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NCJ Number: 66567 Find in a Library
Title: TELEVISION PRESENTATION OF THE POLICE (FROM BRITISH POLICE, 1979, BY SIMON HOLDAWAY - SEE NCJ-66561)
Author(s): G HURD
Corporate Author: Sage Publications, Inc
United States of America
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 17
Sponsoring Agency: Sage Publications, Inc
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: TELEVISION POLICE SERIES JUDGED REALISTIC BY THE PUBLIC MERELY COMPLETE A POLICE IMAGE INITIALLY FORMED BY THE MEDIA. TWO SERIES ANALYZED ARE CONVINCING TO THE PUBLIC THROUGH CHARACTERIZATIONS RATHER THAN SITUATIONS.
Abstract: POLICE SHOWS ARE POPULAR AND INFLUENTIAL AND ARE PRAISED OR BLAMED BY HOW REALISTIC CRITICS AND THE PUBLIC CONSIDER THEM. HOWEVER, 'REALISTIC' IS NOT A NEUTRAL CONCEPT BUT IMPLIES PRECONCEIVED NOTIONS BY BOTH THE PUBLIC AND TELEVISION PRODUCERS. THE IDEOLOGICAL WORK OF TELEVISION CAN THUS BE UNDERSTOOD WHEN 'REALISM' IS SEEN AS PRODUCING MEANING IN A SERIES, RATHER THAN INDICATING THE SERIES REPRESENTS REAL LIFE. OCCASIONAL CONTACTS WITH POLICE AND NEWSPAPER CRIME REPORTS GIVE THE PUBLIC AN INCOMPLETE PICTURE OF POLICE WORK WHICH POLICE SERIES JUDGED 'REALISTIC' COMPLETE. ESSENTIAL TO THIS REALISM IS A COHERENT AND CONVINCING VIEW OF SOCIETY IN THE SERIES INTO WHICH THE POLICE DRAMA FITS. TWO BRITISH SERIES, Z-CARS AND THE SWEENEY, ARE ANALYZED TO SHOW HOW CONFLICT INHERENT IN POLICE WORK IS RESOLVED AND WHAT THIS IMPLIES ABOUT THE PUBLIC'S NOTIONS OF THE POLICE. IN BOTH SERIES, POLICEMEN ENFORCE JUSTICE, WHILE COURTS OR PRISONS ARE INCIDENTAL OR HINDERING. SINCE THE SERIES ARE THUS UNREALISTIC, THEIR 'REALISM' DERIVES FROM PLOT DEVICES AND CHARACTERIZATIONS; INDIVIDUAL CHARACTERS AND THEIR ACTIONS CONVEY FOR THE PUBLIC THE MEANING IMPLIED IN 'REALISM,' AND STEREOTYPED VILLAINS AND PRIVATE CITIZENS APPEARING IN THE DRAMAS MAKE THE ROUNDED OUT CHARACTERS OF THE SHOW'S HEROES SEEM EVEN MORE CONVINCING. IN BOTH Z-CARS AND THE SWEENEY, THE POLICE ARE VIOLENT, INDEPENDENT, AND HEROIC AND THE WORLD THEY INHABIT IS VIOLENT, ANOMIC, AND ANTAGONISTIC. (PAP)
Index Term(s): England; Media coverage; Police crime-prevention; Public Attitudes/Opinion; Television programming
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=66567

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