Essay topics: The following is a memorandum from the business manager of a television station.
"Over the past year, our late-night news program has devoted increased time to national news and less time to weather and local news. During this time period, most of the complaints received from viewers were concerned with our station's coverage of weather and local news. In addition, local businesses that used to advertise during our late-night news program have just canceled their advertising contracts with us. Therefore, in order to attract more viewers to the program and to avoid losing any further advertising revenues, we should restore the time devoted to weather and local news to its former level."
The author of this proposal to recover the time spent on weather and local news offers an interesting argument, but this argument is rife with holes and assumptions, and thus, not strong enough to lead to the reform of time distribution.
Citing complaints of audiences, the author reports the viewer's concern about the station's coverage of weather and local news. It is not clear, however, the scope and validity of the complaints. For example, the complaints may come from a couple of certain individuals, therefore are not representative of all viewers. Furthermore, even if they stand for the perspective of the majority of audiences, it is obscure whether they are repining at the shortened time or something else, like the accuracy of the weather report. We just do not know. Unless the complaints are fully representative, valid and have a specific aim, they cannot be used to effectively back the author's argument.
Additionally, the author implies that the local businesses have canceled their advertising contracts with the station because they reallocate some of the time once devoted to weather and local news to national news. However, that is not necessarily the reason. There are many other factors. For instance, the national news may have contained some sensitive topic which daunted the heads of the businesses, or they just simply do not want to advert on this station anymore. To strengthen his/her argument, the author could benefit from fathom out the real reason behind the withdrawal of the businesses.
Finally, the author's memorandum rests on the false assumption that restoring the time spent on weather and local news will improve, or at least mitigate the current situation. However, he/she fails to realize that the station must have increased the time on national news and decreased the time on weather and local news for some reasons, probably to avoid a former plight. If the station chooses to recover the time, it may not only fail to attract more audiences, but also fall into the same dilemma again. Therefore, the author's suggestion requires a closer look.
In sum, the business manager of the television station has not convincingly argued that the station should restore the time devoted to weather and local news. To strengthen the argument, the manager must make sure that the complaints received are representative, valid and have a specific aim. The manager must also figure out why on earth have the businesses repealed their contracts. Last but not least, the manager needs to ruminate on a more rational, more reliable strategy in order to avoid losing more advertising revenues.
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