Business English Practice Improves Writing

Business English Practice can Improve Writing Skills

An excellent strategy to get Business English practice is to read online English-language newspapers. What are some of the best online newspapers? Do they offer free articles? Or do you have to pay for them? Find out by reading Simon Houpt’s report on newspaper trends for 2013, appearing in The Globe and Mail. (1).

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Don’t forget to scroll to the bottom to attempt our questions.

“Maybe the Mayans were actually big fans of reading online newspapers for free: While 2012 didn’t usher in the end of the world, the world of free online reading began to shrink sharply, as dozens of North American newspapers erected or announced plans to erect paywalls around their content. (2)

Which means 2013 could be a make-or-break year for many in the industry, as they scramble for alternative streams of revenue to make up for lost print advertising. (3)

In the United States, 11 of the top 20 newspapers by circulation either now have a paid digital subscription model, or have announced plans to implement one, including the top four: The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times. . . (4)

Already, more than 35 per cent of U.S. newspaper readers regularly bump up against some restrictions in their online surfing. Most papers allow readers access to a set number of articles – the average is 11, according to the journalism e-commerce company Press+ – before hitting a wall. . . (5)

The industry’s lodestar is the New York Times Co. Since March, 2011, when it placed a meter on its digital platforms that limits the number of articles that readers can access for free, it has signed up 566,000 digital subscribers to either the Times or the International Herald Tribune. . (6).

‘Newspapers are realizing you can’t spend millions on content and give it away for free,” Postmedia CEO Paul Godfrey told The Globe in October. “I think we’re at the point where pay metered systems will be put in all over the world.’” (7)

Business English Practice: check your understanding

A. Look at the definitions below. The words on the right have missing letters that define the words. Fill in the letters. The paragraphs are numbered to help you find the word.

1. to decrease (2) _h_ _ n _
2. point of reference (6) _ _d _ _t _ _
3. based on computer use (4) _i _ _ _a _
4. current styles (1) _ _ _n _s
5. beginning to understand (7) _ e _ _i _ _ _ _
6. to struggle in order to get something (3) _ _r _ _ _l _
7. looking at the Internet casually (5) _ _ _ f _ n _
8. subscription fees (2) _ _y _a _ _ _

B. Match the question and the answer.

1. What happened to free online reading in 2012? a. Print advertising is not as profitable as before.
2. How many of the leading newspapers require users to pay for some content? b. They charge for content.
3. Why do newspapers need more revenue? c. It signed up many new subscribers.
4. What was the result of the NY Times limiting content? d. Only about a third do so now.
5. What will be the trend among newspapers around the world in 2013? e. It diminished drastically.
6. Do most newspapers charge for online content? f. Over 50% do so.


1. to decrease (2) shrink
2. point of reference (6) lodestar
3. based on computer use (4) digital
4. current styles (1) trends
5. beginning to understand (7) realizing
6. to struggle in order to get something (3) scramble
7. looking at the Internet casually (5) surfing
8. subscription fees (2) paywalls

1. e., 2. f., 3. a., 4. c., 5. b., 6. d

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