TOEFL Sample Essay - 6

'Journalism has become more about sensationalism and not about reporting the truth'. Express your views in the light of the above-mentioned statement.

The primary objective of any form of journalism, whether it is for television, Internet or the old-fashioned newspaper is, to provide information and journalists are responsible for reporting the information. It is important that news be reported truthfully, yet journalists should ensure the sentiments of reader or viewers are not hurt. However, media has nowadays removed itself from just reporting the truth in a palatable manner and has resorted to what is known as 'tabloid journalism'.

Nowadays, when we open newspapers in the morning we often find on the first page, something regarding the personal life of a movie star or else a tragedy reported in a sensational manner. Newspapers seem to begin with news that exploits people rather than provide them with valuable information. Sometimes even gruesome murders and reports involving security of women are reported in an aggrandized manner.

The television is not far behind. Actually it is one step ahead, because television provides 'visual sensationalism'. It displays images of genocides, gun battles and even accidents repeatedly, that adds to the sensation quotient rather than being informative. Often we have heard public figures going on record, stating how they have been hounded by the press or as they say-'paparazzi'. If journalists are questioned about this, their prompt reply is that sensationalism sells and increases the TRPs of their news channels.

The problem lies not just in the manner of presenting the news, but also in the way in which information is perceived. If the public reduces its interest in sensational news, then journalism will once again resume its responsible approach to providing information. We must remember that media is the only way by which we receive news of the world. Hence, accuracy in reporting news is essential, if we are to gain a better understanding of the world we live.