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Sample Response to GMAT AWA Issue Questions

1. In some countries, television and radio programs are carefully censored for offensive language and behavior. In other countries, there is little or no censorship. In your view, to what extent should government or any other group be able to censor television or radio programs? Explain, giving relevant reasons and/or examples to support your position.

This statement asks for the extent to which the broadcast media should be censored for offensive language and behavior. In my view, the rights of individuals to broadcast this type of content should take precedence over our societal interest in preventing the harm that exposure to obscenity produces.

Firstly, the right of free speech is intrinsic to a democracy and necessary to its survival. In my assessment, the survival of a society is more crucial than the interests served by restricting obscenity in broadcast media. Furthermore, it is difficult to define "obscene" or "offensive" language or behavior.

Secondly, I believe that exposure to obscene and offensive language and behavior does not necessarily cause similar behavior on those who are exposed to it. Although the obscene and offensive behavior coincides with their exposure to such content, there is no sufficient evidence to establish a sound cause-effect relationship.

Thirdly, it is the audience who determine whether or not to watch some TV or radio program. If the programs that contain offensive language and behavior are not welcomed by most audience, then censorship is no longer necessary.

In sum, it is not wise to censor broadcast media for obscene and offensive language and behavior. Restrict to such media content tends to harm our right of free expression.


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