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16 Mar 2014, 02:55
The following appeared in an announcement issued by the publisher of The Mercury, a weekly newspaper:
“Since a competing lower-priced newspaper, The Bugle, was started five years ago, The Mercury’s circulation has declined by 10,000 readers. The best way to get more people to read The Mercury is to reduce its price below that of The Bugle, at least until circulation increases to former levels. The increased circulation of The Mercury will attract more businesses to buy advertising space in the paper.”
In this announcement, the author recommends reducing the price of newspaper “The Merury’s”. By doing so, the newspaper will increase its readers and will attract more businesses that will require more space for advertising. In support of this prediction, the author point out that a competing newspaper started to decrease its price, the readers of “The Mercury” declined. The author’s argument is weak because it relies on several unsupported assumption.
Firstly, the argument assumes that lowering the price, the readers will increase. This assumption is weak because the author has not considered that the newspaper could be influenced by different factors. Nowadays with technologies, many of reader prefer to read online instead to buy the newspaper or we have to consider others technologies such as tablet, smartphone.
Secondly, the author consider that both newspaper publish the same article or subject, and they have the same customer. We may consider that one newspaper is for kids while the other one is for adults or that the first one publishs article about politic issue, while the second one publishs articles about sports, fashion.
Moreover, the argument assumes that if the increased circulation of newspaper, it will attract more business to buy advertising space. This statement is weak because the author has not considered the format, the size, and others factors that could or not attract more businesses.
In sum, it may well true that reducing the price of newspaper, it will attract more readers, but the author has not demostrated the wisdom of his or her recommendation. We need to know if nowdays the readers prefer to read online or the paper, we need to know if the two newspaper publish same article and age-range is the same, and we need to know more information about the characteristics of both newspapers. Without this information, we cannot evaluate the author’s proposal.