNS)

Taskforce in Focus – Federation News Service (FNS)

The Federation News Service allows any member to provide “bite-sized” IC news developments that can be shared across ships and referenced in sims to promote greater fleet IC continuity. Today we meet with the Federation News Service Facilitator, Jo Marshall, so we can learn more about this important part of our community! 

DeVeau: Thank you for joining us.  Can you please start by giving us a short overview on the Federation News Service and how it supports our StarBase 118 community?

Marshall: Sure thing! The Federation News Service is a sister-site to our main StarBase 118 and operates as an in-universe news outlet. We take submitted stories from our members, as well as from external sources, all geared towards expanding the Star Trek universe and making it feel a little more alive. Our stories are sometimes long, sometimes short, sometimes editorials, and sometimes giant expose pieces, all born from the imaginations of writers from the fandom. From the hilarious to the humbling, there are a million stories we could tell. 

What is your favorite thing about working on this taskforce?

Has to be the amount of sheer creativity that gets funneled into it. Someone will have a spark of an idea that doesn’t quite fit a sim, or doesn’t quite fit into what they’re writing at the time, and the best place to get that idea into the universe is with an FNS article! The brilliance of the writers on it is just insane. We’ve had some Captains in the group base missions off of stories we’ve published, so it’s great to see that we’ve been influencing what’s going on in the universe from our tiny corner of it. 

Who can join this taskforce?

Anyone can join and should be encouraged to! It’s a different style of writing than the sim format we use, as it’s a news article rather than a script, but it’s easy to do once you’ve put a couple together and had some feedback on how they can improve that article. I feel like I’ve grown as a writer by having the ability to switch gears once in a while and write something that’s in-universe but completely different to what I’m currently simming. It can be a good writer’s block breaker, getting you to think outside of the box, and come up with something that you wouldn’t necessarily be doing on ship. Whoever thought an article about a Luxury Gagh Startup or a popular Klingon Restaurant would be a good idea?

How would a new member join this taskforce?

New members can either grab me on Discord (Jo Marshall), or drop me an email, or prod me through the Forums. There’s a few house rules to follow when I’m adding you to the Google Groups for editing purposes and how to put an article together, but it’s an easy read and fun to get into.

What is the most fun thing about working on this taskforce?

Now you’re asking! The most fun thing about this taskforce has to be getting to read all the brilliant articles we get through and work with some of the most creative writers we’ve got as a community. It sounds like a cop out answer, but it really is such a fun place when it’s on a roll, and we get some amazing articles coming through that could be inspiration for you to try something new. I’ve been so inspired by the creativity on the FNS and in the team that it’s dripped over into the simming world for me, and many of the best articles we’ve had get talked about like popular culture (see: StarFlirt, which started as a joke on Discord).

It’s an awesome taskforce to join if you’re looking for something a bit different outside of simming that you can use to hone some skills, flex some creative muscles, and work with fellow simmers to put together some awesome in-universe content for a diverse audience. 

Thank you so much for your insights on the FNS!

You can read more about Federation News Service on the wiki.

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