IELTS Speaking Cue Card - Describing a Newspaper or a Magazine

IELTS Speaking Part 2 requires the test takers to do a self-presentation. Today we are going to try another IELTS Speaking Cue Card and talk about newspaper/magazine. You will have to answer four questions in two minutes. Before answering the questions, you will be given one minute to prepare your answers.

Desribing a Newspaper/magazine

You should say:

  • What it is and why you read it
  • What are the benefits of reading a newspaper or a magazine
  • How often you read it and what types of content it contains

Explain why you like reading this newspaper or magazine

Sample Answer

What it is and why you read it

I read newspaper everyday, although I never buy it myself. I usually read Jawa Pos and Kompas. In my opinion, Kompas is the most famous newspaper in Indonesia. But in East Java province, it is more common for the people to read Java Pos and some other local newspaper. In many public places like coffee shop or government office, we can always find these two newspapers provided in the waiting room. I often go to a coffee shop and read newspaper there. I'm a regular and I spend at least an hour reading the latest news. Sometimes, I have a casual talk with other customers. When there is an important news on that day, we often have a little bit more serious discussion while enjoying our coffee. I prefer reading Jawa Pos because it does not only contain national and international news, but also local news around Gresik and Surabaya. Sometimes I read news online, but I think newspaper has more thourough and reliable report.

What are the benefits of reading a newspaper or a magazine

There are a lot of benefits of reading newspaper. By reading newspaper, people become more well-informed. They know what happens around them and become more aware of the current issues. Investors often read newspaper before making an important decision. Football fans read newspaper and look for the upcoming matches and the latest score.

How often you read it and what types of content it contains

Reading newspaper has been a morning routine for many people in my country. I have been reading newspaper for years and has become an avid readers since I was in college. Even when I had morning classes and can't go to the coffee shop to read newspaper, I will be there in the afternoon after finishing all my classes. There various contents in Jawa Pos, lie national news, local news, international news, sport, showbiz and some niche-related topics for women and teenagers called for her and zetizen. The headline often outlines the most important news on that day as well as some of the most recent events like independence day or international labor day.

I like reading Jawa Pos because it covers various topics and has thorough and in-depth reports. The report is based on data and professional journalism so the information is very reliable. I particularly like the international news, and rigorously follow news on international policy, middle east conflict, ASEAN, and Indonesia's recent involvement in international event and cooperation. I don't have any background in international studies, but the comprehensive report of the newspaper always makes it easier, even to a lay man like me, to understand what's actually going on.

After you answer four questions above, there will probably be some additional questions given to you. Below are some example of the common folow question for a topic related to newspaper and magazine.

Follow-up Questions

Can you mention some of the most important qualities for a news reporter?

The most important quality for reporters to have is dedication to profession. Being a reporter is not an easy task. It is tough and can even be risky.  Another important quality is professionalism. Media has a vital role in democratic countries, and objectivity and independence are the qualities that reporters must have. In the era of information, false news and hoax become more and more difficult to control. Media is expected to give reliable and verifiable information and the role of reporter becomes more and more important.

What's the main difference between a newspaper and a magazine?

Newspaper and magazine are different in so many ways. Newspaper is published daily but magazine is usually published monthly or weekly. Besides, magazine usually focuses on one topic, like automotive or fashion. Newspaper covers various topics and hence, has wider readership. In terms of material used for printing, magazine usually uses some kind of glossy paper, much ticker and brighter than paper used for newspaper.

What’s the function of a report to the society?

It is important that the people can access information. Newspaper and other media make it possible for the people to know what the government is up to, to be more aware of issues related to economy, politics, social and culture. For example, people are recently giving a lot of attention to corruption involving government officials. They get the information mostly from news on TV or newspaper. Media transparency is really helpful to prevent somebody from "playing under the table ", especially when it is against the public's interest. People have the right to know the truth and media has the power to report and investigate.

What kinds of books/newspapers/magazines do adolescents read in your country?

Many people are reading newspaper these days. More and more people follow politics, and political news get a vast readership. Business and finance are two other topics that have most readers, and a significant number of people read business magazines. Books require a lot more effort to read and I think most people will tend to read fictional books. When it comes to serious topics like business and politics, many Indonesians still prefer reading newspaper and online news.

With the popularity of the Internet, do you think newspapers and magazines will disappear?

I don't think newspaper or any other printed media will disappear because of the growing number of internet users. Not in the near future, at least. People read online news because it is faster, always up to date, and easier to access. But we shouldn't forget the fact that printed media is more convenient to read. The blurry light emitted by gadget screen makes our eyes exhausted that it becomes uncomfortable to read news online more than ten minutes. Older people prefer reading printed news, and this is probably why. For the reason of readability and comfort, most online media post brief report on their online platform. Hence, the report is not as comprehensive as that of printed media. I really think that online news will be complementary to printed news, it will not substitute it. When the people need fast and up to date news, they will read online news. But when they are looking for a more thorough report, it is more likely that they will read newspaper or books.

Tips for IELTS Speaking Part 2

Some people do not read newspaper these days, and this makes it difficult to give answers. If you never read printed newspaper, think about online news you usually read. The content of printed and online news is basically the same, and the only difference between the two is the format and the length of the article. When you have to explain the content of a newspaper, try to explain news that you recently read, since it will make it easier for you to explain.

If you don't like politics, business or other topics with which you are not familiar, do not force yourself to talk about those topics. Focus on the things that you find easier to explain, and give a brief (brief!) overview of the kind of news usually found in newspaper, including business and politics.

The complete IELTS Speaking samples can be read here: IELTS Speaking Section Part 1, 2 and 3 - Newspaper

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