IELTS® Academic Reading Practice 24

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Print Media

In the beginning of print media, local news was limited, in that news agencies were only able to publish their findings and stories through the popular printing press. However, this invention marked quite an achievement for the mid-1700s. When choosing the best place to utilize the printing press for the first “local newspaper”, Boston's extremely literate population and its interest in self-government made it the perfect location. In the initial stages, the first newspapers spread information about local events and activities in the area. However, the Stamp Tax of 1765 raised costs for publishers, leading several newspapers into bankruptcy due to the increasing cost of paper. The repeal of the Stamp Tax in 1766 diminished concerns for a short while, but editors and writers soon began questioning the power of the British government.

As a response to the actions of community members,newspapers united people behind a common cause during the Revolutionary War. Then, the publication of the Federalist Papers, as well as the Anti-Federalist Papers in the 1780s, moved the nation into the “party press era”. The Federalist Papers were composed of eighty-five articles and essays written by Alexander Hamilton and other political minds, which sought to promote the ratification of the United States constitution. The Anti-Federalist Papers, while serving as a counterpart, were less influential but nonetheless published. In any case, this era demonstrated a time during which political party loyalty was evident in editorial content. Subscriptions and advertisements were not always able to comprehensively cover printing costs. As a solution, political parties settled the debts for the newspapers that aided specific parties and their policies. Therefore, it was common to see propaganda and messages scattered throughout the newspaper. This is one of the first examples of media bias.
Despite the antagonistic nature of the press, most founders of the country and politicians at the time believed that freedom of the press was important for creating an informed population. For this reason, freedom of the press was listed in the Bill of Rights in the First Amendment, and currently remains an important principle in the American government. However, readers still wanted to be entertained as they read the daily “news”, without having to rely on just one type of information. In other words, the demand called for a proper balance between informative and entertaining types of news.  Joseph Pulitzer recognized this need and consequently became the father of “yellow journalism”. He started the tabloid-style paper that included editorial pages, cartoons, and pictures. In order to grab attention, the front-page news usually included something quite scandalous and sensational.
Due to his ability to understand audiences, Pulitzer was correct when analyzing what the public wanted, and for this reason, advertisements sold quickly thanks to the popularity of his publication. However, the popularity of Pulitzer's style created a staunch competition between various news sources in the area and beyond. As the demand for these papers was high, competition between various newspaper companies led to increasingly sensationalized covers and tabloid-style articles. For quite some time after Putlizer's first tabloid-style paper, the print media was succumbing to the demands of the public without printing to a high journalistic standard. In fact, many scholars would even argue that this style has remained active in present-day publications, which is seen in celebrity gossip columns and even entire magazines.
Although his innovative ideas had hailed Pulitzer as the most prominent figure in print media of the time, a business-oriented citizen with an eye for communication set his sights on acquiring another publication. In 1896, Adolph Ochs purchased the New York Times in order to create a sophisticated newspaper, as he felt that society was in a dire need for authentic news coverage. He wanted to change the current course of print media and provide readers with only “the most important news”, which did not entail sensationalized reporting tactics. He believed that news stories effectively depicting the true events regarding the economy, politics, and the global community were of utmost importance, or certainly more important than tidbits of gossip and photography. Thus, the New York Times was the first publication to return to the informational model, exhibiting impartiality in terms of politics and accuracy in its contents.

Although both the sensationalized and informational news models remained popular afterwards, the objectives surrounding published print media works experienced changes soon after the New York Times was purchased. As such, other types of news coverage developed when the Progressive Era came to fruition, and lasted until the 1920s. Perhaps the most notable “new” form of the time was “muckraking”, which involved writing news coverage to expose corruption. Making its first appearances during the late 1890s, journalists used muckraking to work on investigative pieces, which ultimately led to changes in the way factories treated industrial workers. As a result, laws were passed that would protect consumers and employees for a long time to come. While print media had served as a public forum for the founding founders in its earlier days, it exited the Progessive Era as a tool to command justice.

28. J - The statement, “When choosing the best place to utilize the printing press for the first “local newspaper”, Boston's extremely literate population and its interest in self-government made it the perfect location.” makes this the best answer.
29. A - The statement, “However, the Stamp Tax of 1765 raised costs for publishers, leading several newspapers into bankruptcy due to the increasing cost of paper.” makes this the correct answer.
30. D - The statement, “Then, the publication of the Federalist Papers, as well as the Anti-Federalist Papers in the 1780s, moved the nation into the “party press era”.” makes this correct.
31. H - The statements, “Subscriptions and advertisements were not always able to comprehensively cover printing costs. As a solution, political parties settled the debts for the newspapers that aided specific parties and their policies.” make this correct.
32. F - The statements, “However, readers still wanted to be entertained as they read the daily “news”, without having to rely on just one type of information. In other words, the demand called for a proper balance between informative and entertaining types of news.  Joseph Pulitzer recognized this need and consequently became the father of “yellow journalism”. make this correct.
33. C - The statement, “As the demand for these papers was high, competition between various newspaper companies led to increasingly sensationalized covers and tabloid-style articles.” proves that this is correct.
34. I  - The statement, “For quite some time after Putlizer's first tabloid-style paper, the print media was succumbing to the demands of the public without printing to a high journalistic standard.” proves this to be correct.
35. Albert Ochs - The statement, “In 1896, Adolph Ochs purchased the New York Times in order to create a sophisticated newspaper, as he felt that society was in a dire need for authentic news coverage.” proves this to be correct.
36. (the) informational model - The statement, “Thus, the New York Times was the first publication to return to the informational model, exhibiting impartiality in terms of politics and accuracy in its contents.” proves this to be correct.
37. (the) Progressive Era - The statements, “As such, other types of news coverage developed when the Progressive Era came to fruition, and lasted until the 1920s. Perhaps the most notable “new” form of the time was “muckraking”, which involved writing news coverage to expose corruption.” proves this to be correct.
38. corruption - The statements, “As such, other types of news coverage developed when the Progressive Era came to fruition, and lasted until the 1920s. Perhaps the most notable “new” form of the time was “muckraking”, which involved writing news coverage to expose corruption.” proves this to be correct.
39. investigative (pieces) - The statements, “Making its first appearances during the late 1880s, journalists used muckraking to work on investigative pieces, which ultimately led to changes in the way factories treated industrial workers. As a result, laws were passed that would protect consumers and employees for a long time to come.” proves this to be correct.
40. consumers and employees - The statements, “Making its first appearances during the late 1880s, journalists used muckraking to work on investigative pieces, which ultimately led to changes in the way factories treated industrial workers. As a result, laws were passed that would protect consumers and employees for a long time to come.” proves this to be correct.



This reading practice simulates one part of the IELTS Academic Reading test. You should spend about twenty minutes on it. Read the passage and answer questions 28-40.
Questions 28-34
Complete each sentence with the correct ending A-J from the box below.

Write the correct letter A-J in boxes 28-34 on your answer sheet.

NB You may use any letter more than once.

  1. increased publishing costs
  2. decreased publishing costs
  3. created a competition between newspaper companies
  4. happened after the publication of the Federalist Papers
  5. mentioned life before the Revolutionary War
  6. understood people's need for entertainment
  7. created chaos in the government
  8. supported the financial burden and publishing costs
  9. dropped and focused on sensationalism instead
  10. made Boston the perfect place to start a newspaper

28. A high percentage of readers and the interest in self-governing

29. The introduction of the Stamp Tax

30. The nation's move into the “party press era”

31. Media bias in newspapers existed because politicians

32. Yellow journalism was created because Pulitzer

33. A strong demand for newspapers

34. In order to satisfy readers' desires, the journalistic standard

Questions 35-40
Complete the short answers below.

Choose NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS from the passage for each answer.

Write your answers in 35-40 on your answer sheet.

35. Who changed the path of The New York Times in 1896?

36. The New York Times was the first publication to go back to what?

37. When did the practice of muckraking start?

38. What did muckraking seek to reveal?

39. What type of writing pieces were part of the muckraking style?

40. Who was kept safe due to the new laws passed during the Progressive Era?




Answer Sheet
1
N/A
2
N/A
3
N/A
4
N/A
5
N/A
6
N/A
7
N/A
8
N/A
9
N/A
10
N/A
11
N/A
12
N/A
13
N/A
14
N/A
15
N/A
16
N/A
17
N/A
18
N/A
19
N/A
20
N/A
21
N/A
22
N/A
23
N/A
24
N/A
25
N/A
26
N/A
27
N/A
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40


Reading Passage Vocabulary
Print Media


In the beginning of print media, local news was limited, in that news agencies were only able to publish their findings and stories through the popular printing press. However, this invention marked quite an achievement for the mid-1700s. When choosing the best place to utilize the printing press for the first “local newspaper”, Boston's extremely literate population and its interest in self-government made it the perfect location. In the initial stages, the first newspapers spread information about local events and activities in the area. However, the Stamp Tax of 1765 raised costs for publishers, leading several newspapers into bankruptcy due to the increasing cost of paper. The repeal of the Stamp Tax in 1766 diminished concerns for a short while, but editors and writers soon began questioning the power of the British government.

As a response to the actions of community members,newspapers united people behind a common cause during the Revolutionary War. Then, the publication of the Federalist Papers, as well as the Anti-Federalist Papers in the 1780s, moved the nation into the “party press era”. The Federalist Papers were composed of eighty-five articles and essays written by Alexander Hamilton and other political minds, which sought to promote the ratification of the United States constitution. The Anti-Federalist Papers, while serving as a counterpart, were less influential but nonetheless published. In any case, this era demonstrated a time during which political party loyalty was evident in editorial content. Subscriptions and advertisements were not always able to comprehensively cover printing costs. As a solution, political parties settled the debts for the newspapers that aided specific parties and their policies. Therefore, it was common to see propaganda and messages scattered throughout the newspaper. This is one of the first examples of media bias.
Despite the antagonistic nature of the press, most founders of the country and politicians at the time believed that freedom of the press was important for creating an informed population. For this reason, freedom of the press was listed in the Bill of Rights in the First Amendment, and currently remains an important principle in the American government. However, readers still wanted to be entertained as they read the daily “news”, without having to rely on just one type of information. In other words, the demand called for a proper balance between informative and entertaining types of news.  Joseph Pulitzer recognized this need and consequently became the father of “yellow journalism”. He started the tabloid-style paper that included editorial pages, cartoons, and pictures. In order to grab attention, the front-page news usually included something quite scandalous and sensational.
Due to his ability to understand audiences, Pulitzer was correct when analyzing what the public wanted, and for this reason, advertisements sold quickly thanks to the popularity of his publication. However, the popularity of Pulitzer's style created a staunch competition between various news sources in the area and beyond. As the demand for these papers was high, competition between various newspaper companies led to increasingly sensationalized covers and tabloid-style articles. For quite some time after Putlizer's first tabloid-style paper, the print media was succumbing to the demands of the public without printing to a high journalistic standard. In fact, many scholars would even argue that this style has remained active in present-day publications, which is seen in celebrity gossip columns and even entire magazines.
Although his innovative ideas had hailed Pulitzer as the most prominent figure in print media of the time, a business-oriented citizen with an eye for communication set his sights on acquiring another publication. In 1896, Adolph Ochs purchased the New York Times in order to create a sophisticated newspaper, as he felt that society was in a dire need for authentic news coverage. He wanted to change the current course of print media and provide readers with only “the most important news”, which did not entail sensationalized reporting tactics. He believed that news stories effectively depicting the true events regarding the economy, politics, and the global community were of utmost importance, or certainly more important than tidbits of gossip and photography. Thus, the New York Times was the first publication to return to the informational model, exhibiting impartiality in terms of politics and accuracy in its contents.

Although both the sensationalized and informational news models remained popular afterwards, the objectives surrounding published print media works experienced changes soon after the New York Times was purchased. As such, other types of news coverage developed when the Progressive Era came to fruition, and lasted until the 1920s. Perhaps the most notable “new” form of the time was “muckraking”, which involved writing news coverage to expose corruption. Making its first appearances during the late 1890s, journalists used muckraking to work on investigative pieces, which ultimately led to changes in the way factories treated industrial workers. As a result, laws were passed that would protect consumers and employees for a long time to come. While print media had served as a public forum for the founding founders in its earlier days, it exited the Progessive Era as a tool to command justice.

28. J - The statement, “When choosing the best place to utilize the printing press for the first “local newspaper”, Boston's extremely literate population and its interest in self-government made it the perfect location.” makes this the best answer.
29. A - The statement, “However, the Stamp Tax of 1765 raised costs for publishers, leading several newspapers into bankruptcy due to the increasing cost of paper.” makes this the correct answer.
30. D - The statement, “Then, the publication of the Federalist Papers, as well as the Anti-Federalist Papers in the 1780s, moved the nation into the “party press era”.” makes this correct.
31. H - The statements, “Subscriptions and advertisements were not always able to comprehensively cover printing costs. As a solution, political parties settled the debts for the newspapers that aided specific parties and their policies.” make this correct.
32. F - The statements, “However, readers still wanted to be entertained as they read the daily “news”, without having to rely on just one type of information. In other words, the demand called for a proper balance between informative and entertaining types of news.  Joseph Pulitzer recognized this need and consequently became the father of “yellow journalism”. make this correct.
33. C - The statement, “As the demand for these papers was high, competition between various newspaper companies led to increasingly sensationalized covers and tabloid-style articles.” proves that this is correct.
34. I  - The statement, “For quite some time after Putlizer's first tabloid-style paper, the print media was succumbing to the demands of the public without printing to a high journalistic standard.” proves this to be correct.
35. Albert Ochs - The statement, “In 1896, Adolph Ochs purchased the New York Times in order to create a sophisticated newspaper, as he felt that society was in a dire need for authentic news coverage.” proves this to be correct.
36. (the) informational model - The statement, “Thus, the New York Times was the first publication to return to the informational model, exhibiting impartiality in terms of politics and accuracy in its contents.” proves this to be correct.
37. (the) Progressive Era - The statements, “As such, other types of news coverage developed when the Progressive Era came to fruition, and lasted until the 1920s. Perhaps the most notable “new” form of the time was “muckraking”, which involved writing news coverage to expose corruption.” proves this to be correct.
38. corruption - The statements, “As such, other types of news coverage developed when the Progressive Era came to fruition, and lasted until the 1920s. Perhaps the most notable “new” form of the time was “muckraking”, which involved writing news coverage to expose corruption.” proves this to be correct.
39. investigative (pieces) - The statements, “Making its first appearances during the late 1880s, journalists used muckraking to work on investigative pieces, which ultimately led to changes in the way factories treated industrial workers. As a result, laws were passed that would protect consumers and employees for a long time to come.” proves this to be correct.
40. consumers and employees - The statements, “Making its first appearances during the late 1880s, journalists used muckraking to work on investigative pieces, which ultimately led to changes in the way factories treated industrial workers. As a result, laws were passed that would protect consumers and employees for a long time to come.” proves this to be correct.
 
IELTS Academic Reading Tips for Success
These are general tips that will appear on all reading questions.

Tips to improve your reading speed
To get a high score on the IELTS reading section, you need to have a fast reading speed. To have a fast reading speed, you need to improve your vocabulary and practice dissecting sentences. One strategy to dissect a sentence is to look for the subject and verb of the sentence. Finding the subject and verb will help you better understand the main idea of said sentence. Keep in mind, a common feature of a IELTS reading passage is to join strings of ideas to form long compound sentences. This produces large chunks that students have a hard time absorbing. Do not get overwhelmed by its length, just look for the subject and verb, the rest of the ideas will flow.


Keep in mind, having a slow reading speed makes skimming or scanning a reading passage more difficult. The process of quickly skimming through a reading passage for specific keywords or main ideas is a requirement for you to employ successful reading strategies to improve your IELTS reading score. In other words, skimming and scanning are critical skills to ensure you complete all questions in the allotted time frame.
IELTS Reading Strategies
Once you can read and comprehend a passage with a rate of, at least, 220 words per minute, you'll be ready to start implementing our strategies. All too often, students spend too much time reading the passages and not enough time answering the questions. Here is a step by step guide for tackling the reading section.

  1. Step 1: Read questions first

    One of the most common mistakes that candidates make when approaching the reading exam is reading every single word of the passages. Although you can practice for the exam by reading for pleasure, "reading blindly" (reading without any sense of what the questions will ask) will not do you any favors in the exam. Instead, it will hurt your chances for effectively managing your time and getting the best score.

    The main reason to read the questions first is because the type of question may determine what you read in the passage or how you read it. For example, some question types will call for the "skimming" technique, while others may call for the "scanning" technique.

    It is important to answer a set of questions that are of the same question type. You'll need to determine which question type you want to tackle first. A good strategy would be to start with the easier question type and move on to more difficult question types later. The Easiest question types are the ones where you spend less time reading. For example, the Matching Heading question type is an easier one because you only need to find the heading that best describes the main idea of a paragraph. An example of a difficult question type would be Identifying Information. For this question type, you'll need to read each paragraph to find out if each statement is TRUE, FALSE, or NOT GIVEN according to the passage.

    Here is a table that lists the difficulty levels for each question type. Use this table as a reference when choosing which question type you want to tackle first.


    Difficulty level Question Type
    Easy Sentence Completion
    Short answer
    Medium Matching Features
    Multiple choice
    Matching Headings
    Summary, Table, Flow-Chart Completion
    Difficult Matching Sentence Endings
    Matching Information
    Identifying Information (TRUE/FALSE/NOT GIVEN)
    Identifying Viewer's claims (YES/NO/NOT GIVEN)

  2. Step 2: Read for an objective

    After you've read the questions for the passage, you will be able to read for an objective. What does this mean? For example, if you come across a question that includes the year "1896", you can make a note of when this year comes up in the text, using it to answer the question later on. There are two reading techniques that will help you stay on track with reading for an objective. The first one, skimming, is best defined as reading fast in order to get the "gist", or general idea, or a passage. With this technique, you are not stopping for any unfamiliar words or looking for specific details. The second technique, scanning, is best defined as reading for specific information. With this technique, you are not reading for the overall gist, but rather, specific information. Notice how each of these techniques has a specific objective in mind. This will help you find information more quickly.

  3. Step 3: Take notes

    As you're reading for an objective, you should also be making notes on the margins of the passage, placing stars next to key information, or underlining things that you believe will help you answer the various questions. This will make it easier for you to check back when you are asked certain things in the questions. Choose whichever note-taking system is right for you - just make sure you do it!

  4. Step 4: Answer wisely

    After you've read the questions, read the passage, and have taken any appropriate notes, you you should have located the part of the text where you where you need to read carefully. Then just read carefully and think critically to determine the correct answer.

IELTS Reading Question Types
 
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