Essay topics: Two years ago, radio station WCQP in Rockville decided to increase the number of call-in advice programs that it broadcast; since that time, its share of the radio audience in the Rockville listening area has increased significantly. Given WCQP's recent success with call-in advice programming, and citing a nationwide survey indicating that many radio listeners are quite interested in such programs, the station manager of KICK in Medway recommends that KICK include more call-in advice programs in an attempt to gain a larger audience share in its listening area.
Write a response in which you discuss what questions would need to be answered in order to decide whether the recommendation and the argument on which it is based are reasonable. Be sure to explain how the answers to these questions would help to evaluate the recommendation.
In this argument, the station manager of KICK advocates that KICK should include more call-in advice programs in order to attract more audience in its listening area. Although this might seem reasonable at first glance, it is in fact ill-conceived. The reasons are stated as follows.
In the first place, the station manager argues that WCQP has attracted more audience because of WCQP's decision to increase the number of call-in advice programs. Although this is entirely possible, the station manager offers no evidence to substantiate this crucial assumption. It is very likely that WCQP annonced other strategies which has more significant impact on gaining a larger audience share than WCQP's call-in advice programs strategy. An appropriate example is not far to seek. WCQP might have allocate more budget on advertising than before for the past two years. Moreover, WCQP might have hired more outstanding hosts to provide better shows. The assumption is definitely flawed unless the manager can explain that these and other possible scenarios are unlikely.
In the second place, the station manager argues that if KICK increases the number of call-in advice program then it would attract more audience as WCQP does. Nevertheless, there is no guarantee that this is necessarily the case and the manager does not supply evidence to confirm the assumption. It is quite possible that KICK has different type of audience. To illustrate this point more clearly, let us take a look of the following representative example. The major listeners of KICK may like the plentiful music programs that KICK originally provides. These listeners would likely not attract to call-in advice programs. Without accounting for and ruling out these alternative explanations, the manager cannot bolster the recommendation.
The last but not least, even if the evidence turns out to support the foregoing assumption, the station manager just simply argues that KICK should include more call-in advice programs based on cited nationwide survey which indicates that many radio listeners are quite interested in call-in advice programs. It is reasonable to doubt that this would not happen in reality due to the ambiguity of the type of sample which the nationwide survey took. For example, the survey may focus on the listeners who like call-in advice programs than any other programs. To reach the cited conclusion, the station manager must explain why none of these alternatives is available or why none of them is able to sustain.
In sum, the station manager's argument is not based on valid evidence and sound reasoning and neither of which is dispensable for conclusion. To draw a better conclusion, the station manager should reason more carefully, cite more evidence that is persuasive, and take every possible consideration into account.
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