Today, I have the privilege of talking with Captain Andrus Jaxx, Facilitator of the Starbase 118 News team, and also the Captain of the USS Apollo.
The news team provides articles of Star Trek and Science News from around the globe. Not only does the team hunt for interesting news to report from outside of our community, but also from within.
As you notice there has been plenty of news and interviews coming from the different ships. Plot summaries, changes in command, and the current events that happen around the fleet.
Thank you for taking time to meet with me Captain, could you give us a little background of your career?
Sure! I started my career with Starbase 118 back in 2007. It was actually an accident the way I stumbled across the site. I had just watched Nemesis for the billionth time(slight dramatization) and I was curious about Captain Riker and the USS Titan. So I did as anyone does these days when they want to know more and plugged “USS Titan” into my search engine. Whist I found some information on Riker, I found some on Starbase 118’s inactive vessel carrying the same name. I thought to myself, “Wow, this is a place where the story can continue!” I did not consider myself a writer in any way. As a matter of fact, I hated it. I continued to surf the site for about 2 weeks before I decided to take the plunge. I was so worried that I would not be good enough, that because I hated writing I would not like it, and basically any other excuse you can come up with to make failure okay in your mind. Once I started, I hit the ground running! Fresh out of the Academy I was assigned to the USS Challenger as a Counselor. I think at the time it was my 3rd choice in duty post, but to get a ship that simmed as fast as I wanted…I had to make some concessions. I spent nearly 2 years in that role before moving to Strategic Operations Officer and Second Officer. From there I served as First Officer on the USS Resolution under FltCpt(then Commander) Toni Tuner. From there I transferred to the USS Eagle as Strategic Operations Officer under R. Admiral Rocar Drawoh. My next assignment came when Captain Quinn Reynolds assumed command of the Eagle. I made the move with R. Admiral Rocar to the USS Victory as First Officer. Upon his retirement, I assumed command of the Victory and eventually took her with me to Starbase 118 Operations as our support craft. After nearly a year on the starbase, I transferred command to my XO at the time, Commander Kalianna Nicholotti. As she started her Captaincy Practical, I launched the USS Apollo with a mixture of officers across the fleet, as well as some fresh graduates.
Could you please explain in a little more depth about the News Team and what are the duties?
The News Team serves a duel purpose. First, they way a website thrives is started by their content. As we gain popularity in the eyes of Google, Bing, Yahoo, and any other search engine our content is the base that everything is built on. We make sure that each day their is a fresh article posted to our main site. While the topics can be reused, the content inside has to be unique and not found anywhere else on the web, and constant.
The second purpose is to educate and entertain our fleet. Most of our posts come from internal matters. Since the new year we have put more focus on interviews with fleet members, articles on our history, announcements, and anything else our writers deem worthy to write about. The result is a fleet that feels like they know what is going on all around them. Each month our readers can look at the plots being ran on every ship. Knowing where ships like the Discovery-C, Tiger, or Avandar have been excites some people, as well as stems creativity for their own plots.
What have been the most interesting articles that you have come across?
This is a hard one! As facilitators, Commander Aron Kells and I read over every single article before it is scheduled. I think it is easier to go with my favorite columns. I love the Lower Decks column. It is fun for me to read about writers and characters that I do not serve with. It helps me feel like we are closer, even if not on the same ship. I also love Mondays, and the Writer’s Workshop/Officer’s Guide column. When I started, writing was not something I was great at. Now, I seem to do pretty well, but I am always looking on tips to be better. I still hate writing, but anything Star Trek related is exempt!
How does one join the team and what are the requirements needed?
We have a very simple process. If you head to the News Team wiki page, you will find a link to our Yahoo! Group page. Just request membership, be sure to list your character name, and poof you have joined. There is no rank requirement to join the group. When you start, you are given the link to important information about posting and procedures and then you are off and running!
What type of composing editor is used for the News Team?
Our website is powered by WordPress. Therefore, we use their very easy interface to post our news content. It is a very easy process that allows our writers to seamlessly create their articles.
Is there a weekly requirement for submitting the news?
We ask that writers remain consistent. If you join and can commit to 2 articles a month, that is what we expect. Of course, the more articles we have, the better. We are always looking for writers to jump in and join the team. Right now we are scheduled about a week in advance. We would love to get to the point where we are able to schedule a whole month and have articles on stand-by. The more we have to pull from, the better.
If you would like to contribute to the News Team, head over to their Yahoo! Group and request membership!