You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.
Some people think news has no connection to people’s lives. Therefore, it is a waste of time to read the newspaper and watch television news programs. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
Write at least 250 words.
It is true that some people fail to see any relevance to their own lives of the news that they see on TV or read in the newspapers. While they may find some comfort in holding this
opinion, I strongly believe that it is absurd to argue that news has no connection to people’s lives.
On the one hand, some people think that their own individual lives are unaffected by events that take place in the world. This may be true if they consider only such news items as the lives of celebrities, the results of football matches or the latest fashions. They argue that this attitude does not mean that they are set in their ways or behind the times. They also say that they are able to hear through the grapevine about local events which might have a bearing on their own lives. Life for them, therefore, can continue perfectly normally without TV or press news coverage.
On the other hand, this view is dangerously misguided for several reasons. Firstly, it is vital to see the big picture of national and international news as relevant to each individual. For example, the news media may carry a story about climate change or, very recently, the breaking news of a deadly virus which may affect every person on the planet. Secondly, in any democratic society, it is necessary to have informed and critical citizens who keep abreast of events, at least partly through TV and newspaper reports. Finally, the financial and business sections of newspapers carry important information on economic matters which influence the lives of everyone.
In conclusion, despite the triviality of much reporting, I totally disagree that it is a waste of time to follow the news.
Vocabulary from communication and personality:
set in his or her ways: A person who is set in his or her ways is stubborn and committed to their current way of doing things. They aren’t open to changing, even if the change would be an improvement
Example: As people get older, they often become set in their ways and are reluctant to try anything new.
behind the times: refers to a person who is old-fashioned and has not adopted certain modern customs, beliefs, or behaviors
Example: He was angry when they said that his accounting methods were behind the times because he did not use computer software.
to hear something through the grapevine: to hear news from someone who heard that news from someone else, to learn of something informally and unofficially by means of gossip or rumor.
Example: Never believe the gossip that you hear through the grapevine – always try to find the truth from an official source.
to see the big picture: to understand all the important aspects of a situation
Example: Students sometimes get confused with so many details to remember, but our history teacher is able to make us see the big picture.
to keep abreast of something: to have the most recent information about something
Example: This new service helps doctors keep abreast of the newest drugs available.
Vocabulary from media and advertising:
news coverage: the reporting of news and sport in newspapers, tv, or radio.
Example: The US presidential election received global news coverage, so that the whole world became interested in the outcome.
to carry a story: to include an item in a news report
Example: The media nowadays carries too many stories about celebrities and trivia and not enough serious news.
breaking news: newly received information about an event that is currently taking place
Example: One disadvantage of the printed media is that it is unable to carry the latest breaking news stories.
the financial/business sections: the economic area relating to money or how money is managed
Example: Newspapers have increasingly turned to providing expert, detailed analysis of recent events, for example in their financial or business sections.
to have a bearing on something [expression]: to influence something in some way
Example: The athlete was taking drugs, and this had a bearing on his performance.
misguided [adjective]: wrong, leading someone to take a bad course of action
Example: Many people think that huge spending on military budgets is a misguided policy.