Weekly Competition #18

28 January 2019

affable_weaver and communicative_bird

Well done to everyone who used their scepticism skill in this week’s competition. Our winners gave very good explanations about why they were sceptical and we can learn a lot from them. Affable_weaver reminded us to be sceptical about the newspaper’s intention. Are they printing exaggerated headlines to make you buy papers, and therefore make lots of money? Watch out! Communicative_bird reminded us to be sceptical of our news sources and check our facts before believing what we read.

Two very important lessons. Well done!


It's time to flex your scepticism muscle!

In this Issue, we've been asking you to challenge the headlines you hear about crime. It's important to be sceptical if you hear something that sounds like a bold, sweeping statement. We should check the facts, find out whether the statistics support the statement and read the article before we make a judgement or come to a conclusion.

This week, have a go at finding a headline that you're sceptical about and explaining why you're unsure about it. For example, you might have been sceptical about the headline you saw in the session which said, 'BLOODBATH BRITAIN'. You don't have to choose one that is related to the current Issue.

Good luck! Winners will be announced next Friday.

Comments (80)

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  • I think that “brexit” is a worrying headline because it reduces one of the most important decisions in British history as a cheap advertising slogan.

  • 'HATE CRIME.' Why do we call crime this? Some people who have committed a crime did it because they thought it was the right thing to do.
    Think about 9/11. The pilots of the two planes were worshippers of Allah. They thought that their god told them to crash the planes that they were flying. They thought that Allah told them that if they crashed their planes they both and all the passengers and the people in the building would be saved of their sins and would go to heaven.
    Those pilots sacrificed themselves and all the other people because they thought they would all be saved of their sins. It was a terrible crime but they did it out of consideration.
    In conclusion, some crime is not full of hate.

    1. This is an interesting entry. I think the papers are seeing this event from the point of view of the public and victims, rather than the perpetrators., which is why it is described in that way.

    2. I enjoyed reading your comment as it was very nice,but could you expand your comment in any other way?

  • I think that the headline 'Britain on its last hinges' is something to be scepticak about. Upon further inspection, the article claims that Britain is getting less safe each coming year. It also goes on to say that Brexit will spark protests(this itself is no unusual) and it will mean that Britain will begin to break down after this(this is unusual).
    There are many flaws in its argument. For example, it does nit once have evidence and even says that this is not proven.
    I feel that many news agencies are taking advatage of Brexit to sell their papers and to strike fear into thr hearts of its readers so that they will buy more of the newspapers to see the situation. After all, although the news agency is here to tell the news, it is also a business, and the aim of a business is to make money.

    1. Great sceptical thinking. Well done!

  • Brexit is definitely worrying because they can't decide whether we are going to leave or stay some people want a vote again but what if this time staying wins and then others want best out of three, it costs lots of money to have a vote, we can't have 3 votes for the same thing. That is why I think Brexit is the most important headline.

  • I think that crime is a worrying headline because it is very serious like Brexit and the world.also crime can be very violent because people get killed.

  • Does the headline have to be real?

    1. Not necessarily.

    2. Same question for me. Does it have to be real?

      1. Not necessarily, but the real examples are best!

    3. I don’t know if other ones on the competition are real, but mine is and I’m pretty sure it is supposed to be

  • I believe the headline 'kill the racist` is a worrying newspaper headline because people who are racist will be terrified. They would think they are gonna die soon. Also people who aren't racist and know someone who is racist will be scared for their racist friend or relative.

    1. Remember, that being worried is different to being sceptical. Scepticism means you think something might be untrue, and you give reasons as to why this might be.

  • The one I think is most important is a new drug which relieves cancer because a lot of people are struggling with cancer

    1. The most important one is the drug that relives cancer because millions of people are dying from this disease. It’s something that affects you and your health.

  • To begin with, I believe that any type of crime that you see on the news is very upsetting and terrible. Crime has a lot of aspects to it and I am sceptical about most of it. Earlier in one of our lessons, we watched this video about crime and police data vs survey data. Survey data is when you get a group of people and you see their response to something whereas police data is what the police witnesses after arresting someone. So, some of the articles that we read on the news are from different viewpoints so some people may doubt most of the things we read about crime. I am sceptical about most headlines as they may either be from the point of a police officer or from data. Some people would argue that, survey data may be more reliable whereas police data is more useful. For example, the police data may be along the lines of ‘’Police warning, over ‘violent thugs.’’- BBC News. (This may most likely be from the point of the police.) However, ‘The survey for England and Wales suggests that there was an 8% increase in theft.’ would be survey data. In particular, I am quite cynical about the headline, ‘Boy stabbed after having no affiliation with gangs’, family says.’’ Now this made me wonder, how did he get stabbed? Apparently, police have no idea why and his family are oblivious to what happened, so it made me wonder if something else was happening. Overall, I am unsure about most headlines as you must consider the perspective and everything that happened. (Witnesses and the statistics etc.) Furthermore, some companies may over-exaggerate to draw your attention, but it might not be true. To conclude, in order to be dubious about something you must remember that information is collected in different ways.

    1. This is a great example of scepticism. Well done!

  • Brexit is a headline that I am worried about because it is one of the biggest things to happen to the UK in British history. Also, we would have to find other ways to trade goods as we are separate from the group of countries that is the EU.

    1. Remember that being sceptical is different to being worried. If you're sceptical of something, you don't trust it entirely and think it might be untrue. To be in with a chance of wining this competition, you'll explain why you are sceptical about a headline, giving reasons for your choice!

  • I would like to think that Brexit is a very worrying headline due to the risk we are taking and its very worrying if it goes wrong and we are in a situation where we cant get back in and some people would like to stay but some people don't and I personally think they should call it off so we are playing the safe route

  • I think that the most important headline on the news is ...................................CRIME . I think it is crime because I always have a lot of questions to ask . Questions like will the person who committed the action ,will there be the same crime by the same person near my home ? So that is why I think it is the most important headline in the news so far.

  • I think crime is important because there are always lots of things to ask

  • Just to say,I think that the crimes are very important to take care of because tons of people die every year not just because of old age and diseases but also because of people being killed so we need to stop more people from deing so that we have more population.How would you feel if someone stabbed you in the back?

  • Crime is a worrying headline to listen to. Mainly because people may feel insecure because they might hear about the news then think that it is likely for it to happen to them and some might possibly have a nervous breakdown about being a victim in any crime.Crime is dangerous.Crime is unreasonable.

  • Crime is a headline that makes me worried because I don’t feel safe anymore; meaning I have to look at my surroundings when I go out by myself. For example when school finally finishes I walk home by myself so I need to be careful.

  • In this case, any crime is heartbreaking and scary. It could make you weak and unsure. So for instance Brexit could be making people feel unsure and nervous about the stakes of the country you’re in and when you hear about things going on in places like London, you could really feel petrified and ask yourself questions like: could this ever happen to me? Or: is my country or town safe anymore?

  • “Thereasa May Set To Reveal Plan B For Brexit”: this headline made me feel sceptical and doubtful because after the general election, many people had second thoughts on Thereasa May’s plan( A) on the country leaving the EU. Furthermore, after May survived the confidence vote with a majority of 83, many people had second thoughts on the current primeminister’s plan for leaving the European Union. Therefore, I am sceptical for the second plan because if people vote against it, and we don’t have a plan when we leave the EU, we will not have a plan and possibly won’t be able to trade with European Union countries.

    1. Excellent scepticism - well done!

  • i am sceptical on a news article were it lies about a celebrity and it makes a scandal which could ruin his career and also break his fans hearts and as a fan my self its sad people are trying to pull him and his band down its so common and horrible to hear and watch people spread fake news

  • I am most sceptical about the headline that says things about the Plan B for Brexit. I am sceptical about this as most of the MP's rejected her first plan. Her colleagues did not have faith in her this meant that her Brexit plan went downhill as not many of her peers wanted it. Fortunately she won the confidence vote, but many people might not be on the same page as May and it might lead to a no deal Brexit. This makes me feel unconvinced as people might not like May's second Brexit deal. If they don't like it, there might be a no-deal Brexit or no Brexit at all. This means people's businesses/well-known shops may not be able to trade the other European countries. The talk about Brexit has made me dubious about what will happen in the future.

  • 'No news is good news'
    I am sceptical about this quote because I think some news is good.The news mostly shows bad news for example;killings,medical failures or natural disasters.They are just some of the things they talk about on the news.Although, occasionally they will talk about good news such as;animals being rescued from predators/hunters,a new medical cure or even a famous star meeting their number one fan.These are also a few of the things in the news.

    1. Great scepticism shown!

  • I read a headline that said 'Adolescents who self-harm are more likely to commit violent crime ' and it was published by a newsagent SciTech Europa however that is not a trusted newsagent and if they are harming their selves then why would they want to harm other as well and the reasons for doing those two things are hugely different so I am sceptical about that. I also read another report that read 'London Tube violent crime rises by 43% in three years' but I am not sceptical about that because it was published by BBC News which is a trusted newsagent and before it was near nothing when it came to train violent crime and now it has risen a lot.

  • Murder breaks Britain

    I thought of this headline myself because it is one where you are sceptical. Personally I would definitely challenge this headline because it doesn't sound like it would happen.

    1. Because if murder broke britain than everyone would be affected but my town is not affected so that wouldn't be true.

    2. Because it doesn't sound like a headline that would be in Britain.

    3. Because that sort of headline would be in a different country such as: Brazil because lots of their policeman went on strike last year meaning that my headline would be appropriate for this country. In addition to this, our police force is a very strong police force so murder will not break Britain any time soon so we don't need to worry about anything that is happening in our country. Finally, if murder breaks Britain it won't be for long thanks to the police force so we know this point isn't true.

    1. Great reasoning and scepticism shown. Well done!

  • "Bloodbath Britain" is very worrying because it shows that Britain has had a lot of murders. It could affect me or my family soon or deeper into the future.

  • I am sceptical about the headline 'BLOODBATH BRITAIN' because I think Britain is very safe place to live in. Also, I think Britain is safe due to police. Police keep our country safe and without the police i would definitely not be sceptical about this headline. In fact, I am pretty sure that this could never happen in this safe country.

  • I think that the headline Kate the crusader! Duchess wows in a £550 green belted dress by ethical fashion label Beulah I'm sceptical because I think this new is pointless and people don't need to show off the cloths and the price. Moreover, it isn't relevant and it doesn't affect the words.

    1. I think you're being cynical rather than sceptical! You can check out the difference here: https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-difference-between-cynicism-skepticism-criticism-and-sarcasm

  • I am skeptical about Ronaldo´s taxes in which in The Guardian says he payed 19million to the Spanish state to avoid going to prison, however in the BBC News it is written that he payed 18.8 million.Should everyone not be skeptical?

  • i ti“Thereasa May Set To Reveal Plan B For Brexit”: this headline made me feel sceptical and doubtful because after the general election, many people had second thoughts on Thereasa May’s plan( A) on the country leaving the EU. Furthermore, after May survived the confidence vote with a majority of 83, many people had second thoughts on the current primeminister’s plan for leaving the European Union. Therefore, I am sceptical for the second plan because if people vote against it, and we don’t have a plan when we leave the EU, we will not have a plan and possibly won’t be able to trade with European Union countries.

    1. This is very similar to another competition entry! Please make sure all entries are your own work.

  • I`m sceptical about the headline "Rescuers drill a tunnel to save spanish toddler who fell into a 300-foot well". I`m sceptical about this headline because I don`t think that the toddler has fallen into the well. I think this because they have found a plug of earth but not the child. This means that either the toddler magically went through the plug or that he hasn`t fallen at all.

  • i am sceptical about the headline https://elpais.com/internacional/2019/01/22/mundo_global/1548111711_405178.html?autoplay=1 becaus ei think it looks fake

    1. Please translate the headline to English so that all of the BNC can check out your scepticism skills!

  • I am sceptical about the headline 'Ronaldo signs his sentence to two years in prison for tax fraud' because I have read three different articles and none of them agree. One says he is paying 19 million euros, another one says that he is going to pay 18.8 million euros and the last one, says he does not even pay and he is going into jail. Therefore, as i do, people won't be able to know the truth and won't know which article they should believe.

  • I think this shouldn't be a thing as it may cause problems as too much attention is focused on a point