Essay | Television is a good thing, because it gives people enjoyment and keeps them informed as well. Do you agree or disagree with this statement?

IELTS Writing Task 2

Write about the following topic. You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Television is a good thing, because it gives people enjoyment and keeps them informed as well

Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Write at least 250 words.

IELTS Essay Answer | Television is a good thing, because it gives people enjoyment and keeps them informed

While television may appear to provide various benefits, it also has certain drawbacks associated with it, which when considered holistically lead me to disagree with the simplistic statement that television is a good thing. Here are a few examples of why it could be considered as not a good thing.

Television can only be describes as entertaining and informing if a big assumption is made about what people actually watch on TV. For example, if a person only watches reality TV shows and light entertainment, then there is little educational or informative value in watching television. The same could be said of a person who only watches sport on TV. Apart from the news of the final result – there is little informative purpose attached to the programming, it is simply entertainment, something which is available in many different forms.

With regard to television news, this is largely governed by one or two influential parties in most countries. This can lead to bias in terms of news coverage and other programming issues. While watching news programmes may require less effort than reading a newspaper, TV news can, in many cases, be misleading, biased or provide a less than complete picture of a particular situation or event. In some cases, it may even present nothing of substance at all for the viewer.

A case in point would be many of the so called discussions presented on current affairs news programmes, in which two or more so called experts are invited to the studio in order to discuss a newsworthy topic, only to degenerate into an argument between two opposing points of view, which in the end leaves the viewer no wiser or better informed than before watching the programme. This format has become far more common since the advent of twenty-four hour news coverage in which it is common to provide analysis and comment even before fully understanding a situation based on the pressure of filling minutes on air with ‘news’.

In addition, there is the generally negative aspect of television’s passive nature and how it affects people which spend a considerable number of hours ‘parked’ in front of it. It requires little mental activity to watch TV, and even less physical effort and while many people might regard it as relaxing, it can lead to listlessness, apathy and general poor health.

Overall, entertainment can be found in many other sources, and likewise news can be obtained from newspapers, the internet and radio. The fact that television can simply fulfil two different functions is not sufficient for it to be considered a good thing as much of its positive value depends on what viewers actually consume in terms of programming.

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