GT Writing Task 2 (Essay Writing) Sample # 27
You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.
Present a written argument or case to an educated reader with no specialist knowledge of the following topic:
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?
Write at least 250 words.
Use your own ideas, knowledge and experience and support your arguments with examples and relevant evidence.
Model Answer 1:
News editors play a crucial role in shaping the information landscape by selecting which stories to broadcast on television or print in newspapers. Their decisions are influenced by various factors that impact the news industry and society as a whole. This essay will explore the factors that influence news editors’ decisions, discuss the concept of becoming desensitised to bad news, and weigh the potential benefits of reporting more good news.
Several factors influence news editors when deciding what stories to feature. Firstly, news organisations are driven by the pursuit of high ratings, readership, and profitability. Therefore, stories that are more likely to attract attention and generate public interest, such as sensational or controversial topics, are prioritised. The desire to retain audience engagement and compete with other media outlets plays a significant role in shaping editorial decisions too. Secondly, the influence of advertising and corporate interests cannot be overlooked. News organizations often rely on advertising revenue, and as a result, they may be influenced by the preferences of their advertisers.
Constant exposure to negative news can potentially lead to desensitisation. As individuals consume a steady stream of distressing stories, they may become emotionally numb or develop a sense of resignation towards the negative events occurring in the world. This desensitisation can be attributed to a psychological defence mechanism that helps individuals cope with overwhelming information. However, it is essential to strike a balance and ensure that critical issues are not ignored or downplayed.
While bad news often dominates the media landscape, there are valid arguments for increasing the coverage of positive stories. Firstly, reporting good news can inspire and uplift individuals, fostering a sense of hope and optimism. It can provide examples of human achievement, resilience, and progress, highlighting the potential for positive change in society. Research indicates that an increased focus on positive news can counterbalance the negative narratives that can contribute to anxiety, fear, and a distorted perception of reality. Furthermore, reporting good news can serve as a catalyst for community engagement and inspire individuals to take positive action.
The decisions made by news editors are influenced by a combination of factors. While the prevalence of bad news can lead to desensitisation, it is essential to strike a balance and provide a comprehensive representation of the world. While reporting more good news can bring several benefits, it is crucial to avoid neglecting critical issues.
Model Answer 2:
News editors have a difficult job to do as they are the ones who decide what news to broadcast or publish. However, to do their jobs, editors, around the world, rely on several factors which influence their decisions. I think we become accustomed to the type of news we like to read as readers, and it would definitely be more useful if more positive and encouraging news is reported.
To begin with, some of the factors that influence news editors may include the cultural, political and religious traditions of a country while “freedom of speech” can also be a deciding factor in some countries. By taking all of these factors into proper consideration, the editors want to make sure that certain news doesn’t cause any unnecessary chaos, confusion or controversy among people while also maintaining the “authenticity” of the news at the same time as best as possible. After all, broadcast and newspaper media also have a very important role in maintaining peace and order. The number of readers is also something they keep in their minds. Of course, this is true for most major mainstream broadcast and print media. But, not all broadcast and print media in this world necessarily fall into this “mainstream” category as there are others who think that there is nothing called “bad” news, subject to its definition, as they also “reveal” some ugly and controversial aspects of our life and society.
I do not necessarily agree with the idea of “getting used to bad news”, as readers and viewers we always have the freedom to choose the type of news we want to view or read. In the same way, as much as we like the sound of reporting “good news”, broadcast and print media don’t display “good news” just for the sake of it. But I also happen to believe that we should have more good news to encourage people to feel better and become encouraged.
To conclude, presenting news and informing people is a big job for news editors and to uplift our inspiration and motivation, more good news should be presented to us.
Model Answer 3:
News, both in electronic media and print media, is sometimes manipulated by news editors. They sometimes distort the news by reason of political pressure and sometimes for the sake of more circulation. Besides, people are used to negative news because of negativity bias. However, a commonly held belief is that good news should be published for the well-being of our society.
To begin with, news editors’ decisions to publish news can be political control. That is to say that totalitarian regimes and even quasi-totalitarian regimes employ censorship of press freedom. These governments keep a tight rein on the media in order to suppress critical voices. Apart from it, many government allies own the media outlets. Therefore, news editors succumb to owners’ pressure, in turn, much of their news is politically biased.
In regard to our inclination toward bad news, television and newspapers are filled with news of corruption, disaster, rapes, accident and deaths, to mention but a few. Newspapers often deluge to publishing negative news because readers find bad news interesting. To justify the same, there is an epitome of a recent study. The study reveals that people react quicker to negative words due to negativity bias, as psychologists coin it for our collective craving for bad news.
Whereas, many people feel that good news should be aired on television and should be printed in the newspaper. Just as reading negative news sparks neurotransmitters that change our mood, so does positive news. A growing body of research suggests that good news encourages us to take responsibility, take action, and build confidence, which are the key factors for the well-being of society. Last but not least, news houses can shape people’s mindsets. So they should drive a positive change in society.
In fine, the news is oftentimes manipulated by the editors because of the lack of press freedom and political reasons. In addition, everyday people encounter myriad forms of negative news and they become used to it. That is why news outlets ought to publish positive news for the betterment of society as a whole.
Sample Answer 4:
If negative and biased news brings in more viewers and readers, then news editors often opt for that as it is said that in the media business “Good news is bad news”. I think business profit, political affiliation and public demands often motivate news editors to publish or broadcast certain types of news over others. It is indeed true that we are used to bad news and social media has geared up this tendency even more in this era of technology. Personally, I am in favour of more positive news.
While newspapers, radio stations and TV channels report local and global important news, their main objective is often to increase their sales, get more advertisers and earn the favour of political leaders. This is why, besides many true and positive reports, they often include politically biased news, and fabricated and negative news so that more people read their articles or tune in to their channels. Most viewers want to read or view what they like rather than what is true, and this is why it is not surprising to see a flood of fabricated and negative news both in offline and online media.
We would definitely like to see more positive news as it would shape the way we become used to different news. Since the news we read or the programmes we watch shape our mentality and viewpoints, it is absolutely imperative that more positive news is reported in the print and TV media. For instance, news like our achievements and success at the international level or glorious past, make us more patriotic.
To conclude, news editors should put their professional and social responsibilities ahead of their business goals. More positive news, on top of that, will bring more benefits to society as a whole.