Weaken—CE,#%. The correct answer choice is (A)
In this stimulus, the author asserts a simple causal argument:
- Premise: In modern times, news is full of violence.
Conclusion: Violent crime is out of control.
This causal argument could be diagrammed as follows:
- Cause Effect
violent crime up news media now full of violent stories
Since the stimulus is followed by a weaken question stem, we know that the right answer is likely to provide an alternative cause, or a reason to doubt the causal link asserted by the author.
Answer choice (A): This is the correct answer choice, because it provides an alternative cause for all of the violent news stories: more comprehensive coverage. Maybe there isn't more violence today than there used to be—even if it's the same amount (or less), this answer choice provides a cause for the increased media coverage.
Answer choice (B): This answer choice plays no role in the author's conclusion, which only deals with violence "in our city."
Answer choice (C): The relative incidence of violence is not relevant to the author's asserted relationship between actual violence and media coverage of violence.
Answer choice (D): Like answer choice (D) above, this answer choice is incorrect because the proportionality presented is irrelevant to the question of whether violent crime in general has caused the extensive media coverage of violent crime. The portion of violent crime comprised by murders is not relevant to this inquiry.
Answer choice (E): The importance of the role of newspapers today versus the past neither strengthens nor weakens the author's assertion that the media's numerous stories on violent crime is attributable to a actual increase in violent crime.