What is the TNN?

Transstar Corporation is one of the Solomani Confederation's oldest and biggest businesses, operating as the corporate arm of the Solomani Party. Founded near the end of  the Long Night when the Party leaders on Terra decided to acquire the assets of the failing Galactic Transit Corporation (GalTrans), consisting at the time of mostly aging freighters and passenger liners. Other financial assets were used to refit the company fleet in anticipation of a boom in business as trade around Terra reopened to interstellar interests.

Over time as the Confederation grew during the 3rd Imperium era, Transstar was expanded to include a variety of subsidiaries, most notably SolBanc, the official, and largest, financial services organization in the Confederation. All Party members, and a huge majority of average Solomani citizens, both human and otherwise, trust SolBanc with their money, since it has the backing of the Party government.

Another spinoff of Transstar, due to the extensive contact its ships have with every world under Solomani rule, as well as most of border worlds in Imperial, Aslan and Hiver space within a jump 1 or 2 of the Confederation border, and many of the rimward independent states and worlds, is the Transstar News Network.

The Party voted to establish their own news outlet shortly after the onset of the Solomani Rim War, due to concerns about the pro-Imperial bias they claimed the TNS was scourged with. Although the Traveller's News Service (TNS) is and always has been a service of the Traveller's Aid Society (TAS), and quite independent from the Imperial government, the fact that most of the investigators, reporters and editors of TNS reports are, even in Solomani space, Vilani, has always made Party loyalists suspicious of its true agenda.

Despite the TNN being founded to escape perceived Imperial bias, the Solomani people were not to be given a free and honest media. Pro-Solomani sentiment and agendas, both political and social, are rampant, but the TNN's directors are careful to give the masses the news they want. Feel good stories of Solomani patriotism and superiority are the order of the day, and any truths that go against this point of view are either sugar coated to make them more palatable to the people (and Party leadership) or covered up completely.

Regardless of the bias, TNN permeates modern Solomani life. Their holovid personalities and "on the street" reporters are household names on the worlds they cover, and a handful of the most successful journalists and analysts are known and loved throughout the Confederation.

All employees of TNN, and freelancers who contract with the company, are members in good standing of the Solomani Party, and it is widely (and correctly, of course) assumed that more than a few of them are SolSec agents. Player characters who are loyal to the party might find the local Ace (see note below) to be a valuable source of information and aid, while travellers who don't toe the party line and annoy a journalist may discover that that person has some very important friends and colleagues.

A note: Travellers bumming around Solomani worlds will find out that encountering a TNN "celebrity journalist" is a rare thing. The big name holovid stars only work in the field when a huge, career making story is developing, and due to travel time constraints, they're often late to the scene, covering the aftermath of the story and providing analysis of the investigative and on the scene reporting of local aces, the jargon name for part time journalists who freelance locally for TNN. Some of these aces are quite popular and influential in the area (usually a colony, world or system) they report on, but have little name recognition Confederation-wide, since the TNN big shots rarely name their sources in their holovid shows, taking credit for themselves for the information and images they present.


Rich Trickey said...

For readers' reference, here are the two "canon" OTU references I know of concerning Transstar Corporation. If anyone knows of any others, please let us know!

SRC: MegaTraveller Alien vol. 2: Solomani & Aslan: The Rimward Races
The largest transportation line in the Solomani Sphere, and the only Solomani megacorporation, Transstar was formed as a subsidiary of the Solomani Party. Its original purpose was to foster trade and commerce between the member states of the Confederation and to serve as a source of income for the Party itself.
More recently, Transstar has expanded its operations to include finane and capital investment, making it also the Confederation's largest banking and insurance firm.

SRC: GURPS Traveller: Rim of Fire: The Solomani Rim Sourcebook
Often called the "only Solomani megacorporation," Transstar is the largest transportation line in the Solomani Confederation. Its influence does not extend more than a few parsexs into Imperial space, however, and so most Imperial business experts do not regard it as a true megacorporation.
Transstar is actually wholly owned and operated by the Solomani Party. Its political connections grant it access to every market in the Confederation, and its profits provide a significant portion of the Party's operating budget.
It operates a wide variety of freight transports, but its passenger ships all tend to be rather spartan and uninviting. Since Solomani Party policy is to travel via Transstar when on Party business, the line can depend on a semi-captive passenger market. Subsequently, Transstar tends to keep passenger related expenses low.

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