Battlestar Wiki:Neutral point of view

From Battlestar Wiki, the free, open content Battlestar Galactica encyclopedia and episode guide
This page is an official policy of Battlestar Wiki.
This policy is considered by the community and its leadership to be the status quo of Battlestar Wiki and is not to be countermanded or ignored, though changes to it can be discussed on the appropriate talk page. This policy was implemented on 14 April 2005.
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Battlestar Wiki's neutral point-of-view (or NPOV) states that editors should write articles on subject matter related to the characters, places, and events of the show as if they were a reporter that "lives" in the Battlestar universe, stating the facts as best as possible with little to no interpretation, opinion or other subjective commentary.

Most of Battlestar Wiki's articles chronicle characters, situations, and principles in a work of fiction. As such, as with the people, places and events of the real-world Earth, interpretation is likely and natural as part of the entertainment value of the Original Series, the Re-imagined Series and other official derivative works.

However, it is important that editors do not assert an opinion or an interpretation of an event as fact. On Battlestar Wiki, violations of the neutral point-of-view often occur when a contributor writes a contribution in the form of a review or essay, where the comments are personalized by the contributor and appear to have a single, polarized voice on a subject.

A good article that adheres to the neutral point-of-view should:

  • Write the article as if the characters, situations are "real". Again, pretend you are a reporter with omniscience that allows you to "see" and therefore document everything that happens to the characters of the Battlestar universe.
  • Let the facts speak for themselves. Don't add your opinion to the article, just the facts in a chronological or episodic manner that allows a reader to draw their own conclusions.
  • Limit or entirely avoid descriptions, analogies, comparisons, contrasts, or references to real-world history or people, places and things.
    • The Re-imagined Battlestar universe, according to Ron D. Moore, is purposely written so that viewers don't know if the events of the series take place in our Earth's past, present, or future. While some objects and names obviously have a direct Earth counterpart (such as telephones), it's important not to write the real-world Earth relationship, but to let the material stand on its own as if there were no Earthly equivalent.
    • In the Original Series, similar disconnects from real-world Earth should be done, although for Galactica 1980, there is a contemporary Earth that the series directly interacts with and can be used for comparison and contrast. You can use the Notes section or add footnotes in an article for necessary or relevant real-world information, but avoid mixing the two forms of information in an article body.
  • Remember that, as a work of fiction, the facts will be incomplete. Do not attempt to fill in the gaps with your own subjective interpretations if there are no aired facts to support it. That's "fanwanking". Just report what can be reported. If there are logical or plausible connections revealed but not fully explained in the show as yet, you can use derived content guidelines to flesh out the connections.
  • Always note the sources for the article through links to related articles, particularly episode summaries, podcasts, and other official sources per the wiki's citation policy.

Other NPOV guidelines used on Battlestar Wiki are similar to Wikipedia's policy on neutral point-of-view, and should be noted when no other Battlestar Wiki policies or guidelines apply.

An example of violating a NPOV is drawing a conclusion about a character's motivations. It isn't appropriate to say, for instance, that Gaius Baltar or even Count Baltar is evil. The best way to document their intentions is to chronicle their actions in the articles and cite your sources. The facts tell the story to the reader neutrally, allowing the reader to form their own opinion and not to base their opinion on your own.

Any articles on cast, crew or other real-world contributions of the show itself can and should be written differently, using the real-world point-of-view, where you can write in detail about the show without pretending that what you see is "real."