The Effect of TV News Crime and Violence Essay

830 Words 4 Pages
The Effect of TV News Crime and Violence


Television news, due primarily to its obsession with crime and
violence, definitely has a negative impact upon our society. TV news
is basically an oxymoron; giving us the skin of the truth stuffed with
a lie. A news program should be focused on the facts, with perhaps
some objective analysis. However, for business purposes, TV news
broadcasts use dramatic, usually violent stories and images to capture
and maintain an audience, under the pretense of keeping it informed.
What we see and hear on the news affects us both consciously and
subconsciously, and sends us about our lives unnecessarily fearing the
remote dangers that we see excessively portrayed on
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The world news shows are virtually indistinguishable from
local news, both leading with blood and guts. Clearly, advertising
revenue and the constant pressure to keep the viewers tuned to the
station are the driving forces behind the "dumbing down" of TV news.
News producers must figure that if they can scare the wits out of
people, the people will be more inclined to watch the disproportionate
prominence of gore and violence on daily TV news broadcasts. They are
experts at creating a visual entertainment package that appeals to our
instinctive enthrallment with the horrendous. It interests us,
captivates us3/4 we're riveted. In a way, we experience vicariously
the very things we dread. These stories are a highly charged, visceral
experience for viewers, and when one of them breaks, there isn't a TV
station that's not covering it or a person that isn't talking about
it. Journalistically, violent crime pays; it's cheap to report and it
grabs attention. Common sense dictates that stations whose newscasts
stress crime-and-violence reporting can cut staff (fewer are needed
because the visuals and story line are provided by the events) and
improve ratings at the same time (the visuals are compelling for
viewers). This

In fact, crime coverage seems to dominate the available…