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.
The writer of the argument concludes that radio station KICK in Medway should include more call-in advice programs in order to attract a larger audience share in its area mainly because it was the same successful strategy used by WCQP Station in Rockville two years earlier; however, the conclusion cannot be accepted mainly because it rests on a number of premises all of which can be challenged in one way or another.
The first problem with the argument is that the writer assumes that the increased share of WCQP’s audience is basically due to the addition of call-in advice programs. However, it is highly likely that this increase happened as a result of the good quality of other types of broadcasted programs such as games and contests, attracting much more audiences. On top of that, it could be possible that the versatility of WCQP’s programs was significant enough which covered a wide range of audiences with different preferences such as music, interviews, motivational documentaries, to name just a few. Thus, the writer's presumption may not be true.
Another problem with the argument is that the writer assumes that most radio listeners are quite interested in such call-in advice programs according to a nationwide survey, but he does not mention the number of people who have participated in it. As you know, the larger the number of the people in the sample of a survey, the more reliable and valid the findings are. Maybe there were only fifty people in the sample which is insignificant compared to the number of the target population. Besides, the writer fails to consider the age of the people in the sample. Maybe there were neither adolescents nor young adults in the sample, and the conclusion was drawn only according to the ideas of those who were either in their fifties or older, belying the viewpoint of the society. Therefore, the finding of such a survey is neither authentic nor valid.
Another problem with the argument is that the writer assumes that since WCQP Station was successful two years earlier thanks to call-in advice programs, KINK Station in Medway should include such programs in order to attract more audiences. However, the argument fails to contemplate some subtle differences. Maybe the success of WCQP was mostly due to the novelty of such programs during that period, so it would lead to a humiliating failure for KINK as people are not interested in such programs anymore these days. In addition, it is not warranted that all people in Medway are fans of such call-in advice programs. Maybe the people in Medway have a distinct taste, and virtually are passionate about other kinds of programs such as environmental news or political interviews.
In the final analysis, the writer’s conclusion cannot be taken to be correct because, as it was shown in the body paragraphs above, it depends on some assumptions, each of which is questionable. The conclusion can only be accepted if the weaknesses already referred to are all removed.
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