This isn’t necessarily a ‘frequently’ asked question, but I’ve had a fair share of people message me about being a Buzz writer and ask various questions because they’re thinking of applying. Maybe you are someone who has thought about applying for the Buzz but haven’t had enough idea about what it involves. There are lots of preconceived notions about the amount of time that has to be put in and lots of different rules to follow. What does it actually involve?
The simple truth is that being a Buzz writer is both fun and quite straightforward. There are certain rules to follow but those rules are generally in the interest of fairness and balance. For example: things written in the Buzz forum are to stay in the Buzz forum and not be talked about with anyone outside of the Buzz team. This is because information passed on to the Buzz team may be sensitive or talked about in confidence. It comes down to trust, but also common sense.
A big reason for players being put off when applying for the Buzz is that they think that they have to write something every week or they’ll be kicked off the team. A weekly article is a requirement but again it comes down to common sense. If you write something thoughtful, funny or interesting every week for a month but then miss a week due to time constraints or another reason, you will not be kicked off the team. Communication is vital between the Buzz team. As long as you’re open and honest with the editor about your writing then there will not be a problem.
So, what about things you have to cover when being a writer? Some players would like to join the team but only write opinionated articles and not have to cover crew wipes or other news events. Are players forced to cover things that don’t interest them? No. It is helpful if writers are willing to cover everything, but there is no requirement to do so. The Buzz team is there for players to contribute interesting and entertaining articles – therefore it goes against the grain to force someone to write about something that they don’t care about. The article would be weak and less interesting than if it were written by someone with passion for the subject.
Can a writer have an opinion on anything? Yes and no. If you are covering news events, writing about a crew wipe based on player interviews, then no. When it comes to the news it should be done in a balanced format. The writer should interview all sides of the story, collect as much information as possible, and then report their findings – leaving it to the reader to decide which side of the story to believe. Some writers prefer to cover this kind of thing because it is largely straightforward. You interview the players involved and they give you the story to write. You simply have to put it together in a cohesive article that makes sense to anyone that has been unaware of the story in general. When it comes to opinionated writing then you pretty much have a free reign to cover whatever you please. You are allowed to have ideas and thoughts about anything game related. You don’t have to pander to popular opinion.
When it comes to being a part of the Buzz team, it’s a great experience. The team are friendly and helpful. Everyone shares ideas and encouragement. Articles posted for feedback and editing are often responded to by more than just the editor. Everyone on the team wants the Buzz to be the best that it can be each week. People may doubt this because of some smaller issues published this round, but sometimes it is difficult to write something that you feel is worthwhile and worthy of being read by the public. The Buzz has set high standards in the past and because of those standards it is a little bit easier to fall short. This is my first article for two weeks, but I have written articles in those missed weeks, it is about hitting those high standards and creating something that you think players will want to read.
Finally, how much time does it involve? The truth on this question is that it takes as much time as you are willing to put in. The Buzz is published every Sunday morning. Where possible, articles should be posted on the Buzz forum on Friday at the latest so that they can be edited and tweaked by Saturday. If you have a creative mind or lots to talk about, there is no reason why it cannot take an hour a week to write something interesting. This article was written on Thursday morning, posted on Thursday morning and will likely be submitted sometime on Friday or Saturday. In the past I have written articles in advance. I’ve posted an article for editing just a few hours after the weekly Buzz issue was published.
This may have been a less frequently asked question to answer, but I think that it is a worthwhile question, because I know that people are interested in being part of the team but decide against applying. Can I give any advice to someone writing an application? Write something opinion based because it gives the editor a lot more to go on when thinking about whether or not to accept or decline.
I hope that you enjoyed this FAQ and if you have a question that you would like answered then post it below in the comment section.