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Can we trust journalists?
Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 (0 votes) 
July 10, 2012
11:51 pm
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We rely on news for our knowledge nowadays. But we are unsure how much we can trust journalists. What is your opinion on it? What qualities do you think should be required by journalists?


We need variety of information in daily life from life information to business news. Journalists are professionals who collect, edit and publish information to public. Credibility of information completely depends on journalists’ personal integrity, professional ethic. I think most of those professionals are worthy trust.

 We need not lose our trust with professionals because we have enough honest journalists working in this sector and we could not find another way to get information without professionals. Journalist is a career with a history more than one hundred years. Even though this career has been sub-classified into newspapers, TV stations, magazines or internet news today, their function of reporting information doesn’t change at all. We don’t have alternative to get information. Therefore, we should believe them and their work as we did before. Some cheating information can be found and blamed through comparison with enormous opposite reports, which are truth of the events. In information times mainstream journalists, who absolutely have overwhelming advantage in quantity, can use all kinds of media to disclose truth. We don’t need too much doubt on majority of journalists.

 As ethical journalists they possess some common characteristics. First, they must be straightforward, honest. This is an essential quality deciding a journalist tell truth forever. Second, journalists need to have abilities to collect, analyze and judge complicated even inconsistent information before him. They should be knowledgeable and independent spirit which can ensure they are not cheated by fraudulent information.

In conclusion, we should not possess unnecessary doubt on mainstream information just because of some false information among Medias. We live in information times and information has ever contributed increased conveniences to our life and business. We should trust producers of information, journalist, and expel cheaters in this sector.

  • Number of characters (without spaces) : 1,807.00
  • Number of words : 329.00
  • Number of sentences : 24.00
  • Average number of characters per word : 5.49
  • Average number of syllables per word : 1.82
  • Average number of words per sentence: 13.71
  • Gunning Fog index : 14.85
  • Coleman Liau index : 14.36
  • Flesch Kincaid Grade level : 11.24 ARI (Automated Readability Index) :11.29 SMOG :13.19
July 11, 2012
7:21 am
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Hey, ma-frank. Thanks for writing this essay because my dream back in the day iis to be a journalist or war correspondent.....LOL..anyway, share some of my comments with you: 

1. The Structure looks good as you choose 3773. The second paragraph , however, seems a bit "bloated" compared with the subsequent paragraph . My personal advice is to keep your second & third paragraph more consistent in the number of words /sentences. Otherwise your essay looks a bit patchy .

2. After reading your essay, i feel like i am actually reading more like an emotion-ridden speech. As you might notice, you wrote approximately  11 "we" throughout your essay. Well, i completely agree with that you can use "we","I" or whoever possible . But aint it too much?

Your essay:

We need a variety of information in daily life from life information to business news(life information? well, it is not incorrect but why dont you write others familiar to you, such as arts, health,politics,technology and so forth.). Journalists are professionals who collect, edit and publish information to the public. Credibility of information completely depends on journalists’ personal integrity and professional ethic. I think most of those professionals are worthy trust. (worthy of trust or trustworthy...)

 

We need not lose our trust with in professionals. because we have enough (a number of ) honest journalists working in this sector (which sector?)and we could not find another way to get information without professionals.(topic sentence seems a bit long.. and the sentence doesnt make too much sense to me. you said " we have enough journalists And we couldnt find another way to get info without professionals?) Journalist is a career with a history more than one hundred years. (there is no point of introducing the historic background here . cuz you dont have anything to support or supplement)Even though this career has been sub-classified into newspapers, TV stations, magazines or internet news today, their function (if you say reporting info, i reckon their Way of reporting is appropriate....function is for a thing.  the function of a school is to educate people....well....Just my opinion..)of reporting information doesn’t change at all. We don’t have alternatives to get information. Therefore, we should believe them and their work as we did before. Some cheating information can be found and blamed through comparison with enormous opposite reports, which are truth of the events.(a bit redundant here. Intriguingly enough, i cant help asking you"how would you distinguish "true events" from "cheating ones" if you intend to make a comparison ?) In information times mainstream journalists( unclear??? do you mean, In information times, mainstream journalists????? ), who absolutely have overwhelming advantages in quantity(?), can use all kinds of media to disclose the truth. We don’t need too much doubt on the majority of journalists. ( i dont get it.)

As ethical journalists ,they possess some common characteristics. First, they must be straightforward and honest. This is an essential quality deciding a journalist tell truth forever.(huh? forever?) Second, journalists need to have abilities to collect, analyze and judge complicated even inconsistent information before him. (who?) (If this is the third point, you should add "third" or next point or whatever././ )They should be knowledgeable and independent spirit (or have ....spirits)which can ensure they are not cheated by fraudulent information.

In conclusion, we should not possess unnecessary doubts on mainstream information just because of some false information among Medias.(we are unsure how much we can trust journalists. What is your opinion on it?

where is your summary???????)We live in information times and information has ever contributed increased conveniences to our life and business. We should trust producers of information????, journalists, and do our best to expel cheaters in this sector.

July 12, 2012
10:52 pm
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chrisluke921221 said

We need a variety of information in daily life from life information to business news(life information? well, it is not incorrect but why dont you write others familiar to you, such as arts, health,politics,technology and so forth.).

i think "life information" is a more comprehansive expression for the scope of information.

We need not lose our trust with in professionals. because we have enough (a number of ) honest journalists working in this sector (which sector?)and we could not find another way to get information without professionals.(topic sentence seems a bit long.. and the sentence doesnt make too much sense to me. you said " we have enough journalists And we couldnt find another way to get info without professionals?)

i meant jounalists are main players of information transmitting in contemporary, we rely on them for  variety of information.

Journalist is a career with a history more than one hundred years. (there is no point of introducing the historic background here . cuz you dont have anything to support or supplement)

i just want to say journalism has a long and reliable evolution process, we ought not doubt players in this field.

Even though this career has been sub-classified into newspapers, TV stations, magazines or internet news today, their function (if you say reporting info, i reckon their Way of reporting is appropriate....function is for a thing.  the function of a school is to educate people....well....Just my opinion..)of reporting information doesn’t change at all. We don’t have alternatives to get information. Therefore, we should believe them and their work as we did before. Some cheating information can be found and blamed through comparison with enormous opposite reports, which are truth of the events.(a bit redundant here. Intriguingly enough, i cant help asking you"how would you distinguish "true events" from "cheating ones" if you intend to make a comparison ?)

the only way to distinguish true and false is to trust majority, which can be acceptable in most accasions. comparing different reports and trust mainstream is an effective way to get truth.

July 13, 2012
3:48 pm
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Hi Ma-Frank and ChrisLuke for the essay and comments (and replies!)

Some great comments here and some very good features in the essay.

Introduction

I would reword the intro to remove the definition of journalist (your second sentence). It's often good to have a definition, but here it doesn't seem to add to your essay. I would also chang the word 'life information' - I don't know what it means. Perhaps something clearer like 'current affairs, politics, sports, entertainment, arts and celebrity gossip.'  There's no way to condense these into a single phrase. Your term cannot be new -  it has to be comprehensible for most of your readers. It doesn't matter how clear it is to you: communication occurs in the response, not the sending. 

Paragraph Two: Coherence and Cohesion

This is the most interesting paragraph in your essay and has many ideas. In fact, the problem is that these ideas (some of them are very good) wander around each other. ChrisLuke noticed this in paragraph Two when you discussed the history of journalism.It's a valid argument, but you need to tie up the ideas in the paragraph. Your topic sentence for the paragraph is too long and has too many ideas.

The result is that your paragraph does not really progress. It waltzes around the idea and attacks it from several angles in a kind of circular arrangement. It would be better, or at least standard to IELTS examiners, if it had THREE separate ideas which built up or progressed consecutively. Have a look at the official descriptors for IELTS Task 2 Writing (public version) here, under Coherence and Cohesion, and look for the phrase "clear overall progression."

 Here's a possible rewrite using some of the ideas in your paragraph, but in a different order.

Short Topic Sentence: There are several reasons why I generally trust journalists. First Idea: First of all, as in most professions, the great majority of people working in journalism are honest and responsible. More information: There will always be some bad apples or people motivated by greed or ideology, but most are ethical and trustworthy. Second idea:  Second, journalism may have changed, but the core of the job is still the same. Today journalists work not just for newspapers, but on radio, on TV, on the internet. More information: Despite the different skills needed for each however, their core skills and characteristics are still required: the ability to find the truth and distinguish fact from fiction. Even more information: In fact these different fields allow us to compare different journalists and reports. If I need to know more about a short TV report by one journalist, I can compare it with a long newspaper article or an internet post by a local journalist. Third Idea: Finally, there is such intense competition between different news organizations that it is very difficult to fool all of the reporters. More information: One journalist or media organization is bound to find the truth of the situation.

(184 words: That’s a very long paragraph, but I’m trying to use all the ideas from your paragraph and develop them a little more)

Word Choice/Word Form/Usage

  1. We need variety of information → We need a variety of information
  2. As ethical journalists they possess some common characteristics → Good journalists possess some common characteristics
  3. they must be straightforward, honest. → they must be straightforward and honest.
  4. journalists need to have abilities to collect, analyze and judge complicated even inconsistent information  → journalists need to have the ability to collect, analyze and judge even complicated or inconsistent information
  5. They should be knowledgeable and independent spirit which can ensure they are not cheated by fraudulent information. → They should be knowledgeable and independent to ensure they are not cheated by fraudulent information.

Tone

ChrisLuke, I know I said you were too informal before, but I'm happy with Ma-Frank's use of 'we' and 'I.' In fact I didn't even notice it! The tone seems natural and appropriate to me so I don't see any need to change it.

Layout

I absolutely agree with what ChrisLuke said about the length of the third paragraph (it's very short compared to Paragraph Two).

The first thing an examiner will see before they start to read is the paragraph layout. If one paragraph is very long and another very short, then  the examiner will automatically begin to look at the descriptors under the heading Coherence and Cohesion and think Band 5 ("paragraphing may be inadequate") or maybe Band 6, under Task Response "presents relevant main ideas but some may be inadequately developed" (because of the short length of the paragraph). Aim to keep the body paragraphs the same length.

Ma_Frank's conclusion definitely needs more work or simplification.

Topic Sentence

The topic sentence for Paragaph Two is very long. Try to make topic sentences short (4-12 words). They will be clearer and more effective.

Overall Ma-Frank it's an interesting essay with many good ideas. You could reduce it to 275 words, remove some unclear passages, add more examples and it would be stronger.

Thanks for responding to ChrisLuke's suggestions and we look forward to more essays from you here. Don't be afraid to comment on others as well!

July 13, 2012
10:35 pm
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 3773 is a good structure for ielts. my tutor has told me that there should be some difference in length of para 2 and para 3. this is because writters should show their emphasis or focused arguments or main ideas, the other points should be commented with clear and general sentence. this is asymmetric structure. the purpose of it is to answer and support your ideas in long paragraph. i don't know how to assess 3773 and this asymmetry structure, which one is more appreciated by an ielts examiner?

July 16, 2012
4:12 pm
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Hi Ma-Frank

I haven't come across the use of asymmetrical structure before. I would think it's a useful technique for an advanced writer. It doesn't make much sense to spend equal amounts of time discussing your opponent's ideas.

However, in my experience with less advanced writers in EFL or ESL, it's easier to write essays with simple parallel structures. Either have a 3773 essay (intro, one side, other side, conclusion) or a 35553 essay (intro, three long very fully developed ideas all on one side each in their own paragraph, and a conclusion). Read more about 3773 and 35553 layouts here.

There is no set format or expected structure in IELTS. The official descriptors for IELTS Task 2 Writing (public version) expect to see a 'clear central topic' in each paragraph at Band 6, and a writer at Band 7 "logically organises information and ideas" with a "clear progression" throughout.  In Task Response, a Band 7 "addresses all parts of the task" and "presents a clear position" throughout the essay.

So the structure is really up to you to choose! It's only one factor, along with grammar, vocab and how you answer the task. 

July 17, 2012
10:31 am
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We rely on news for our knowledge nowadays. But we are unsure how much we can trust journalists. What is your opinion on it? What qualities do you think should be required by journalists?

Most of us take the news for granted. As many important decisions are influenced directly or indirectly by the news it is worth considering how trustworthy the headlines are. This will lead to a discussion of what characteristics of a journalist can ensure truthful news coverage.

Several factors influence the reliability of news reports. The news business is highly competitive and there is frequent time pressure.  Another factor is the race to be the first to report an event among news outlets. Under these conditions errors and inaccuracies may occur. Some news outlets are openly known for their political views. They may tend to emphasis and bias some news  over other to please their audience. In my opinion most people are aware of those tendencies. Also, incorrect news reports damage the reputation of a news outlet severely. Nowadays, internet users can find even the slightest error and make it public.

To ensure news can be trusted journalist ideally should be diligent and independent personalities and act responsible and ethical. It is crucial that reporters avoid errors and mistakes even in highly stressful situations. They always need to verify information best they can. False information about an event or a person can do  harm. Journalist have to be considerate and responsible about the information they publish. Lastly, there is a need to be independent and objective as it is likely people will try to influence or even bribe a journalist.

To reach the goal of accurate and quality news coverage journalist need to be careful about errors and bias and  investigate and report even under the stressful conditions news reports are written.

Readability Indices
Flesch Kincaid Reading Ease     54.6     
Flesch Kincaid Grade Level     9.3     
Gunning Fog Score     12.5     
SMOG Index     9.1     
Coleman Liau Index     13.9     
Automated Readability Index     9.7     
Text Statistics
No. of sentences     18     
No. of words     265     
No. of complex words     44     
Percent of complex words     16.60%     
Average words per sentence     14.72     
Average syllables per word     1.62    

July 17, 2012
11:05 pm
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thanks to katisss

i feel you write better than me in terms of fluency, readability and good sentense.  but do you think you did not discuss "how much trust we ought to have to news?"  i think you just describe some reasons or situations which influence "trustworthy"  

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