Essay topics: “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 time period, most of the complaints received from viewers were concerned with our station’s coverage of local and weather news. In addition, local businesses that used to advertise during our late-night news programs have just cancelled their advertising contracts with us. Therefore, in order to attract more viewers to the program and to avoid losing any further advertising revenues, we should restore the time devoted to weather and local news to its former level.”
Write a response in which you discuss what specific evidence is needed to evaluate the argument and explain how the evidence would weaken or strengthen the argument.
The argument is concerned with the manager of a television station who tries to relate the loss of viewers and advertising revenues of a late night show with a decrease in the time devoted to weather and local news. The manager suggests increasing the time devoted to the local and weather news so as to increase the revenue and the number of viewers. The argument is based on certain assumptions which require substantial evidence, mostly in the form of quantitative figures, to support the decision to increase the time devoted to the local news and weather.
First, the radio station did receive complaints regarding the coverage of weather and local news. The argument does not mention as to what are the complaints - the type and nature of the complaint is unknown. The complaints can be regarding the time reduced ( which is relevant in this case ) or they may also be the poor coverage quality or the the coverage missing important news. Moreover, we do not know the number of complaints and the total number of viewers for this show. Accurate figures always help in evaluating a given theory.
It is not necessary that reducing the time for the local news and weather has certainly caused this increase in the complaints. Maybe the population has increased over an year and people are not liking the show or many people have switched to other news channels. We need evidence suggesting that the concern of the viewers is mainly pertaining to this decrease in the time devoted to the local news and weather and some exact numbers regarding the viewership and the complaints. This would help the manager of the television show to evaluate the scenario and make better decision regarding the news channel.
Also, a decrease in the viewership of the show may cause the advertising companies to revoke their contracts, but this may not be necessarily the case. The advertising company may have cancelled the contract due to any other reason. Attributing the decrease in the number of viewers to the cancellation of the shows is not very relevant in this case. We would require sufficient data regarding this, like the viewers' demographic profile, the type of advertisements aired during the late night show's time and any survey that could relate the advertising agency's decision to the decrease in the show time. If we have such data, then we can easily relate the cause for the contract cancellation and the television company can think of increasing the local coverage on their late night show.
Therefore, without pertinent evidence, the steps recommended by the television manager are vague and ambiguous in present context . This decision can be supported by some steps mentioned and procurement of relevant data and would certainly help in proper decision making regarding the show's time.
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