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Intern
Joined: 06 Jan 2019
Posts: 7

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11 Aug 2019, 11:58
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.”
Discuss how well reasoned... etc.

The argument claims that the increased circulation of The Mercury will attract more business to buy advertising space in the paper. The conclusion of the argument is based on the premise that by reducing the price of newspaper circulation will increase to former levels. This conclusion relies on evidence for which there is no clear evidence. Hence, the argument is unconvincing and had several flaws.
First, the argument readily assumes that the decline in circulation levels is because of the lower-priced newspaper, The Bugle, started five years ago. This statement is stretch and not substantiated in any way. There can be numerous reasons for the decline in circulation levels of The Mercury newspaper. For instances, readers might shift to another newspaper because it has a much wider range of content than The Bugle which readers find interesting. Another reason can be other newspapers have much better personals than The Mercury, who provide up to date and accurate content for newspapers. The argument will be much clearer if it explicitly states factor leading to a decline in circulation level of The Mercury.
Secondly, the argument claims that a reduction in newspaper price can lead to an increase in newspaper circulation level. This is again very weak and unsupported claim as the argument doesn’t demonstrate any correlation between the price of newspaper and its circulation level. If any such correlation had been shown, which supposedly work well, the argument would sound a bit more convincing. In addition, if the argument provides evidence that low price of competitive newspapers leads to a decline in circulation level, the argument could have been strengthened even further.
Finally, the argument claims that the increased circulation of The Mercury will attract more businesses to buy advertisements in the paper. From this statement, it is not clear whether other businesses prefer to advertise in The Mercury over other papers. There can be other reasons due to which businesses prefer other papers or other modes of advertisement over advertising in The Mercury. Without supporting evidence, one is left with the impression that the claim is more of a wishful thinking rather than substantive evidence.
In summary, the argument is flawed and therefore unconvincing. It could be considerably strengthened if the author state all the relevant facts. Without this information, the argument remains unsubstantiated and open to debate.
Sloan MIT School Moderator
Joined: 17 Jul 2018
Posts: 959

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11 Aug 2019, 12:07
akijain08 wrote:
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.”
Discuss how well reasoned... etc.

The argument claims that the increased circulation of The Mercury will attract more business to buy advertising space in the paper. The conclusion of the argument is based on the premise that by reducing the price of newspaper circulation will increase to former levels. This conclusion relies on evidence for which there is no clear evidence. Hence, the argument is unconvincing and had several flaws.
First, the argument readily assumes that the decline in circulation levels is because of the lower-priced newspaper, The Bugle, started five years ago. This statement is stretch and not substantiated in any way. There can be numerous reasons for the decline in circulation levels of The Mercury newspaper. For instances, readers might shift to another newspaper because it has a much wider range of content than The Bugle which readers find interesting. Another reason can be other newspapers have much better personals than The Mercury, who provide up to date and accurate content for newspapers. The argument will be much clearer if it explicitly states factor leading to a decline in circulation level of The Mercury.
Secondly, the argument claims that a reduction in newspaper price can lead to an increase in newspaper circulation level. This is again very weak and unsupported claim as the argument doesn’t demonstrate any correlation between the price of newspaper and its circulation level. If any such correlation had been shown, which supposedly work well, the argument would sound a bit more convincing. In addition, if the argument provides evidence that low price of competitive newspapers leads to a decline in circulation level, the argument could have been strengthened even further.
Finally, the argument claims that the increased circulation of The Mercury will attract more businesses to buy advertisements in the paper. From this statement, it is not clear whether other businesses prefer to advertise in The Mercury over other papers. There can be other reasons due to which businesses prefer other papers or other modes of advertisement over advertising in The Mercury. Without supporting evidence, one is left with the impression that the claim is more of a wishful thinking rather than substantive evidence.
In summary, the argument is flawed and therefore unconvincing. It could be considerably strengthened if the author state all the relevant facts. Without this information, the argument remains unsubstantiated and open to debate.

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