Television And Its Impact On American Society Essay

Television And Its Impact On American Society Essay

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Television has played and continues to play a huge role in American society, from the entertainment influence to the influence of crime and the repercussions of criminal activity. A large portion of Americans rely on television media for information about public policy, criminology, and the criminal justice process. Fortunately and unfortunately public opinion is established by what the public views on television whether factual or fictional; therefore making what is presented on television important. As knowledge is obtained more and more from television the importance of what is portrayed is crucial now more than ever. Marion and Oliver (2012) suggest, “…public opinion and the way we measure it has become a crucial and integral part of the public policy process” (p.243), since the public plays such a significant role in the criminal justice policy process one must take a look at what is being televised.
The Wire, a crime drama set in the city of Baltimore Maryland premiered on Home Box Office (HBO) in 2002 and followed with a total of five seasons ending in 2008. This crime drama’s goal was to address with each season various aspects of the criminal justice system and how they each intermingle with the other. Season one addresses the drug trade, season two delves into the seaport system and its inner workings, season three takes a look at the local city government, season four jumps into the school system and the bureaucratic and often illegal workings, and finally season five examines the print news media and how the media can affect and effect change within criminal justice system. Each season correlates the season’s topic with law enforcement and the judicial system. The Wire was created by David Simon, who formerly worked at...


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... crime drama; Crime Scene Investigators (CSI) one can look at the obvious lack of visual gun violence in CSI, unlike The Wire where gun violence is very visible. CSI type shows tend to create misperception and disconnection from viewers.
The gun in this program does not signify societal protection or state control—as it does in many other procedural dramas. Instead, the opposite is more frequently true. CSI depicts for viewers a state that wields its power via a threat of knowledge and access rather than a threat of violence and force. (Harriss, 2011, p. 9)
The Wire has created a more concrete connection between viewers and the justice system, it provides viewers with an in depth look into crime, arrests, convictions, and prosecution. The Wire entered the crime drama landscape with a goal of creating a show that was as realistic, unnerving, and accurate as possible.

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