Hillcroft LRC

Posts Tagged ‘newspapers


Newspaper by Pietro and Sylvia is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Western world has exploded with news about fake news. What does it mean and who cares?

What is fake news?

It’s hard to define but fake news are headlines and stories which are completely untrustworthy and inaccurate. The content may be full of deliberately misleading facts or just plain lies. Fake news is often more emotive than real news. It can be obvious but most likely it is hard to spot fake news.

Why should we care?

The media can play a big part in shaping people’s reactions and beliefs every day. It is particularly worth paying close attention to potentially deceitful news stories because no one wants to be taken for a ride and duped. It’s good practice to apply critical thinking to everything you read whether or not it relates directly to your studies.

We’re used to news at its best being written by journalists and editors with expertise, authority and a sense of responsibility to portray world events from a balanced viewpoint. However, with the rise of social media like Facebook and Twitter the creation of news is getting further away from those trusted news sources and professional practices. Everyone should care about what they are learning and sharing with others. Everyone should know what information is shaping their opinions and those of their friends and family.

Spotting fake news

IFLA recommend applying 8 thoughts to online news stories including: consider the source, check the date, see who the author is and investigate the supporting links.

What is truth anyway?

Deciding what is true and what is made up is a life skill. Recently I came across a quotation that summed up the current attention on distinguishing fact vs fiction. It’s the idea that there is no easy way to tell if something’s true.

‘The color of truth is gray’ André Gide.

Life’s complex, there are many blurry areas.

Good newspapers available in the LRC

Don’t worry too much though! We’re here to help evaluate information and provide trustworthy news sources like: The Guardian, the i, First News, Easy News, The Voice, The Surrey Comet. 

Information sources mindmap - available on the VLE

Information sources mindmap – available on the VLE.

To get the better grades in assignments they are looking for you to draw from a wide range of relevant information sources to reinforce your ideas. There is no end to good sources of information available to you, but navigating your way through to the best ones takes practice and guidance. Here’s a little guidance, but please ask for help from the LRC team if you are stuck.

To start out with it is advisable to find information from generalist sources such as encyclopaedias and subject specific dictionaries. For instance to find definitions of key words included in your essay question. They have more authority than Wikipedia when it comes to referencing. However, starting an assignment is scary and overwhelming, perhaps try listening to a podcast on the topic or watching a video to get more familiar with it in a short time without needing to open a book.

After getting a better picture of the topic and identifying the key words next you could move on to more specialist sources such as subject books, ebooks, newspaper and journal articles. We have access to these through the MyAthens log in page on the VLE and our borrowing service. Let us know if you have forgotten your password, it happens to almost everyone. Alternatively, search on newspaper websites and  such as The Guardian or through Google Scholar.

There’s a mindmap of information sources that is posted on the VLE under LRC FAQs –> Resources.

 Our students are all busily completing the Six Book  Challenge.

It’s the first year that we have offered it to students. One of the things that students ask us is what counts as one of the six books. The Reading Agency’s website explains that it’s not just books that count – you could use poems, articles from magazines or newspapers.

Last week one of our students asked about positive affirmations that she was using as part of one of her courses. These can count too.

Find a Read on the Reading Agency’s website will help you find material by genre and at a level to suit you. It also suggests magazines and newspapers to read – as well as audio material and ebooks.


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