Television and Media - The Emotional Security of Real-life TV

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The Emotional Security of Real-life Television

Real-life television shows of police officers, such as COPS and LAPD: Life on the Beat, offer viewers an intimate, up-close look at life as seen through the eyes of determined police officers who patrol our streets. Television cameras capture actual footage of police officials working to expose and fight drugs, gangs, prostitution, and murder as well as other criminal injustices. As people watch the episodes, they cheer for the "good guys" and detest the "bad guys", hoping the police will eventually apprehend the criminals. Society wants to see the criminals arrested because people feel powerless and scared in a world overflowing with violence. Consequently, real-life television
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Shows such as Real Stories of the Highway Patrol and COPS serve as an escape for people. Real-life police television shows offer people the opportunity to escape from their fear of becoming a victim of crime. For a thirty minute period, viewers can watch a program that shows the police capturing a wanted felon or suspect. In one particular episode of LAPD: Life on the Beat, "officers respond to a domestic violence call in the nick of time; mini-market employees help officers chase down suspected shoplifters; and the police convince a kidnapper to release two children." These "happy endings" are uncharacteristic of what the media projects. Newspapers, magazines, and news programs tend to only focus on and reflect the abundance of crime and how it jeopardizes the safety of Americans. Rarely do they speak of encouraging or inspiring topics. Instead, the top stories on the daily news generally relate to some sort of ongoing crime. The repetition of these negative stories convey an underlying theme to viewers that America is dangerous and unsafe. Consequently, society tends to feel scared and maintains a pessimistic view on their personal safety. Because society has these anxieties, real-life television shows can capture the attention of discouraged people. When people see an episode of COPS in which the police bring down drug bosses and bust car thieves or when an officer in LAPD: Life on the Beat arrests a house burglar, they become
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