Tue, 30 Sep 2003

'I'm fed up with crime shows on TV'

Police data indicates that crime rates in big cities, particularly Jakarta, have been increasing. The media has been criticized over its graphic coverage of criminal acts, particularly in the form of TV shows which have distressed some viewers. Some regular viewers of such programs share their opinions with The Jakarta Post.

Yati, 17, is a housemaid who lives in Tangerang with her family:

I like watching TV crime shows. I don't know why, I just like it. I am home alone during the day so I suppose it kills time.

I can get relevant information from the programs. At least, I am aware of criminal activity, particularly useful when I return to my hometown.

I have no problem watching criminals arrested or mobbed, but sometimes the graphic nature of the footage of dead bodies disgusts me.

By having such shows on TV, criminals are alerted to the possible consequences of their actions.

There is no problem with the coverage unless underage victims are filmed, particularly in rape cases. In this case, It's better if the presenter simply describes the incident.

In many instances the police officers seem to be over acting. They point their guns, shoot unnecessarily or beat the nabbed criminals. I am not sure that this is an accurate representation of real life.

Budi, not his real name, 33, is a mechanic with a workshop in Tangerang. He lives in Rajeg, Tangerang, with his wife:

I watch TV crime shows and so far I enjoy them.

I am even reminded of when I was arrested by the police (due to drugs) a few years ago.

I was among three suspects who were interrogated by police officers. They were so repressive. They released me after I bribed them. Otherwise, I would have been put in jail despite the fact that they were lacking in enough evidence to charge me.

Watching police officers dealing with drugs dealers on TV makes me skeptical. I think they are just trying to make themselves look good.

In fact, in some cases, large-scale dealers bribe the police and save themselves by victimizing smaller dealers.

I don't have any problem with the vulgarity of such reports. I'm am just afraid that the shows will have a bad influence on uneducated people, inspiring them to commit copycat crimes.

The shows may be a reference point, so that in an uncontrollable situation they resort to such behavior.

Lilik, 37, is a housewife who resides in Total Persada, Tangerang, with her husband:

I am fed up with the crime shows on TV. They are monotonous.

Murder, robbery, rape and drugs problems are among the boring issues aired by TV stations.

There is nothing newsworthy I guess. The shows are no longer interesting to me, although I used to enjoy watching them.

If murder victims or rape victims are filmed explicitly it seems unethical.

However, I approve of the close-up shots of mobbed criminals because it shows other criminals the possible consequences of their deeds.

But I prefer to watch gossip shows or infotainment, they are more entertaining.

-- Leo Wahyudi S.