GT Writing Task 2 / Essay Sample # 84
You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.
Write about the following topic:
News stories on TV and in newspapers are very often accompanied by pictures. Some people say that these pictures are more effective than words.
What is your opinion about this?
Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
Write at least 250 words.
A picture speaks louder than a thousand words, and our brain can understand illustrations more clearly than words. So news stories on TV and in newspapers are most often accompanied by pictures for the sake of clarity and visualisation. In my opinion, those photographs are more effective than merely written words.
First of all, the photograph is a handy tool to attract the target audience. People are desperately busy in this fast-paced world and they hardly have time to read the entire newspaper. If reporters can capture the essence of what they want to convey with a photograph, then audiences will most likely look at the picture and read a few lines to get the message. A fairly new study in my country reveals that more than 80% of newspaper and magazine readers look at the picture and heading to decide whether to read the news article or to skip it. They often give the pictures a cursory glance to get the message conveyed and do not have the time to read the whole stories. Secondly, pictures are used to epitomise situations. It is more likely difficult to imagine the predicament of hundreds of refugees. But people can comprehend a gaunt woman, with no food to feed her baby, looking at her infant starve. They can conjure up the despair of myriad refugees as their window of hope is shut in the face. No matter how hard we try, we will not be able to depict some events with only words.
Last but not least, pictures are used in pursuit of engagement. Written text alone, very often, is not that engaging. Which is why sometimes the written text is related to the context through the pictures. A single photograph, in many cases, is incredibly powerful, that can change public opinion dramatically. Photographs published in American newspaper during the Vietnam War exemplify how powerful they were and still are.
In conclusion, a picture is worth a thousand words and it is specifically true about the mass media. They are essential in media because they attract and engage the audience as well as outlines the situation in an easily understandable format.