The Press and You
Politics UK is, at its heart, a British political roleplay game which means that love them or loathe them Her Majesty's Press are a fact of life. PolUK has a number of ways to interact with the press, and therefore your constituents, all of which have the power to make or break your week.
The first way to interact with the press is through your PRESS OFFICE. Press Offices shall be available to every player with a special press office opened for the parties. Individuals Press Offices will be used by individual members when they are giving speeches or making press releases in an individual capacity. These offices can be used by individual MPs to highlight their constituency concerns or attempt to gain favour with specific groups. An important note to remember however is that government frontbenchers are bound by collective responsibility, even in their individual press office so watch what you say! This means that a government frontbencher can speculate about the future - but they should not be announcing policies that are not government policies. Opposition frontbenchers are generally far looser so you can probably get away with more, but watch out for the boss. Party press offices are essentially the same but for parties. The office will be primarily run by the party leader, others wishing to use it will need special permission from the leader or the grey men in grey suits at Party HQ won't let you touch it. It is important to note that while the press offices are not marked, as was traditionally done, individual feedback can be requested from an admin although you may have to wait a while if they are busy. Speeches, unless given at a local constituency meeting or a similar event, still require admin permission.
The second way to interact with the press and your constituents is through PARLIAMENT. Parliamentary debates are not marked either but they allow you to eloquently set out your position on the issues of the day. Parliamentary debates encompass everything from motions to ministerial statements and questions (on Discord) to legislation. We will also do special live events in Parliament on the PolUK Discord, these will take the form of PMQs, Minister's Question Time, and Urgent Questions and are an excellent way for an up and coming backbencher to get noticed and generate some favourable headlines.
The third way you can make a difference is using the DISCORD ONLY OPTIONS such as Twitter and the Soapbox. Twitter is exactly as it is in real life, you get 280 characters to say your piece and everyone who follows you will know what you think. While the admins won't count out every tweet letter by letter if we see repeated abuse of the character limit then we will take action. Soapbox, in a sense, replaces the old press cycles. It will take place fully on Discord and will be a place for players to make short (~200 word) statements in a public setting where the press is reasonably expected to be present (examples include: Cabinet ministers speaking to the press as they arrive at/leave Number 10, College Green, etc). The press may pick up on these comments and, importantly, may ask follow up questions. Do not ignore follow up questions, the press don't like to be ignored. Also – soapbox is not for debate between players. Do not go back and forth replying to each other.
Finally there are other ways to get involved in the press that will be more focused towards specific players. Speech competitions will make a return, in the forum of forums held by think tanks or other groups. The winners of each competition may see an experience boost, as well as make a name for themselves and potentially earn endorsements for their party. Media live events will include shows such as Daily Politics, Newsnight, and Question Time – as has been done in the past. Admins will periodically ask for volunteers on Discord. Press conferences are to be used for major announcements – likely linked to a specific policy. Press conferences must be admin approved. The player giving the press conference is expected to provide an advance copy of their statement and any additional documents to the A-Team 24 hours before the event to formulate questions. These will be done live. To round us off players will also be able to write op-eds (either by themselves or “co-authored” with NPCs – basically, you ask and we will approve or deny) for all of the major print publishers, blogs, and regional/national newspapers. Please note that The Economist, per their editorial practice, does not accept op-eds.
The Admins will provide indirect and generalised feedback as a general rule. This feedback shall come in four principle forms:
1. Polls: Polls will be provided weekly (with urgent polls provided as needed). On a weekly basis you can expect general polling plus one to two issue polls, some of which may be tailored to the major issues of the day based on activity in the round.
2. Editorial Content: There will be weekly headlines of the moment to give you an idea of where the press stands, along with more in-depth articles on various topics. Some of these topics may include opinions and thoughts from the various tribal leaders in your parties, so it may behoove you to pay attention to them.
3. BBC Parliament: For debates that…actually have a debate…there will be some coverage from BBC Parliament, which will certainly highlight clever statements. You might also find that BBC Parliament covers notable exchanges on both live and regular question time.
4. Press Lobby and Twitter: Running commentary will be provided through the Press Lobby (for longer comments) and Twitter (for quick quips) regarding player actions – this will include some individualized commentary on statements that players make.
All of the basics about how to play Politics UK and the shape of the world pre-round are located here.
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