GRE Argument Essay 74
The following appeared in a memorandum from the general manager of KNOW radio station.
“Several factors indicate that radio station KNOW should shift its programming from rock-and-roll music to a continuous news format. Consider, for example, the number of older people in our listening area has increased dramatically, while the total number of our listeners has recently declined. Also, music stores in our area report decreased sales of recorded music. Finally, continuous news stations in neighboring cities have been very successful, and a survey taken just before the recent election shows that local citizens are interested in becoming better informed about politics.”
In the argument that appeared in the memorandum of KNOW radio station the general manager suggests to shift its programming from rock-and-roll music to a continuous news format. This suggestion comes after a study of certain factors that support the change like increase in the number of old people and decrease in the sales of recorded music etc. However, these factors also indicate towards another direction that is not considered by the general manager. In that case, his suggestions stand null and void.
The first example that the general manager takes is that the number of older people in the listening area of KNOW radio station has increased and the total number of its listeners has gone down recently. The manager is quick to put these two facts together to conclude that the old do not listen to rock-and-roll. However, we cannot confirm this fact from the given argument. It is likely that a large number of listeners of the radio station comprise of old people and this does not indicate an increasing trend towards news related programs.
The music stores in the same area have reported a decreased sale of recorded music. While recorded music has its own customers, they cannot be classified in the listeners of any radio music programs. A radio program has its own charm which is not the same as recorded music. That is why, those who listen to recorded music may not be the same as those who listen to the music programs on a radio. If the music stores in the area report a decrease in the sales of its recorded music, it does not mean that this indicates a decrease in the number of listeners of the radio music as well. There could be other factors that could have resulted in the decline in the sale of recorded music, which is independent of the radio programs. For example, it is possible that the quality of music has gone down, or the price of recorded music has increased. In that case, a change in the sale of recorded music does not point towards a change in the tastes of people who listen to radio music programs.
If continuous news stations have been very successful in the neighboring cities, it does not have any connection with the area of KNOW radio station. Every area has its independent listeners. We cannot determine the tastes and preferences of a particular area by knowing the tastes of its neighboring areas. Therefore, if people in this area would prefer continuous news station over music or not cannot be confirmed from the success of news station in the neighboring cities. Further, it can be said that if local citizens are interested in getting better informed about politics, it does not mean that they have lost their interest in music. Entertainment and recreation has its own place and importance. It cannot be replaced by the interest of people in becoming aware about politics of a place.
The success of a news station does not depend only on whether its listeners want to listen to music or news. It greatly depends upon the quality of news reports that it telecasts. Even if KNOW radio station changes from a rock-and-roll music station to a news station, it does not confirm the success of the radio station. To be successful, it will have to satisfy the needs of the listeners. Considering this, it is likely that the listeners of the music station have declined due to its low levels of performance and quality. It is possible that the listeners in the area are still interested in rock-and-roll music but they do not like the programs and services of KNOW radio station. In that case, the radio station should improve its functioning instead of changing its programs. Moreover, a decrease in listener-ship also depends upon other factors. For example, it is likely that people are preferring television over radio. It is also likely that people do not have the time to listen to radio and that is the cause of decline of its listeners.
It is clear from the discussion given above that there are many other possibilities of the given factors which do not indicate towards a change from rock-and-roll music to continuous news channel. Therefore, the argument given above can be called irrelevant and lacking in logic enough to support its conclusion.