Critical Reasoning Question 12-Newspaper Articles

The increase in the number of newspaper articles exposed as fabrications serves to bolster the contention that publishers are more interested in boosting circulation than in printing the truth.  Even minor publications have staffs to check such obvious fraud.

The argument above assumes that

A.  Newspaper stories exposed as fabrications are a recent phenomenon.

B.  Everything a newspaper prints must be factually verifiable.

C.  Fact checking is more comprehensive for minor publications than for major ones.

D.  Only recently have newspapers admitted to publishing intentionally fraudulent stories.

E.  The publishers of newspapers are he people who decide what to print in their newspapers.

Think you know the correct answer?

The correct answer is E.  Evidence: more newspaper articles exposed as fabrications.

Conclusion:  Publishers want to increase circulation, not print the truth.  This makes sense only if we assume (E), that publishers decide what to print.  If (E) weren’t true and this decision were up to someone else, the argument would fall apart.

Since the argument claims only and increase in made-up articles exposed, it’s not necessary that they be a recent phenomenon, so (A)’s not assumed.  (B) goes too far-it’s not necessary that every article be factually verifiable in order for there to have been an increase in fabrications.  As for (C), the author’s claim that “even minor publications” have fact checkers is meant to emphasize that the publications know they’re not printing the truth, not that minor ones are better at fact checking than major ones.  And (D) brings up admission of guilt, which the author never mentions-the articles in question were exposed as frauds, not admitted to be frauds.

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