TV news does make people think the world is worse than it actually is today. Take for example the crime rate in the United States. It has been going down for decades, but people don't believe it because of the news coverage. There are awful things that happen in the world that should be reported, but TV news makes matters worse by reporting on things that turn out to be wrong in the end.
Absolutely so. Though there are real things going on out there in the world that are scary, that the media focuses on only - and dramatizes - war and crime, etc, does make things seem worse than they really are. There's nothing the media likes better than drama and a scandal.
When it comes to this tactic, some news stations are worse than others. (Fox News, anyone?) Generally it is used to make us make judgements about other people and to buy things or change policies out of fear (usually to the benefit of the station's personal interests). In this way, they can keep us under their control.
The news is there strictly to fear monger. It's their sole purpose. By doing so they help the people who are in power stay in power. They will tell you it's to keep the public informed, but are they really just trying to keep the public cowed. It's working, too.