IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample 12 – News editors decide what to broadcast on television and what to print in newspapers


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?

Use your own ideas knowledge and experience and support your arguments with examples and relevant evidence.

You should write at least 250 words.

Model Answer 1:
In today’s modern world, a growing amount of news and information on television or newspapers have considerably influenced the public. Besides, what factors are impacted on reporting information on news media is an issue many people feel strongly about. This essay will discuss various influences as well as associated with phenomenon above.

As far as I am concerned, there is a wide range of factor accounting for publishing news and broadcasts. The most noticeable, I believe, is that aiming at a high audience rating so as to maximise profits. This leads to pursuing the increasingly diverse needs of viewers from all walks of life in order to satisfy and cater to them. Another contributory factor is that for many countries, news editors have to succumb to political pressure, distorting facts and misleading the public. To put it another way, they are controlled entirely by powerful political parties and enjoined to disregard the truth. This is particularly true in many undemocratic countries like Chinese, North Korea, and Vietnam where information is seriously censored and even disseminated political ideals to guide public opinions.

Moreover, living in the information era, people are bombarded with the daily amount of news, including good and bad news, from multiple media. Today’s coverage and press might sometimes be less trustworthy mainly because it often exaggerates the level of the real information, in order to boost the attention of the desired audiences. Furthermore, some media companies use the stories of people’s private life, seductive images and violent or obscene contents to appeal viewers, especially teenagers. It means that their thoughts and behaviours might be changed and shows a tendency to hatred, violence, jealousy, and even copycat phenomenon. However, the role of news media in reporting good news, such as someone’s achievement and human stories, should be acknowledged. That will make quicker progress toward society better.

In conclusion, what today’s news and information on media we receive is influenced by some main factors as hooking viewers, increasing profits, and obeying political regulations. Besides, the news media can have a double-edged impact on society by the good and bad news. By doing so, we can ensure that choosing information carefully before reading and watching are indispensable to us.

[ by Jack Tran]

Model Answer 2:
It has often been said that “Good news is bad news” because it does not sell newspapers. A radio station that once decided to present only good news soon found that it had gone out of business for lack of listeners. Bad news, on the other hand, is so common that in order to cope with it, we often simply ignore it. We have become immune to bad news and the newspapers and radio stations are aware of this.

While newspapers and TV stations may aim to report world events accurately, be they natural or human disasters, political events or the horrors of war, it is also true that their main objective is to sell newspapers and attract listeners and viewers to their stations. For this reason, TV and radio stations attempt to reflect the flavour of their station by providing news broadcasts tailor-made to suit their listeners’ preferences. Program specialising in pop music or TV soap operas focus more on local news, home issues and up-to-date traffic reports. The more serious stations and newspapers like to provide “so-called” objective news reports with the editorial comment aimed at analysing the situation.

If it is true, then, that newspapers and TV stations are tailoring their news to their readers’ and viewers’ requirements how can they possibly be reporting real world events in an honest and objective light? Many radio and TV stations do; in fact, report items of good news but they no longer call this news. They refer to these as human interest stories and package them in the program specialising, for instance, in consumer affairs or local issues. Good news now comes to us in the form of documentaries the fight against children cancer or AIDS, or the latest developments in the fight to save the planet from environmental pollution.

(Approximately 300 words)

(This model answer has been prepared by the site developer. However, please note that this is just one example out of many possible answers.)

Alternative answer 3:
News both in print media and in television should reflect the authentic, unbiased and important news for the audiences and that news play an important role in terms of educating people, informing people about the current world and giving them an insight of political and social view. But sadly this is always not the case and news editors are often broadcast and publish biased and politically influenced news that does more harm than good to the society.

There are various reasons for that. First of all the personal views and political biasedness are two important factors that cause this problem. Newspapers and TV news should ideally be two great media to reach the people with the real and authentic news. People greatly rely on these media to get updates on events and current affairs and the impartial and biased news misleads them often. Often political views of editors and their link to a particular political party lead to this problem. It is not uncommon that a chief editor gets appointed to the position by the powerful political party and he is expected to present news in favour of this party. Second, in many countries government impose strict rules on what type of news can be presented to the public and that also causes problems in terms of fair and accurate news presenting.   In many cases, money and corruption are involved for such heinous act. Again, many newspapers heavily rely on other renowned newspapers and internet for current news and if the source is corrupted, that leads to the case of printing and broadcasting impartial and misleading news. The personal threat, political reasons, power, greed, pressure and personal gains, business are the main reasons editors sometimes decide what to broadcast and what to print.

I would not agree with the notion that we are used to the bad news as I have witnessed many cases when a good news gets more attention and audience than bad news. It’s true that bad news is by their nature is appealing to people, but as a whole, we want to know about the true happening. Good or bad, people want to learn the truth. Often people’s attention can be achieved by publishing and broadcasting bad and negative news, but this is now always the truth as events like a peace treaty, world up, noble contributions, achievements, good deeds and the political positive decision get more readers and viewers than bad news.

In conclusion, we are not used to the bad news and editors do decide which news to be reached to the public or not based on their personal, business and political reasons.

(This model answer has been prepared by the site developer. However, please note that this is just one example out of many possible answers.)

Model Answer 4:
At the present time, editors decide what kind of news should be shown on television and what kind of news should be printed in newspapers and magazines. It doesn’t matter for them what sort of news, bad or good, their sole wish to make sensation even from bad news. Therefore, there is a lot of bad news which became popular and they have an impact on people. Maybe we have to announce only good news and hide bad ones.

If we look at today’s world, news sources like newspapers, magazines, television news etc. play very important role in our society. These sources give us information about the world. Firstly it’s noticeable that you can see all types of information on TV or newspaper, beginning with the opening of new car factories and culminating with disasters. But you can’t decide what kind of news you want to read on your morning routine, it is decided by the news editors. They will choose which news to publish.

Secondly, editors need your attention so they publish the most interesting news, like Death of Laden or flood in Japan. Thus, people made familiar with that kind of news. In addition, news has the big influence on people, one bad news can affect thousands of people and the same if it would be a good one. To sum up, although some people believe that only good news should be shown or published, in my view, everybody has to know what’s going on in the world and must feel the reality of the life.

[ by – Akmal Sharipov ]

Model Answer 5:
Topic: News editors decide what to broadcast on television what to print in newspapers. What factors do you think influence this decision? Do we become used to bad news? Would it be better if more good news was reported?

It is true that the decision of news editor is the final judgment of the news report, which is broadcasted to our media like television and newspaper. This is certainly true that there are a number of factors that always affect to adopt these decisions. However, it can be argued that good news may bring peace and happiness of a nation.

There are several factors that act as a precursor of the news editor that influence them to take decisions what to broadcast or print to their media. Firstly, perhaps most news editors want to increase the selling of their newspapers in order to rapidly rise up their profit. Secondly, popularity and true news are other significant factors, which influence the news editors to make a decision. Finally, some news editors of developing countries are affected by the political governments to take a decision about their news report.

Recently, we see that many newspapers and televisions channels are publishing bad news. For example, many media, NTV and BTV in particular in Bangladesh, are always broadcasting about the lifestyle of celebrities, which is neither informative nor important. Moreover, this type of news spoils the life of an adult person. If the media provides good news such as educational, scientific and so on, these can motivate the younger to achieve more knowledge. This could result in the immense advantage of a nation.

In conclusion, while news editors are inspired by the several factors to make a decision about a news report, it can be argued that good news is more indispensable than bad news. Therefore, news editor should broadcast and print such type of news, which can bring many benefits to the human being.

[ by – Jahangir Alam ]

Model Answer 6:
The news editors are among the most elite and affluent classes of the present-day society. It is them, who decide what to telecast or publish in mass media like television channels and newspapers. Now, moot questions pertaining to this, focus on sources of shoddy influences on these spokespersons of one’s society? Is the public constantly being tuned to watch controversies or mishappenings around the world? What would it be to experience watching news that is of better quality? Let us discourse on this below.

The factors that influence news editors are many: the channel management, the politicians and other social magnets of the society, forming the tip of the iceberg. Firstly, the channel CEOs nowadays are behind exclusives that could profit them or generate TRP (Television Rating Point) of the channel. They are least bothered about the value, norms and its impact on public. Secondly, the politicians from a real source of carnage, by pressurising channel editors to censor the news as per their will. This renders the news half boiled or malformed at our dining tables. Finally, the business tycoons of one’s society play an imperative role influencing the mass media with their money power.
It is a general concern on mass that the present society is witnessing and is exposed to bad news than the good ones. One major reason behind this charade is that low quality or so-called “bad news” are mostly controversial. Media controversy is generally considered to boost viewership. Hence, the channel heads who are predominantly business oriented deliberately flash these bad news, keeping aside the good ones. To cite an example, India recently experienced the news on the demise of Indian president Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, immersed in Indian media against a controversial communal debate that was happening at the same time.

Good news is to be reported on a more frequent basis for the betterment of the society, overcoming the biases and political influences. In this media driven world, channels and newspapers play a vital role in influencing the general public. The recusant impact that these bad news can have on the mushrooming young minds, should be combated.

To conclude, I would like to opine that news should be graded and treated on its value and social merit, and not TRPs or the evil influences of society.

[ Written by – Vineeth V. ]

Model Answer 7:
This is the news caster’s duty whether to broadcast or print any particular news. There are various factors behind these decisions. Although people are seriously disturbed by watching the bad news, I believe that there should be a balance between bad and good news.

There are numbers of factors from which news editors seemed to be influenced prior to deciding the type of information to be placed as news. Firstly, news corporations are much more obsessed with popularity, competency and profitability amongst their news agencies counterparts. Because, before they are able to earn a stupendous amount of money, they would have to be competitive in the news market. This is the reason why they sometimes tend to show the most drastic, exaggerating and spicy news in order to attract more audiences. Secondly, there are a huge variety of elite industries that are willing to sponsor news agencies .In this way, news editors may have to present the biased, and impartial information solely to promote the attractive reputation of these high-profile industries. Finally, some news firms are perhaps politically, religiously or culturally prejudiced just to make extravagant money.

It is deniable that bad news does not have any negative impact on people’s lives. Most of the time people are being bombarded with the vulnerable news. This has led to a greater level of depression, anxiety, phobia and uncertainty in many people. Also, I tend to believe that news publishers should not be thinking too short-sighted. Rather they should put a greater emphasis on broadcasting the truth and reality as well as maintaining the balance between devastating news and good news. It would be a lot more productive for the nations if they are informed of good news such as improvements in health or scientific matters or any new invention on top of getting the truth about critical global or local matters equally.

In conclusion, people cannot become immune to the bad news. While there are some crucial factors involved in making news, I would argue that news editors should maintain the balance between both types of news before presenting to the nation.

[ Written by – Shamaila Afzal ]