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Some time ago a piece of advice came to me, which said that in writing (actually it referred to IELTS tests), one should use long and short sentences interchangeably. I personally doubt the if it applies universally. Can anyone please give your opinion?
By the way, if you could be so kind, how would you comment this paragraph written by me, packed of complex sentences?

Of course, speaking of the function of newspaper, one is apt to comment that it serves as a vital source to inform people of what is happening in the local area, in the nation, and in the world. And obviously in contemporary times, when asked to make comparison between the newspaper and the television, one might stress the feature of newspaper that beyond the bare function as a information transmitter, it provides meanwhile, very importantly, the unique perspectives as far as the editors are concerned, which compensates its insufficiency in terms of visualisation since, for the most part, instant news on television is illustrated in an objective way, though a pre-selection may take place beforehand. And to support one's opinion further, our friend shall exploit exactly the gambit the essay made above, and supply with the examples in mid-east countries or south Africa, to exemplify that the merit of journalists has diminished not a single bit in the modern society.
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Comments  
whispering one should use long and short sentences interchangeably
I suppose you mean 'alternately'. No, but it is good style and keeps the reader from falling asleep if you mix the long and the short. Use short sentences to make a point after an explanation, for instance.
whisperinghow would you comment this paragraph written by me, packed of complex sentences?
I couldn't get past the first line—it is too verbose. It should read like this:

Of course, newspapers serve as a vital source of information on...
I agree with MrM, except that I made it past the first sentence and into the second, which I found pretty awful.You are asking your reader to work much too hard!

It's sometimes good style to start a sentence with ''and', but it is not good style to follow it directly with another that also starts with 'and'.
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Thanks very much for Mister Micawber and Clive. Actually I haven't received any comment from writing authority after my high school. The point I have been struggling is how to demonstrate one's sophistication in writing, if I had, by not packing too much words or information into a single sentence? How to reach a balance?
P.S. I did mean 'alternately', thanks for pointing it out, Mister Micawber.

Here is my revised version, after your suggestions.
Speaking of the function of newspaper, of course it serves as a vital source to inform people of what is happening in the world. And in contemporary times, when asked to compare the newspaper with the television, one might stress that, beyond the role of an information transmitter, the newspaper provides meanwhile the unique perspectives of the editors, which compensates its insufficiency in visualisation compared to TV. Furthermore, our friend shall exploit exactly the gambit the essay made above, and supply with the examples in mid-east countries or south Africa, to exemplify that the merit of journalists has diminished not a single bit in the modern society.
Now as a contrast try to write it as simply and clearly as you can!
OK.
The function of newspaper is to inform of people what is happening. And compared to the television, it can provide editors’ perspectives to compensate its insufficiency in visualisation. Furthermore, by the aforementioned examples, we could see that the merit of journalists has not diminished nowadays.
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whisperinghow to demonstrate one's sophistication in writing
You do that by writing clearly, simply and impeccably, not by trying to write long sentences with big words.

Your last effort is almost perfect:

The function of a newspaper is to inform people of what is happening. Compared to television, it can provide editors’ perspectives to compensate for its insufficiency in visualisation. Furthermore, in the previous examples, we see that the merit of journalism has not diminished.
Thanks very much for both of your help! I would keep your suggestions in my mind.

A Quick Reply

Mark Twain could weave a compound sentence so long and complex you'd need a bathroom break while reading it.

Mark Twain also promoted the maxim: Eschew surplusage. (the most meaningful two-word sentence I know)

I think the advice to alternate / mix sentence lengths is to give the reader a break from too many convoluted sentences or too many rapid-fire ones. It's all about balance. Short, direct sentences (like the previous one) are also excellent for summarizing your point. I'd extend this advice to public speaking as well.
whisperingAnd obviously in contemporary times,
This was the first phrase to catch my eye. Depending on the audience, I would say: These days ...
whisperingsouth Africa
This was the second thing I noticed, before reading the whole paragraph. If you're referring to the country, use South Africa. If you're referring to the region, consider using southern Africa to avoid confusion.

Scrutiny

Before I begin to evaluate the rest of the paragraph, I need to make some things clear: I'm only trying to help. I mean no offense. If you're not open to this level of scrutiny, let me know and I'll never apply it again. (:-Þ)

Your First Sentence

Your sentences are so complex that I had to chop them into loose information nuggets (phrases/clauses) just to keep up with what you were saying. Let's evaluate each bit:

Of course, <--- To start a paragraph?
speaking of the function of newspaper, <--- What does this add to the sentence? function: role
one is apt to comment that it <--- Ditto.
serves as a vital source <--- vital role
to inform people <--- to communicate
of what is happening <--- events
in the local area, in the nation, and in the world. <--- local, national, and worldwide events

Sunny says: Newspapers fulfill the vital role of communicating local, national, and worldwide events. (12 words instead of 38)
This is just the bare-bones sentence. You may need to add back in some of what I cut out. Perhaps I didn't understand your intended meaning. Depending on context, you might begin with In a discussion of media's role in our lives today or something similar.

WARNING:

I am not a great writer. My teachers/professors often commented that my style was too scientific (fact, fact, fact, conclusion) and that I needed to "hold the reader's hand through the thought process." I am very good at pruning sentences but struggle to beef them up -- both ends of the spectrum are problematic. Striking the right balance is like the art of bonsai gardening: prune enough, but not too much.

Your Other Two Sentences


And obviously in contemporary times, when asked to make comparison between the newspaper and the television, one might stress the feature of newspaper that beyond the bare function as a information transmitter, it provides meanwhile, very importantly, the unique perspectives as far as the editors are concerned, which compensates its insufficiency in terms of visualisation since, for the most part, instant news on television is illustrated in an objective way, though a pre-selection may take place beforehand. (77 words!)

And to support one's opinion further, our friend shall exploit exactly the gambit the essay made above, and supply with the examples in mid-east countries or south Africa, to exemplify that the merit of journalists has diminished not a single bit in the modern society. (48 words)
Have fun doing some bonsai sentence pruning. Emotion: cool
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