GRE Argument Essay 216
The following is a memorandum from the business manager of WLSS television station.
“Over the past year, our late-night news program has devoted increasingly more time to covering national news and less time to covering weather and local news. During the same time period, most of the complaints we received from viewers were concerned with the station’s coverage of weather and local news. In addition, several local businesses that used to run advertisements during our late-night news program have just cancelled 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 the coverage of weather and local news on all our news programs.”
The business manager of WLSS television station is of the view that they should include more weather and local news on all their news programs. This suggestion comes from the fact that since they have devoted their late night news program to covering more national news instead of weather and local news, there have been many complaints from viewers. Moreover, their advertisers have cancelled the contracts. Thus, the business manager feels that the change should be made to attract more viewers and also avoid losing more advertising revenues. However, the business manager does not venture into finding out other possible reasons of complaints and cancellation of advertising contracts. Therefore, this argument presented by him can be called narrowly perceived.
The business manager mentions that the complaints of the viewers were regarding the station’s coverage of weather and local news. However, there is no mention of what the viewers want or what the nature of their complaint is. It cannot be established by the argument if the viewers actually want more coverage of local and weather news. It is possible that their complaints are regarding wrongly telecast news or concentration over limited area of local or weather news. It is also possible that their complaints are not regarding late-night news programs that have started covering more national news. It is likely that the viewers have complaints regarding the weather and local news covered in general by the television station.
Further, the writer says that the local businesses had cancelled their advertising contracts of the late night news programs. However, the writer does not site in vivid terms what the reason of their cancellation of contract is. It is possible that those who had cancelled their contracts were is a financial crisis and could not pay for their advertisements. It is also not known if the businesses had withdrawn their advertising only from the late night news programs or from all the programs of the television station. It is possible that they are not happy with the result of advertising on the television station and want to withdraw their support to the station altogether. Therefore, this may not be due to the late night news programs telecasting more national news. What the writer suggests holds true only if these businesses had withdrawn their advertising of the late night news programs, but the argument fails to give details of the cancellation. This makes the reader believe that there could be other reasons for this cancellation.
Last but not the least, the suggestion made by the writer is based on the conclusion drawn by the writer that late night news programs are not popular with viewers and businesses. However, this conclusion is extended to all the news programs of the television station, which is taking it too far. The writer says that in order to attract viewers and avoid losing any further advertising revenues they should expand the coverage of weather and local news in all their news programs. In the argument, however, he only speaks of the late night programs losing viewership and advertisement contracts. Therefore, this suggestion is doubtful and farfetched.
On the whole, the argument loses its convincing power when viewed critically. It fails to establish the exact reason behind the complaints of the viewers and cancellation of advertising contracts. Hence, the writer should think logically and come to a better conclusion after going through the above given discussion.