GRE Argument Essay 12

The following is a memorandum issued by the publisher of a newsmagazine, Newsbeat, in the country of Dinn.

“Our poorest-selling magazine issues over the past three years were those that featured international news stories on their front covers. Over the same period, competing news-magazines have significantly decreased the number of cover stories that they devote to international news. Moreover, the cost of maintaining our foreign bureaus to report on international news is increasing. Therefore, we should decrease our emphasis on international news and refrain from displaying such stories on our magazine covers.”

The memorandum issued by the publisher of Newsbeat suggests reducing emphasis on the publishing of international news in order increase its sale. This suggestion is based on the observation that the magazine featuring international news on its cover page has seen poor sales in the past three years. On the other hand, other competitive magazines have decreased reporting of international news on the cover page at the same period of time. Taking a clue from them, the publisher suggests cutting down on their international news. Moreover, it has become expensive to maintain foreign bureaus for reporting international news and it is best to decrease the importance given to international news and cut the extra cost.

This is, however, not a wisely thought over suggestion. First of all, the publisher has not thought logically over the reason behind the decrease in sale of the magazine in the last three years. In the argument it is said that the issues that feature international news on the front page have seen poorest-sales. However, no mention is made of the type of news that was published. The sale of a magazine depends upon the weight a piece of news carries. If there has not been any international activity worth the attention of the readers, it is foolish to put it on the cover page. This magazine will obviously see poor sales. On the other hand, if the international news is so big that it overshadows all other news stories, it needs to be on the covers. The memorandum, however, does not mention the nature of the news stories published in the magazines.

There is another way of looking at the reduced sale of these issues of the magazine. If there has been a national event that has gathered a lot of attention, the readers will like to read more about that event. In such a case, if a magazine ignores the event and focuses on an international story, it will surely not be sold. The observation made in the argument does not consider this aspect and thus the reason behind the reduced sale of international news cannot be confirmed.

The argument also mentions that over the same period of time other competitive magazines have decreased the number of international stories in their issues. Whether this is because they have also experienced a decrease in their sales or for some other reason is not mentioned in the argument. It is likely that other magazines are not able to bear the cost of supporting an international bureau or they have changed their strategy to focus on a particular class of readers. This decision cannot be equated to the decrease in sale of issues of Newsbeat. It is also not known if this change has benefited these magazines in terms of increase in sales or not. Moreover, what has proved good for one magazine may not prove good for another. If other magazines have gained from reducing their international news it may not be the same for Newsbeat as well.

Lastly, the memorandum says that there is an increase in the cost of maintaining foreign bureaus and it would be best to reduce the emphasis given to international news. This can be a way of reducing the cost of publishing the magazine, but it is not a solution of the decrease in sales. Instead of reducing the cost of production, it is better to focus on the quality of news reports being published by the magazine. After the above discussion, the memorandum presented by the publisher seems lacking in logical reasoning and surely does not present a sure shot solution of the problem.