Friday, 22 August 2014

GRE essay: The following is a memorandum from the business manager of a television station.

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.

While the argument may seem to be correct at fist glance it is rather too vague to be fully accepted. There are a few fallacies and lack of information which do not allow us to agree with this argument. A more specific evidence as well as more accurate data are needed.

Firstly, the exact time allocation for national news, local news and weather is not given. We do not know whether the time increase for national news was really significant or if it was maybe only a matter of a few seconds. Moreover, a scrutiny should be carried out to find out in which moment during the year an increased number of complaints of time devoted to local news was substantially greater.

Secondly, we do not know the nature of the complaints. It could have been the case the the viewers did not complain about the duration of the local news and weather information, but their concerns pertained mainly to the quality of the news. Maybe previous reporters who prepared the local and weather news have resigned and new reporters are trying to catch up on the former quality. Furthermore, it could have happened that money invested in the local and weather news was not enough to deliver top-notch level of information. It is possible that most of the local population work in the agriculture and they may require extended and precise information about weather conditions.

Thirdly, local businesses could have resigned from the advertisement during the late-night news program due to a difficult situation on the market and chances are they started seeking for other ways of advertisement that would be of a low price. We do not know the cardinal reason for this situation. It could also have been the case that they found a better place for their advertisement. Nowadays, many companies migrate with their adverts from TV programs to the internet. Ad companies, such as Google of Facebook, offer keenly priced services that are customized for clients and able to match companies with potential customers with a high level of accuracy. Besides, the local news could have given information which were against the local businesses and maybe undermined their reputation. Contrary, the local news could have promoted companies from other states or countries which was a contradiction to the advertisements. Probably, the best solution would be to carry out a survey among the local businesses to reveal the main aspect that caused their resignation and at the same time find out what whould attract them to put their advertisements in the late-night news program once again.

Hence, proably the most valuable evidence would be to precisely specify the main reason why the local businesses canceled their advertising contracts in the late-night news program in the television station and determine the nature of the complaints. To take into account its future situation, the television station should consider in a thoroughgoing way how to improve their programs and attract more companies to advertise during the programs, especially the news programs.

Another example of this essay can be found here:

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