Tag Archives: news media

Science Fiction Today – News

NMuch like there’s a lot of thought that libraries might be a thing of the past, so too does it seem that traditional news might be a thing of the past. We can get news at the touch of our fingers, from sources of our choice, from the bias of our choice, from an international or local or entertainment perspective. Can even the 24-hour cable news channels compete with that? And when they try, do we want them to?

In some science fiction stories, the news has become a product of the state, or controlled by a large corporation – either way, it’s propaganda. But maybe it’s not, but instead we’re spread across the stars – how do you keep up with the news then? Let’s look at both!

Would You Like to Know More?

Sorry about the end of the clip… pretty much all of the ones I found end in some violence. It is Starship Troopers. It’s also the main thing I remember from this movie: the continual line, the news overviews. “Would you like to know more?”

This is news as entertainment, news as propaganda, news for the shock value. In many ways, this seems like what we might expect from the future of the news, in their attempt to stay relevant – and watched or read!

The interactivity is worth mentioning as well – what else could the news do with that? Is it good or bad – will we miss important stories because we’re not interested?

News Delay

From one side of space warfare, to another. From Starship Troopers to The Forever War. In The Forever War, due to the effects of relativity, the soldiers lose a ton of time traveling back and forth from Earth to the frontlines. Centuries pass for the still-young main character. And the news cannot keep up with them. The world changes, has peace and war in cycles, while they travel and fight.

There’s fear of the same thing in a story like Ender’s Game. However, they solve the problem of the vast expanses of space with the Ansible. In Star Trek, it’s subspace communications. But are these sorts of shortcuts realistic? Or will we be stuck with communications that are slower than the speed of light as we head out into space, out into the stars?

What does the news look like across space? It almost sounds like we’re back to the seafaring days, with news coming in with each boat that arrives. Ship. Spaceship. From colony to colony, the news travels, like in Firefly.

What do you think the future will look like for the news?

This post is part of the April A to Z Challenge, and also part of our occasional series on Science Fiction Today. You can read an explanation of both here. We are striving to keep these posts short, and know that we have not covered every example or angle – plenty of room for discussion!

Rewatching Tomorrow Never Dies

The other day Holly and I watched Tomorrow Never Dies, and I had not watched this one in a while. I remembered really enjoying it of the Pierce Brosnan Bond movies. Though there’s a soft spot in my heart for GoldenEye – it’s got to be the videogame!

I have to say that this movie has held up pretty well. It certainly shows its historical moment – with the Internet exploding out into the public (1997!) and with the level of technology. Sure, there’s a scene with fancy invented super spy tech sitting next to a floppy disc. It’s fine. It worked. And really? It’s a villain, and a plot, that could really still happen today.

So let me look at a couple of highlights of the film, and then talk about how it stands out among the Brosnan-era Bond films. Some spoilers to come!

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Technology Out Pacing the News

Recently we had a minor incident in my hometown where a kid brought a gun to one of the local high schools. Now before there is panic nothing happened. The school got locked down for 30 to 45 minutes the kid did not enter the building, but was just on school grounds, and was found almost immediately after he was reported. It was discovered later that this genius of a teenager decided to bring the gun to school to try and sell it. This was definitely a situation that ended up sounding much worse than it actually was and it really displayed the interesting way that our smartphones and social media have changed how latest news has to function.

I was working in the office when I just started hearing people talking about a kid bringing a gun to the local high school and that the school is in lockdown. I start thinking what could be happening and try and see if there is any news. It takes a little while, but eventually a news item gets posted to the local paper. At the same time by that point we discover the situation has been resolved. It was interesting because many of the parents of kids at the high school knew there was a situation before the news media did. Which also meant that the news media needed to get something out as quickly as possible. What ended up happening is that through out the day the story had to keep getting updated because they did not have enough time to actually find out what was happening to try and get something out there. Continue reading