I’ve watched the new “Star Trek” trailer about 500 times already. To say I’m excited would be an understatement — as I explained to my fianceé last night: “Imagine your favorite TV show of all time getting made into a movie by the guys who make ‘Lost.'”
Nevertheless, there are plenty of doubters who are convinced this movie is blasphemy and are openly hoping it fails. That’s bound to crop up because this new film isn’t a sequel so much as a remake/overhaul. Which, to me, makes it a lot like what journalism is going through right now.
Journalism, like Trek, was a cash cow for a long time and for the most part everybody loved it. Then in the late ’90s to early-2000’s, it started losing its luster. Fast. Newer, more exciting things cropped up and people flocked to those while journalism and Trek just did what they’d always done.
Flash forward to 2009: Trek seems to have righted itself. While the movie has yet to come out, it’s generating a respectable amount of buzz and seems on track to become a legitimate blockbuster. Journalism is still struggling in its downswing.
So what can journalism learn from Trek? It’s OK to reinvent. It may be necessary to kick out the stewards of the concept if viewers find their ideas stale. At some point you have to say, “Due respect to everything that came before, but there are new rules now.” Most of all: Accept the fact that some people aren’t going to like the new product.
This post was inspired at least partially by a Jason Preston post that used James Bond to draw a few journalism parallels.