On Battlestar Galactica
Reporters in Spaaaaace!
A Look at a Rare Media-Saturated Future
Dateline: The Future
Nothing to report here because there’s nobody to report it.
With as much science fiction as I watched on television and in the movies or read in books, you’d think I might have chosen a different career path. Science fiction is supposed to be a glimpse at our possible future, extrapolated from our present, and there don’t seem to be many journalists in the future. Today, we have media saturation, with several twentyfour-hour news channels, around-the-clock online news coverage, cable television, satellite television, tabloid television, talk shows, and reporters working on television, on radio, in print, and online. But in the future, according to most science fiction television, all of that is gone.
In the ideal future envisioned by the Star Trek universe, people have apparently evolved beyond the boob tube, possibly even beyond the hunger to know what’s going on in the universe, let alone what’s going on in the love life of the celebrity couple du jour.
The crew of the Enterprise didn’t seem to wonder what was happening back on Earth while they were on their five-year mission. They didn’t jump at the chance to get transmissions about the latest sports scores, election results, or entertainment awards. They didn’t follow debates leading up to the election of the next Federation leader.
That means journalists are apparently unneeded in the future. Where were the embedded reporters on that five-year mission undertaken by the Enterprise? Would the press–if they still existed in that society– have stood for something that monumental in …