The following exercise is a sample one. Its purpose is to show how the information you have studied in Parts One and Two is put to use in reading.

A second purpose of the sample exercise is to preview the 30 exercises which appear in Part Four. Reading the sample passage and answering the sample questions will help you get off to a good start.

The answers to all the questions are fully explained. Reasons are given showing why the correct answers are the best answers and where the wrong answers are faulty.

Complete the sample exercise carefully and thoughtfully. Do not go on to Part Four until you are certain you understand what judgments are and how correct judgments are made.

Sample Exercise

Newspapers do not always report the facts fairly. For example, a newspaper in a southern state may devote very little space to an item on racial injustice. On the other hand, a newspaper from the Northeast might give wide coverage to race problems in other parts of the nation and fail to report on local racial troubles. In this way readers can be misled. They may be fooled into believing that prejudice is a regional problem and fail to realize that racism knows no boundaries.

1. The careful newspaper reader should be aware that

  1. most news stories cannot be believed.
  2. many newspapers attempt to deceive their readers.
  3. government control of the news industry is needed.
  4. some newspapers present only one side of the story.

2. The faulty news reporting described in the paragraph is

  1. the exception to general practice.
  2. a threat to freedom of the press.
  3. an insult to journalism.
  4. a dangerous and widespread abuse.

3. The reporting policies of newspapers

  1. reflect the needs of the community.
  2. should support the views of local readers.
  3. should be under the control of taxpayers.
  4. can be made to serve private interests.

4. Underline the sentence which states what can happen to readers whose judgments are not based on properly understood and interpreted facts.

Answers and Explanations

1. The best answer to the first question is d, some newspapers present only one side of the story. The paragraph supports this judgment when it reveals that some newspapers stress problems in other parts of the country and ignore similar problems at home.

Answers a, b, and c are wrong for these reasons:

Answers a and b: The use of words like "most" and "many" in the questions goes beyond the limited examples given in the paragraph. The paragraph clearly says " ... a newspaper in a southern state ... " and " ... a newspaper from the Northeast ... "

Answer c: Government or government controls are not even mentioned or suggested.

2. The best answer to question 2 is a, the kind of reporting described in the paragraph is the exception. As mentioned in regard to question 1, the paragraph does not condemn all newspapers; it mentions only two specific examples.

Answers b, c, and c are wrong for these reasons:

Answer b: The rights of newspapers to report as they see fit is not questioned in the paragraph. Freedom of the press is not an issue in the situation described.

Answer c: It would be poor judgment to condemn an entire profession for the behavior of some members.

Answer d: As noted in the reason for the correct answer a, the two cases mentioned are limited. The paragraph in no way suggests that faulty news reporting is widespread.

3. The best answer to the third question is d, newspapers can be made to serve private interests. Although the paragraph does not mention private interests openly, the reader must judge from the information and his evaluation of it that whoever controls the newspaper is using it for purposes which serve his own interests and not the best interests of the readers.

Answers a, b, and c are wrong for these reasons:

Answer a: Although the needs of some of the community are being met by the kind of reporting described in the paragraph, the views of the ignored minorities are surely not being reflected.

Answer b: The views of local readers could be very narrow and a newspaper would be doing an injustice to everyone if all the news were not reported all the time, whether agreeable or disagreeable to the readers.

Answer c: As mentioned earlier in regard to another question, the matter of controls is neither mentioned nor hinted at.

4. The best answer to the fourth question is sentence 4: "In this way readers can be misled." This sentence expresses in broad, general terms what can happen to those who allow others to evaluate and decide for them.

If you had difficulty answering these questions correctly, review the paragraph and questions. If, after that, you still do not understand the answers and explanations, check with your instructor before going on.