Essay topics: Argument Topic:
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.
The memorandum from the business manager is suggesting to restore the time devoted to whether and local news channels to its former leverl. The reasons stated for this switch back might be convincing at the first glance. However, as we go deep into the matter, we come across various evidences which weaken the argument and term the step of restoring as baseless.
Firstly, the business manager has not quantified certain terms and instead, compared the time alloted to various programmes. The manager should have mentioned what slot of time does he refer to as 'late night'. Apart from this, he must have mentioned about the current as well as former allotment of time for national news as well as weather and local news. Terms such as 'increased time' and 'less time' can often prove to be misguiding.
Secondly, the author sites the re-scheduling of the programmes as the reason behind the complaint concerned with the coverage of local and weather news from the views. This is a mere correlation or belief on the part of the author. It might be possible that the viewers are fine with the amount of time devoted for each programme but unsatissfied with the level or quality of weather and local news covered. The author should have mentioned the exact content of the complaint filed from the viewers to be considered as a fact behind his idea of restoration.
Also, the change in the duration allotted is being held responsible for the decline in the number of local businesses who generally advertised about their firm. Such a kind of reasoning seems abrupt. Chances are that the television station must have increased the rates for advertising which eventually turned out to be unaffordable for the local businesses. Or another possibility is that the slot which the local business men prefered to advertise might have changed. Instead of the late-night slow, they may have turned to another slot like the morning news slot or the movies or daily tv soaps slot which attracted a lot of viewers.
Finally the business manager is planning to switch the duration back to the former level without even quoting the success of the same. He should have either mentioned how successful the earlier timming was or done some diligence in winnowing the exact reason behind the fall in the interest of the viewers and local businesses. For this he should have taken a survey and mentioned the statistics obtained and then concluded on some measure.
Thus due to the overstated evidences, the argument seems to be ill-founded. However, had the author taken care of the same, then the memorandum would have been infallible. But as of now the authenticity of the argument falls flat due to the insufficiency of the date provided.
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