IELTS Essay – Why are the news media so important?

By | July 8, 2013



On the IELTS exam, sometimes you have to talk about the good and bad side of something.

If you want to talk about the GOOD SIDE, use words like advantage, positive and benefits.

If you want to talk about the BAD SIDE, use words like disadvantage, negative and drawbacks.

Here are some essay questions that ask about the good and bad side of something:

What are advantages and disadvantages of recycling?

Do films generally have a positive or negative influence on young people?

What are the benefits and drawbacks of using computers in the classroom?

Ielts Blog - China Central Television Rui Chenggang - World Economic Forum

Below is a recent IELTS essay question about the good and bad side of news media.


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

The news media play a very important role in the modern world.

Why are the news media so important?

Is their influence generally positive or negative?

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own experience or knowledge.

You should write at least 250 words.


Paragraph 1 – Introduction

Paragraph 2 – Positive influence of media 1

Paragraph 3 – Positive influence of media 2

Paragraph 4 – Negative influences of media 1

Paragraph 5 – Negative influences of media 2

Paragraph 6 – Conclusion


Most people depend on news media such as radio, newspapers and online news sites to get their news. Many people read the news for entertainment or as a habit.  In addition, businesspeople, teachers and parents all rely on the news in their daily life. With so many people getting news for information and entertainment, it is inevitable that we will be influenced by news media.

There are positive aspects of being influenced by the news media. For example, many uplifting and beneficial projects are promoted by the news. For example, in the United States, there was a major campaign to raise awareness about breast cancer. To help this cause, television and radio stations invited speakers to discuss the dangers of breast cancer and how to get screened. Women spoke on radio and news shows about their experiences with breast cancer treatment. Doctors provided useful information about how to prevent breast cancer. Most of this information would not have reached people without news media.

Parents and teachers also use news media to help teach current events and life skills. For example, if there is a news story about a possible hurricane, teachers can learn more about it through news media and discuss it with their students. They can also use the television news clip about hurricanes to teach more about it. Parents can do the same for their children, with more personal topics.

Despite the positive influences of the news media, there are negative aspects to the wealth of news and the kinds of news we receive. For example, television and radio news coverage focuses a great deal on sports stars and movie stars. This conveys the message that actors and athletes are the most important people in society. In contrast, doctors, engineers, and teachers who make a difference do not get the attention that they deserve.

The amount of advertising during news and other programs is another drawback to getting news. There are constant advertising messages which we cannot ignore and which influence our buying decisions. Sometimes the media do this consciously. For example, when they cover dangerous crimes, they may have an advertisement for a security system. Or, when they broadcast a program about a new movie or famous actress, they usually air advertisements to target the specific audience that is watching that program. Often these advertisements are for products that people do not need.

The news media influence us in both positive and negative ways. Considering the sheer volume and variety of news available to us, I believe that news media are here to stay.

(394 words)


In this IELTS essay, what words are used to talk the good and bad things about the news media?



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