Posted by Corelin
Time to write something.
Things that are, things that were and some things that have not yet come to pass.
Things that are:
Some EvE writers have astounding flexibility when it comes to how and what they do in-game. Look at Poetic Stanziel who has drifted through any number of organizations lately. Doors open for us, we can generally get an interview, or conversation with almost anyone, and can expect a response to evemails on just our name alone. Fancy Hats had the closest and most up-front Hulkageddon coverage with fleets often consisting of myself, Orakkus and Poetic Stanziel and while Poetic has moved all the way to FWEDDIT while still continuing to provide his normal high level of content and volume.
In addition there are now three possible major sources of syndication (not counting reddit where usually it’s people pimping their own brand, myself included) EN24, Themittani.com and eve-tribune.com. EvE Tribune has the oldest name, having been around for a LONG time in one form or another. The first issue came out in June of 06 in fact. And while they don’t syndicate outside content they do assign stories and work far more like a print newspaper than EN24. EN24 on the other hand actively seeks bloggers to provide additional content. Riverini is very hands-on and will find stories one day, request something another and write it himself the third. While he certainly has his biases anyone who is surprised to find a bias on a volunteer run EvE news site is in denial. Speaking of bias let’s move on to the current big guy. The Mittani. There actually hasn’t been any really overt bias yet on TheMittani.com beyond the expected massive favoritism towards nullsec and big fleet folks. Three articles of the first page of features articles are about ships that you would only really see a lot of in deep null. Titans and NApocs. Yeah you occasionally see a NApoc running missions. But dozens/hundreds of them? Null. Page two has an article on RvB and highsec’s impending nerf. Page three is back to all null all the time (and MWO, which needs to hold off on releasing until I get paid so I can get my preorder in.)
TheMittani.com doesn’t have an obvious pro-CFC bias. Yes there’s plenty of stories about it, written in a “we suck at this” self-deprecating mannerto make them look like they recognize their own inferiority. Kind of an odd style when they pretty much play the tune that null dances to today. The bias isn’t in the writing though, it’s in the facts. CFC is having things their way and no amount of writing can change that. When the news media organization is part of the biggest, most powerful group you can’t blame the newsies for the fact that they report the facts. Their bias lies in their focus on Null, Null, more Null, occasionally dipping their toes into a write-up on how much highsec sucks, or something interesting that happened in FW or a wormhole; but also more Null.
Things That Were
Back when I wrote for EvE-Tribune things were tougher. I interviewed both Alazais/Lord Maldoror of R&K and Robert Hudson of AHARM about the battles featured in the now-famous R&K “Clarion Call 3″ video. Neither had time for a voice/in-game conversation. Both send fairly brief evemails. Lord Maldoror’s were more to the point and tended to be backed up by facts. Hudson’s had a more circular logic to them and relied more on personal attacks and vague warnings that they were under threat of something else exploitative being done to them. Both ignored most of my follow up efforts and while I admit to my writing being very strongly biased; I must say that when one side gives facts and the other accusations and facts that anyone who was following the story on scrapheap challenge knew were incomplete and misleading, that side can hardly cry foul when the story runs against them.
EvE’s media were treated like babes in the woods. Like their work wasn’t of importance and their brains couldn’t see through the simplest ruse. While they still had access, it tended to be far less useful as they could expect to be lied to, and treated with a complete lack of respect. The rise of the EvE Blog Pack, in particular Jester’s Trek, Evoganda, and Inner Sanctum of the Ninveah had a lot to do with making bloggers far more respectable. Even EN24 has a lot of credit in the fight. For all the rough handling it receives, mostly at the hands of Goons and their supporters, the site itself brought about a big change in the perception and penetration of media sites in EvE.
Things that have not yet come to pass
This was a brainstorm I had at work yesterday. EvE needs a media van. We need a ship that can travel fast, get to where it needs to go, and provide good coverage of the event on the ground. Most EvE videos are limited by having to rely on the POV of a ship, usually someone who is busy, you know, flying their ship. The EvE UI ain’t the greatest although it generally gets the job done. I want to see a new ship. I want to see the Soothsayer from Amarr Certified News. A destroyer or cruiser class ship. It carries no guns, just 8 camera drone launchers, and goes fast as hell. Maybe even a jump drive to allow it to skip RIGHT to a cyno for the fight in progress. The camera drones can be placed on-grid like probes, allowing the user to provide POV shots however he wants to set them up. The ship would have a tiny signature and respectable defenses to keep it from getting blapped. It can lock 0 targers. Having a tool like this would make the videos of the game crisper and cleaner, give reporters more incentive to get out and see the sights rather than sitting back and waiting for stories to happen.
An in-game writers alliance. I am tempted to create “Writers Bloc” were I not in an alliance right now. This alliance would consist of people who actually have something to lose if they actively infiltrate spies, and would have a system in place to boot people who abuse the privileges of being in the coalition. This would include setting up rights with major alliances to base ships in deep null for faster reporting, a “wire service” where information that ISN’T the complete story can be fed rapidly to people who might be there. It could even be an alert system “Hey guys I just burned my JC and there’s a huge fight going on in XXX someone wanna jump out there and get it?” This could even spawn a new profession in EvE. Journalists who organize to write about the game game not to supplement there experience, but as the primary motive for logging in.
EvE media has come a long way. However even with the rise of TheMittani.com and EN24 there still aren’t dedicated journalists who play the game to cover the game. I want to see that happen.