Monday, September 16, 2019

C2 Sample Essay 33 (Good news versus bad news in the media)

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Writing at C2 level (Proficient User) on English language examinations is the same no matter the awarding body when it comes to writing essays. If you are a candidate giving an exam in English (IELTS, CPE, ECPE, CELP, LRN, ESB, TOEFL), make sure you read my earlier post What do I do with the sample writing found on this blog? to get the most out of the sample essays provided on Argute Legacy.  

  The topic of this essay is to discuss what factors influence news editors' choice of news items to broadcast, whether we've become accustomed to bad news and if more good news should be reported. If you are not taking an exam but need to discuss this topic, then read on and note down what you deem useful. If you intend to use this essay as part of an assignment, remember to paraphrase so as not to plagiarize.



The topic is similar to what candidates expect in any other C2-level examination in that examiners want to see a well-organized, coherent and cohesive discussion of the issue with arguments and examples written in approximately half an hour. Whether or not you agree with the viewpoint expressed, remember that what yields a higher score is the way a subject is argued, so if you see that you come up with more ideas for the side of the argument you disagree with during the brainstorming phase, it doesn't matter -- simply go ahead and plead that side of the argument.

For those who'd like to read more sample essays and useful essay-writing posts, click on the image below.

PLEASE NOTE: THIS TOPIC WAS PART OF AN EXAM IN THE LATE 90'S, SO IT AS WELL AS THE ANSWER ARE SOMEWHAT OUTDATED IN TERMS OF THE ROLE NEWSPAPERS PLAY IN TODAY'S SOCIETY (THE INTERNET HAS UNDOUBTEDLY SUPPLANTED THEM).



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News editors decide what to broadcast on television and what to print in newspapers. What factors do you think influence these decisions? Do we become used to bad news? Would it be better if more good news was reported?


The communicative power of television and newspapers today is unsurpassed. Although the internet is gaining ground, TV and a daily paper remain the main media through which people choose to be informed about the events that happen around them. The topic of what makes news editors decide what to air or write about, whether good or bad news, is an obvious question which arises.

The decisions behind what news item is chosen to be aired are clearly in the hands of news editors - individuals who, like everyone else, want to keep their job. The prerequisite to keeping your job lies with the viewer numbers or newspaper sales reached. It is therefore obvious that what motivates news editors is 'what sells well', regardless of its importance. This means in concrete terms that news that dazzles or shocks constitutes the prime choice of editors.

In my opinion, the news today is flooded with bad news or news items that I consider to be fit only for gossip columns. Good news is seldom seen or read and to be frank, many are those who switch on a TV or pick up a paper only to learn about problems in their community, country or the outside world. Learning about good events hardly helps anyone whereas learning about problems, such as an upcoming strike or an imminent tornado, means you can deal with such issues more effectively.

Overall, people have become used to negative news items, but in truth, our world is not a happy place to live in. Showing or writing about the problems or tragedies of daily life may seem to some a marketing gimmick aimed at increasing sales or ratings, but it is only by learning about these tragedies that something can be done to prevent them, allowing us to change our society as a whole so that one day the majority of news bulletins will consist of more pleasant and entertaining news reports.


(This essay is approximately 300 words)


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