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Pl. review and score my essay - 1st attempt [#permalink]
22 Nov 2011, 08:55
Following are my 1st attempts at both issue and argument essays. It will help if someone senior here can review, score and share feedback.
Analysis of an issue:
“In some countries, television and radio programs are carefully censored for offensive language and behavior. In
other countries, there is little or no censorship.”
In your view, to what extent should government or any other group be able to censor television or radio programs?
Explain, giving relevant reasons and/or examples to support your position.
Television and radio are two pillars of mass outreach that are strong media everywhere around the globe. In certain countries, TV and radio programs are censored for offensive content, whereas in others, there is little or no censorship of such kind. A close examination of the issue reveals that it is indeed good for the media industry as well as for the audience that governments and other groups play as little role as possible in determining the content to be broadcast.
A main reason for this viewpoint is that free and unrestricted media opens the content makers’ avenues for creativity. This, in turn, ensures good quality entertainment and more authentic information to the audience. The segments of population that are deemed unfit to view or listen to any particular kind of program have a choice not to tune into a channel and steer clear of the ‘objectionable’ content.
One of the strongest points that emerge for censorship is that some adult content like talk shows, reality shows etc is not fit to be viewed or listened to by children. This point, though valid, can be countered easily by adopting measures like rating the programs as is done in movies. Another way to protect children is by activating the child-lock facility which has become a standard feature in most television sets these days.
Moreover, instead of total censorship, time slots can be assigned cautiously to various programs based on the sensitivity of their content. This can help move broadcast of any controversial program away from prime time which is generally considered the family time for audience.
One must not forget that the freer the media is, more the audience will be entertained and well-informed. This leads to broadcasters generating more advertising revenues and better profitability which is the bottom line for any business. They will be in induced to improve the quality of their programs and provide a win-win situation for themselves and their audience.
Analysis of an argument:
The following appeared as part of an annual report sent to stockholders by Olympic Foods, a processor of
“Over time, the costs of processing go down because as organizations learn how to do things better, they
become more efficient. In color film processing, for example, the cost of a 3-by-5-inch print fell from 50 cents
for five-day service in 1970 to 20 cents for one-day service in 1984. The same principle applies to the
processing of food. And since Olympic Foods will soon celebrate its 25th birthday, we can expect that our
long experience will enable us to minimize costs and thus maximize profits.”
Discuss how well reasoned you find this argument. In your discussion be sure to analyze the line of reasoning
and the use of evidence in the argument. For example, you may need to consider what questionable assumptions
underlie the thinking and what alternative explanations or counterexamples might weaken the conclusion. You
can also discuss what sort of evidence would strengthen or refute the argument, what changes in the argument
would make it more logically sound, and what, if anything, would help you better evaluate its conclusion.
The argument states that, with time, organizations become more efficient and the processing costs decrease. As a result this hypothesis, Olympic Foods expects to minimize costs and maximize profits while celebrating its 25th birthday. However, the argument is seriously flawed in making that conclusion as it fails to take into account a number of considerations such as advent of new technology, new product categories and changes in consumer demand.
The example of color film processing implies that with new technology, the cost of processing a particular print fell sharply and the time taken to do so reduced considerably. It may or may not have resulted in more sales or more profits for the industry. Olympic Foods may not necessarily witness such technological advances. Even if it does, it may not lead to improved sales.
Another flaw with this argument is that it does not take in account the factor of consumer demand. Over time, the consumers may become wary of buying frozen foods in favor of fresh produce or new products like semi-frozen foods which may have lesser health risks than frozen ones. Therefore, costs of processing frozen foods may decrease but it still may not help the company’s sales at all.
Depending solely on passage of time to maximize profits is a far-fetched thought, and makes the argument weak. It would have been safe for the company to arrive at this conclusion had it taken into account various market dynamics as mentioned above.