IELTS Writing Task 2 #1

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Present a written argument or case to an educated reader with no specialist knowledge of the following topic.

Whoever controls the media also controls opinions and attitudes of the people and there is little can be done to rectify this.

To what extend do you agree or disagree?

You should use your own ideas, knowledge and experience and support your arguments with examples and relevant evidence.

Write at least 250 words.

model answer:

In some countries the media is controlled exclusively by large companies; in other it is the government that has this control. Often, in war situation, one of the first casualties is the media, which is seized by one group or another. This gives some support to the idea that the media is a source of power and control.

Whoever controls the media also has ultimate control over what is published or broadcasted and what is omitted. They can also add a certain prejudice or bias to their coverage of certain news stories depending on their own feelings about the matter. This is not a new problem, although the issue is perhaps more pressing now that the Internet and play-TV have enabled these messages to be disseminated even further.

However, we should remember that readers have their own ideas and opinions. You can control what is printed but you cannot control the opinions of your readers. I think the only positive here is that, nowadays, people seem to be much more cynical about what they read in the press or hear on the television. In particular, when it comes to the tabloid press, people know that they have to take what they read with a grain of salt. In other words, they read knowing they may be being lied to. Perhaps it is even greater concern that we have become so accepting of this form of censorship.

The only thing that can be done to alter this situation is for the government to regulate the industry so that there is no longer a monopoly on media ownership. This also means that they have to allow and support a totally free press, even if this means the government may be criticised or ridiculed within its pages.

(295 words)