Police Portrayal in a Contemporary Television Program
The police play a critical role in the maintenance of law and order through the enforcement of different pieces of legislation. However, it is critical to note that the success of the police in discharging their duties depends on the periphery players. Among the periphery, players are the media. The media documents the work and releases important information to the police. It helps the police to seal the possible cracks of violence and crime by apprehending the suspected criminals. Public cooperation is quite critical in the identification of suspected criminals. The police use the information from the public to trace the suspects in most criminal incidences. According to Reiner, the 20th century has seen an increase in fictional reporting of crime and crime detection by the popular mass media. Just like in most crime shows in the 20th century where certain fighters emerged victoriously, the media is also playing such roles in certain scenarios where the fighters who emerge victoriously are the police. This boosts the integrity and esteem of the police.
The media often plays by the demands and calls of the police with the aim of ensuring the highest likelihood for the survival of the hostages. This scenario is best exemplified by a fictional police television program, the negotiator, where the media documents the work that is done by the police to rescue hostages trapped in buildings by armed bandits. In this program, the police are portrayed as saviours to the extent that they receive a lot of publicity and praise from the media, not for what the media has captured, but for what the police informs the media to publicise. In such operations, the neutrality of the media in reporting on violence, crime, and the conduct of the media is impeded by the calls to conceal information for the purpose of securing the lives of the hostages.
Therefore, the media only reports the information that is directly acquired from the police without ascertaining the truth in the information. Moreover, the media applauds the efforts that are being done by the police as a way of giving hope to the public. The scenario created in such cases as painted by the media is that the success of such operations entirely depends on the police. However, the police might be exposing the hostages to further risks in hostage situations, especially the times when the media releases information, which reaches the criminals who are holding people hostage. Therefore, a lot of limitations should be considered when involving the media in reporting police work.