Clearly, a democracy cannot thrive without effective news media. After all, a democracy cannot thrive without an elec...

ChristianJM on March 23, 2020

Please explain answer

Thank you!

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SamA on March 23, 2020

Hello @ChristianJM,

This is a strengthen w/ sufficient question, which means we want an assumption that guarantees the conclusion. Let's break this argument down to its sufficient and necessary conditions.

Conclusion: A democracy cannot thrive without effective news media.
DT ---> ENM

A democracy cannot thrive (DT) without an electorate that is knowledgeable about important political issues (EK).
DT ---> EK

An electorate can be knowledgeable (EK) only if it has access to unbiased information about the government (AUI).
DT ---> EK ---> AUI

We now know quite a bit about what a thriving democracy depends on. However, do you see any premises here about an effective news media? I don't, and yet the author makes a conclusion about the effective news media. There is a gap in this argument. We need more information about the news media. Why is it necessary? This type of gap in the argument is very common on this question type, and it is something that you need to look for. We need to fix it with an assumption.

Take a look at answer choice E. It connects the effective news media to one of our established premises.
AUI ---> ENM

Let's add this to our chain of reasoning.
DT ---> EK ---> AUI ---> ENM

Now the conclusion is properly inferred. We have the connection we need. You can see that a thriving democracy depends on an effective news media. If this question type is difficult for you, I would take a look at the missing premise drills.

Make sure you understand how I diagrammed these conditional statements. I didn't write all of the contrapositives because I thought that it would be confusing, but it is good practice to write them down until you are very comfortable with conditional reasoning. Eventually, you might not even need to diagram a question like this.