Journalists: the Riftside Review is happy to publish your stories, in-game, in its weekly edition. News stories of this era look a little different to today, and there are basicly two formats:
short (NIBs): 1 - 100 words, without a headline. A sentence or two (or ten) about something that has happened or is about to happen. “A posse is being assembled to hunt the man who robbed the bank yesterday” is a perfectly fine NIB. So is “the Quartermaster has fresh oranges in”. A short account of the hunt, and what happened when the posse found the miscreant, or the subsequent orange riot, would also work.
full: up to 300 words (that’s half a column), with headline. 300 words doesn’t sound like a lot, and its not - basicly the length of an average blog post.
It is unusual for any individual news story to be longer than this, so don’t be worried if it doesn’t seem like you haven’t written much. It looks a lot bigger in a 5cm wide column, believe me.
Deadlines: I haven’t settled on this yet, but if we’re aiming for a 6pm Saturday publication, then the absolute deadline is likely to be 4pm, and the earlier news is in the better. You should drop items off at the news office throughout the day so it can be put into paste-up. while I am expecting to receive handwritten submissions and to then type them up, if you want to surreptitiously type stuff up yourself and give them to me on a stick, that would save a lot of time. Plain text, or something OpenOffice can read please.
Modern journalism is all about the direct quote. 1869 journalism isn’t. Its an account of what happened, including what was said (often, exclusively what was said), but it is rare to actually quote people. So write down what people said, but don’t be too fussed about getting it exact. If they violently correct you later, then that’s another news story.
Modern journalism is also all about objectivity, and the reporter or newspaper does not feature in the story. This is an idea which is only just beginning in 1869, and it is normal for stories to say things like “we have heard” or “we understand that”, as well as to mix comment and fact. Basicly, the authorial voice is different from what you read in the Herald or the Dom-Post. But the subeditor can always fix that.
Tips for getting stories:
- write down everything that happens. There’s a fight? Write down the where and the what, and maybe the who. Someone tells you something interesting? Write it down. Something weird happens? Write it down. Someone has a big gun? Ask them about it, and write it down. Try and turn it into one or two sentences - this is where your NIBs come from.
- ask people what’s happening, especially if they seem important. Someone new has come to Consequence? Ask them who they are and why they’re here, and write it down. Someone got arrested or shot by the blood and bone? Ask the chief compliance officer why. Bored? Ask the quartermaster what’s selling and what they need, and write it down.
- Go along on expeditions. Someone’s leaving town to hunt for that miscreant? Go along and write down what happens (or make a show of your cowardice, then ask them what happened afterwards). There’s an opportunity cost here, in that while you’re off with them, you won’t be getting stories elsewhere, but don’t sweat it. If the editor has to print filler because there isn’t enough news, well, that’s a thing that actually happened. First and foremost, do what is fun for you as a player. This is a game, not a job.