GMAT Essay Topic 415 - 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.
How to get more people to read The Mercury
It has been argued by the writer that the best way to get more people to read The Mercury is to reduce its price below that of The Bugle. This argument is based mainly on the assumption that The Mercury’s circulation has declined due to the new competing lower-priced newspaper The Bugle. I, however, find a number of flaws in the line of reasoning, since I believe there are several considerations that have not been taken into account.
A major flaw in the line of reasoning is the assumption that readers choose which newspaper to buy according to its price, and that they care less about other factors such as the reputation of its writers or the content of its articles. I believe the argument could be more persuasive if there were a way to clearly show that readers prefer price over value. For example, a survey that shows that former readers of The Mercury choose to buy The Bugle instead due to its more convenient price.
In addition, the argument is flawed in that it associates the decline of The Mercury’s circulation with the appearance of The Bugle. Other possible explanations to this decline include the growing number of news websites that allow everybody with an Internet connection to access the most up to date news for free. The argument could be strengthened if a survey taken by former readers of The Mercury showed that a significant part of them read The Bugle.
The points raised above suggest that there are several flaws in the line of reasoning used in the announcement . Therefore, I do not find the conclusion drawn by the publisher to be sufficiently sound.
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