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 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 canceled their advertising contracts with us. Therefore, in order to attract more viewers to our news programs and to avoid losing any further advertising revenues, we should expand our coverage of weather and local news on all our news programs."
Write a response in which you examine the stated and/or unstated assumptions of the argument. Be sure to explain how the argument depends on these assumptions and what the implications are for the argument if the assumptions prove unwarranted.
The author makes a good case for more local and weather news. He cites instances of complaints from viewers and the loss of business contract which means loss of income for the television station and loss of viewership as well. However, the author could improve on his argument by elucidating on the complaints made by the viewers.
Perhaps, the viewers are not complaining about the time slot allocated to local or weather news. They may be complaining about the bias or inaccuracy of the news. Though it is understandable that the quality of weather and local news would be poor if not much time is allocated to such news. However, the author gives no figure or evidence to suggest that loss of local and weather news quality is due to its limited time allocation. Also, it may be that there has not been much happening with the locality of the station and in order to catch viewer attention the television station has decided to focus on national news.
The author does not give a reason why local businesses are cancelling their contract. The inefficiency of the television station at advertising their products may be to blame and not local and weather news time. The author could enhance his argument by pointing that if more local news involving local businesses and their achievement were broadcast this could inform the public of such local businesses and hence promote such business' interest. This would encourage local businesses to renew their contract with the television station.
However, it may also be the case that the television station is getting contracts from national and international businesses whose contracts procure more income for the television station, as the national news involve the affair of such national or international businesses. This could be the reason why the station has focused on national news. Also the station may also gain increased national viewership which would promote the popularity of local business and this refutes the authors reasoning that the less local news time is the reason for its loss of local business contract.
The author could improve on his argument on the overall by investigating more on the causes of its loss of local viewership and local business contract. It could also strengthen his point by showing with data and other statistics and comparison to previous times to buttress the fact that the lesser time given to local and weather news are the reasons for its loss of local viewership and local business contracts.
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