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NCJ Number: 157909 Find in a Library
Title: Reality TV and Criminal Injustice
Journal: Humanist  Volume:54  Issue:5  Dated:(September/October 1994)  Pages:8-13
Author(s): R Andersen
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 6
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Reality-based programming has been extremely successful with television audiences and producers over the past decade; these detective and police shows, however, cross a thin line between entertainment and information which has serious ramifications for public policies related to drugs and crime.
Abstract: Television programs which follow the reality-based formula for "crime reporting" are actually little more than products of the media's over-reliance on the entertainment value of the law enforcement establishment. This particular alliance of media representation and government policy is one of mutual convenience because police officers allow cameras to follow them in the line of duty in return for the valuable public relations provided by favorable portrayals in reality-based television. The union between police and television indicates that the media has failed to negotiate an independent position reflecting the complexities of drug consumption and drug-related crime. Media coverage of drug dealing, particularly in urban areas, is described, and economic and criminal effects of such coverage are considered. The author concludes that the media's quest for inexpensive, reality-based programming has only served to increase the public's misunderstanding of criminal justice issues, especially with respect to drug abuse and drug-related crime.
Main Term(s): Police
Index Term(s): Crime control policies; Criminology; Drug abuse; Drug law offenses; Drug Policy; Drug Related Crime; Media coverage; Television programming
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