PASSAGE My favourite news story and this actually was a news story was about the noise level in Toronto restaurants. It seems many Toronto restaurants are noisy. You cant go there and have a quiet conversation anymore. They play the background music too loud and many of the walls, ceilings and floors dont contain sound-absorbing material but instead reflect noise, whether music or their own conversations, back onto patrons. Apparently, its getting to the point where and here I must say I expected to hear about an imminent hearing-impairment crisis among Toronto servers or passers-by (second-hand noise, you know) or an upcoming investigation by the citys tireless health and safety commissioner, but, no, the main reported consequence of allegedly higher noise levels in Toronto restaurants is that some patrons (though we dont know who or how many) have decided to stay away from the noisier places. Another example: the Great Canadian Anti-Salt Crusade. You read here (in April 2007) how a new Statistics Canada survey of Canadians salt use we use too much of it for our own good: is anyone surprised? seemed destined to lead to a national campaign to start managing Canadians intake of the deadly chemical. Now, three years later, a federal government interdepartmental task force on salt is indeed moving us toward greater governmental oversight of our eating habits. The CBCs Ottawa radio outlet is helping out by signing up a four-person panel of just plain folk it found via Twitter and following their salt consumption over the next few weeks. I bet a tub of MSG the panel ends up being shocked by how much salt is in our prepared foods and concluding the government needs to regulate the industry much more strictly. At the very least, we can expect Government of Canada ads aimed at increasing our Salt-Awareness. (Quebec is a world leader in this sort of thing: We have had TV ads urging us to spend more time with our kids. If things are so far gone in a society that people have to get their parenting skills from TV ads, theres really no hope for it.) Perhaps you heard Cross-Country Check-ups recent show on the camping crisis. It seems Canadians arent camping as much as we used to. Why are the numbers down? And what can we do about it? A current employee of Parks Canada assured listeners their government was on top of the situation, particularly with respect to worryingly low camping statistics among residents of the countrys major urban centres. There is now a pilot program called Camping 101 that introduces new campers us big-city types and new immigrants from countries with no camping heritage to simple camping techniques such as how to safely start a campfire, toast a marshmallow, and apply bug repellant. How thoughtful! From cradle to grave via campsite, your government and its attendant broadcast corporation are working tirelessly for you. Worry, worry, worry. Since Woodward, Bernstein and Watergate journalism schools have taught students their job is not to be interesting, entertaining and possibly even amusing but rather, in their role as a sub-genre of social worker, to get to the bottom of crises and conspiracies. If you’re going to do that around the clock, you eventually get down to salt, noise and camping crises. Fortunately, there is a solution to endlessly escalating media worry about smaller and smaller problems. Like those restaurant patrons, we can simply stop listening

Q.1 Which of the following best describes the tone of the passage? 

A) Cautionary 

B) Sarcastic 

C) Derogatory 

D) Critical 

Q.2 Which one of these is not a characteristic of the various news stories discussed by the author? 

A) They arise out of the journalists need to be entertaining. 

B) They deal with issues that the author considers trivial. 

C) They are a result of practices taught in journalism schools. 

D) They portray issues as crises. 

Q.3 Which of the following cannot be inferred from the passage? 

A) Woodward, Bernstein and Watergate are all names related to some conspiracy. 

B) The author supports the Canadian governments efforts to bring people back to campsites. 

C) The author recommends not paying too much attention to news stories such as those discussed in the passage. 

D) Canadians intake of salt is high and it carries certain risks. 

Q.4 Which of the following would be a suitable title for the passage? 

A) What is worrying the news media? 

B) Alarming news stories 

C) Major issues in Canada today 

D) How to deal with trivial news stories? 

1) B
2) A
3) B
4) A