#7 - Design a test - Winners Announced!

24 October 2019

Scepticism for competitions

Winners Announced!

We're really impressed that so many of you entered in what is half-term week for lots of schools!

There were so many brilliant guidelines for how to be sceptical about the news you read. Stars were awarded for those who gave a clear and thought-out way of testing whether what you're reading is accurate.

Our Primary winner this week is spirited_insect of Braiswick Primary School. Their entry explained two ways to test a news story and did this in a straightforward and easy to follow style. Well done!

Our Secondary winner is jovial_duck of Hornsey School for Girls. We were particularly impressed at how their steps to scepticism were not only original, but were also followed by a clear explanation to help the reader understand their point.

Thank you to all who entered! Why not take part in the next competition on our brand-new issue!

From Thursday 24th October, it is Global Media and Information Literacy Week. This week is marked by UNESCO every year and it's a big chance for people across the world to think about the things we read and how we can ask questions to find the truth.

The big focus this year is people in the digital age and how we can understand the dangers of misinformation, and show the 'scepticism' we talk about so much in the Burnet News Club!

So this week, your challenge is to design a test to check whether a news story we read online is accurate.

You can comment with any ideas or strategies, and you might want to think about the following things:

  • What questions might we need to ask about the story? For example, "before judging an online news story, we should ask..."
  • What might be the warning signs of a story that isn't entirely truthful?
  • What should we look for in an online news story to be sure it is accurate?

Comments (41)

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  • is the story really real we need to now every little thing before and is all the news real?

  • Number 1. Don't believe everything everything you read
    Number 2. Also if you never heard the name of the website that that you got the information form that as you guessed it its most likely fake news!

    1. Just because you haven't heard of the name of a website doesn't mean its fake news (wikipedia has fake information but many know about this website which proves my point).

    2. Good job! But have you thought of the fact there are hundreds of news websites and that you cannot have heard of all of them?

    3. I disagree with you because a website could be very safe and you may not have heard of it . Also if a website is safe it would have a paddle lock . Fake news is quite easy to find as it may not even make senses for example a pink panda . I agree when you say don’t believe every thing you read but you also shouldn’t believe everything anyone tells you as it could be a lie . A news story online from popular websites such as : the sun ; the guardian and BBC news can be trusted also new websites can be trusted as long as there is a padlock.

      1. i agree with lovely_instrument because if you look at the top left hand corner of your screen you will see a padlock, it makes sure the website you are on is safe. If the padlock has a line through it or has an 'x' it is not safe that it could steal any personal information that is on your computer.

  • My strategies and idea would be once you have researched something, go onto another website to see if they have a different opinion or have not put the particular information on their website. I think looking for differences with fact or opinion. If it's a fact as a clue it would be something similar to 'having been recorded'. But if it's an opinion it would be like 'I think' . I suggest looking on a different website to see if they recorded the same data would be helpful to up-level the chance of the information being true.

  • Are the news articles we read online accurate?

    1. Have you found the same news in three different websites/news articles?
    2. Don't trust everything that you see online.
    3. Have you heard this news from somebody you know? They could not be right, make sure you double check this information.
    4. Most of the time it will tell you information about its security
    5. If you are still not sure, if you copy and paste it into Google it will say website unavailable or that the website you want to use does not exist.

  • Should we trust online news? How does it affect us if the news is fake? How could we recognise fake online news?

  • No.1: Is every piece of news you can find true?
    No.2: Is it ok to speak out and express our opinions with violent protests?

  • These are my steps:
    Step 1: Think what website it comes from, if you've never heard of it it might not be a reliable source and does it sound right?
    Step 2: Check many other websites and see if it the same, if so then it is probably right.
    Step 3: Ask a parent or grown-up if it is right, if it is, then you can happily walk home knowing a knew fact.

  • 1) When reading a news story, what questions do you need to ask yourself?
    2) How do you know what sources are reliable or not?
    3) When is a fact likely to be fake news?
    4) What should you look for in a "fact"?
    5) When does a fact become an opinion?
    I think these would be great questions to have in a quiz as they do not necessarily have wrong or right answers. It will, for this reason, make people grasp many of the BNC's values like open-mindedness and scepticism.

  • Q1. Is the news really showing us what is good for our brain?
    Q2. why are there so many wars on the news

  • Q1. You have a friend who plays rated 12 game but he is nine, do you think that's right?
    Q2. You are on a website and they want your age do you : A: give your real age B: make yourself younger C: Make yourself older D: make yourself one year younger?

  • No.1 don't trust any news until you look it up
    No.2 are sites always real?

  • sometimes people get tricked in reading real news and fake news, which can be a reason for people to lose important things such as losing their job,homes,and even their beloved ones

  • also, don't think that just because you have primary/secondary sources to things that you need to know,because it will not always work.

  • 1) Copy the news headline.
    2)Paste it into search.
    3)type a reliable source (e.g. BBC news) after it.
    4)see if they did it.
    5) if not search it on it's own.
    6)if there are lots of pages about it it's probably real

  • Ways you could check if the thing you have inspected online may be to ask a teacher or an adult to find out if the factual information is correct or incorrect. Another way could be to read about this information in a book because the information in a book would have been checked before published.The last way could be to use what you know about fake news for instance thinking is it to good to be true or does it sound authentic or fake.

  • Maybe you can ask other people around you and ask them if they think it is opinion or a fact then you can think to yourself if YOU think it is an opinion or a fact

  • 1. Has the website shown a source for their information?
    2. Can you easily understand the basics of what you are reading?
    3. Do you have any knowledge of the website posting false news articles before?
    Explanation of how each question will help:
    1. Most news articles will include sources (often in the form of a weblink) for their information so they can back up what they are posting online. If a website doesn't have a source available for a story they have posted then it might be false. They don't have anything to back it up because there isn't anything to back it up.
    2. A lot of the time, when people are lying, they add unnecessary words to try and make what they're saying more believable (I can back this up by giving you a web link to a youtube video that proves this: https://youtu.be/H0-WkpmTPrM. Watch minute 2:44-2:52.). If you can't understand what you reading at the very basics then it could easily be a lie.
    3. If a website has posted false news articles before then nothing would stop them from doing it again. Even if the post was taken down, it would still drum up a lot of publicity around the website because of how prominent false news articles have been in the news, recently. It's possible that the website only ever posted the article so that it would be taken down and draw publicity towards the website.

  • Do you really believe in all of the news stories?
    Do you read the news to make sure that it is safe for your brain?
    Do you believe in the news even if it is fake?

  • How many people have protested in Hong Kong so far and is it going to ever stop?

  • Step 1: Read the article alone
    Step 2: Question what the article says
    Step 3: Research your questions and find good sources (NO WIKIPEDIA)
    Step 4: Read it over again
    Step 5: Write down the main ideas
    Step 6: Speak to an adult to check

    Tadaaa! That is how you check to make sure the news is correct.

  • I have created a really handy flowchart to help navigate fake news articles as my entry to the competition as a post.

  • This is my list:
    1-Has the user used favoritism? This means that they use speech to make you feel a certain way. This can be very important to get the right picture of the situation, and can shape your opinion.
    2-Does it include sources? This means that they use links to the websites they used. If they do not use these, then the facts could not be accurate or they couldn't be true at all. This can be very bad if you if you need to know about something for a piece of writing, because the facts will be incorrect.
    3-Has the writer posted anything fake before? This can be very important and sometimes hard to find. If a writer has posted fake stories before, there is a chance that they could do it again to gain attention or cause arguments. You can find this by searching there pen name into google and see what stories come up.
    4-Can you understand what the author is saying? This can be important for finding information. If you do not understand the writing, you could get the wrong information, so it would be best to go onto a different source where you do understand.
    Thank you for reading this, I hope it helped

    1. Maybe you don't need to go through a lot of trouble to do this have a guess imagine if these things weren't here

  • 5 steps to know is this FALSE news or TRUE
    1. Has it been mention before?( T.V, Newspapers, radio ect)
    2.Does the story that you search sound true?
    .Does the website that you use end with a co.uk /.co/com.co?
    4.Has the story that you searched been band from any other country?
    5.Do you always trust these sites?(like Wikipedia and other sites)

  • if you read a news article it will by real but if it is not real it is NOT a news article.

  • 1. Has it been mention before?( T.V, Newspapers, radio etc)
    2.Does the story that you search sound true?
    .Does the website that you use end with a co.uk /.co/com.co?
    4.Has the story that you searched been band from any other country?
    5.Do you always trust these sites?(like Wikipedia and other sites

  • Is it a major problem to header the ball in football? In this case the people are planning to ban headers with the ball.
    People may think that this should not happen because it is fun to do and exciting to watch. In other ways, people may also think that this is a good idea because, apparently, this act can cause brain damage.

  • to determine whether a news story is real or not, check what site the 'news' is real. If it is something big, for example BREXIT CANCELED! check on something like the daily mail and see if it has the same title

  • Are the news we read online true or a hoax?
    1.Is it on at least three websites? This means has anyone else wrote about that exact thing such as BBC news.
    2.Is there any proof? This means is there any evidence proofing it's true such as videos and images.
    3.Has any other websites reported about it? This means has other news websites reported about it such as The Economist.
    4.Have you heard the news from your family member or friend? This means if you heard from a family member or friend there is a chance that what ever they said it may not be true but there also is a chance that they could be right but you may want to double check it.
    5.Have you copied and pasted it into google? This means if you do so and it says website does not exist then it is not real.
    I hope you enjoyed reading this!

  • Real Or Fake, Well This Is The Way!

    Being able to recognise the difference between real of fake news is a really good skill to have, yet it is a rather tricky one. We must be able to identify the difference between real or fake news because otherwise how exactly are we going to be able to infer and put true evidence into our reasoning and explanations. So here is a test to put towards any kind of news in order to infer whether it is true or fake:
    1.First of all I think one clear cut way to assure that the article and piece of news that your reading is true and not fake is to search up online for the same article headline with the same information. If you do manage to find two or more articles based on the same thing then there is an extremely high chance that the article your reading is true.
    2.If you have general good knowledge then you may be able to identify if your reading misleading or out-of context information. However, this strategy may not necessarily work for everyone.
    3. You may want to get onto Google and a little bit of research to identify who exactly the author is of a piece of news, do they seem legitimate, have they published anything else? This may be a good way to identify whether or not your reading fake news.
    4. Stay aware that society and your friends may be fooled as well just because a certain tabloid is popular between your friends or whoever does not automatically mean that all of the news coming from it if authentic and obviously true. Seeing as, this may not be the case.
    5. Are the 'facts' really just pure facts or have they been twisted and turned upside down into opinions. I feel that there is a thin boarder as to where a fact turns out to b an opinion and you must tread carefully whilst trying to identify the difference.
    6. Now you may want to also check if this piece if news is entirely new to you because if it is then there is a rather high percentage that the piece of news is fake. This almost ties in with he first point of which I made.
    7. You may want to refer and think back to as to how you got the piece of information did you get it from a website known for clickbait or did u get it from something such as sky news on the TV.
    8. Are there any spelling errors of which you notice because commonly spelling errors on a authentic and real piece of news is corrected before being published so this is, yet again another way in which you can identify real or fake news.
    This is just a few ways we can determine if news is FAKE or REAL, however there probably so many more that are just as effective.

  • 1. Read it through, carefully, without skipping anything to make sure you have the right idea, and are not jumping to any conclusions.

    2. Figure out whether the writer is favouring a, say, political party. For example, if the author supports Labour, then you might be hearing good things about them (the journalist bigging them up) and bad things about the Conservatives. We certainly don’t want that, as the writer may be, at some extent, making the information up just for the sake of being a supporter – like a football team, for instance.

    3. Research the event, and ensure the information match up. To do this, simply type the name of the event, followed by the name of the well-known news-sources, such as The Economist, the BBC or The Guardian. In other words, has the story been reported anywhere else?

    4. Does the story sound believable? Are there any inconsistencies or exaggerations? For instance, if the article was talking about a Goldpress University, then it suddenly changed, talking about a Goldenberg University – that would be an inconsistency. The writer obviously either isn’t sure of the facts, or is making it up! In this case, I’d research both a Goldpress University, and a Goldenberg to see the latest news stories – if any – about them.

    5. Is the person infamous for this? Research their other articles. If they are indeed fake, I’d suggest moving on from this website, and getting your information from a reliable source – such as those I have mentioned in point/step 3.


  • Scepticism test:
    1- consider the source
    2-read beyond the headlines: what's the whole story?
    3- check the author: Are they credible?
    4- supporting sources
    5-check the date
    6- Is it a joke?
    7- Check your biases
    8- ask the experts

  • Firstly, we would need to see if the piece of news could be politically motivated or biased. We would need to investigate who has said it/written it and whether they might be doing it for selfish reasons.

    Secondly, we should see whether the news is still relevant. I know this might sound silly, but news can become dated very quickly, as scenarios change. What might be accurate one day, could become inaccurate another when new information is available.

    What is the date? Make sure you are not an April fool.

    Has the story been published anywhere else? Is this an exclusive? If so, it is even more important that you check whether it has come from a credible source otherwise you might get in trouble with the law and be accused of libel.

    Make sure you get your information confirmed by more than one source.

  • 1.Search up something
    2.Pick a website and see what it says about your topic
    4. If not then it might be fake
    5. You can always check with Sky News

  • April fools isnt until april..

  • this was really good though ;o;

  • Firstly, we would need to scan the article, including any titles to check for any obvious errors like spellings, grammar, punctuation and paragraphing as bona fide news stories for respectable and reliable websites would have ensured that their journalists’ ability in written English and their communication skills are of publishable quality.

    If the English was of a high standard, we would then give the article more scrutiny to see if it was newsworthy. Common indications would be that it was topical, debateable, enjoyable, entertaining and informative.

    At this point, if it has past the initial stages of the test, we could then examine the motives and the rewards of the writer, for example, were they prejudiced in their research, were they financially motivated in their investigations, and was the article written in an unbiased way. We might also probe any religious or cultural influences in the writing.

    Finally, the piece should have provable and checkable sources, so that any quotations can be verified, and any evidence stated can be confirmed as legitimate and valid.

  • How to analyse fake news.

    Fake news can come in different shapes and sizes, it could come from a sketchy news channel or from a suspicious website. Here are ways to know what is fake and not.
    1. Is it well-known?
    If quite a few people do not know about it, then it could be made up by an unqualified pupil or by hackers. Normally, your computer will notify you if the website you are using is safe.
    2. Is it verified?
    Unlike websites like Wikipedia or Wikihow, many websites don't have verification meaning it could be a risky app to go on and it may contain untrue information.
    3. Emails
    There are two types of mail. Junk mail and Primary mail- the main mail-. Even though Gmail I a verified website. Many of the emails contain misinformation. Like prize draws that say you'll win £1,000 or so. When you give them your details, they'll take your information and use it for bad. This is a quite unusual form of misinformation, but it still is.
    4. Is it a chain mail?
    Chainmail is one of the most common forms of misinformation and can be a type of news. It is formed to be so scary that it is believable which is pretty immature.
    5. Is it on the news?
    Fake news will never be advertised on a news channel. e.g BBC, Metro, The Mirror etc. But I can come on tv also. If you are visiting an unused channel,( one that many people may not know of) It does have a high chance of being fake. But, Wikipedia is a famous news website but it can contain fake information.

    I may have gone a bit off-topic, but I tried to state the different types of misinformation and how to find it.

  • you can see news but it doesnt mean it is true. wikapidia has fake news

  • How to find out if news is real or a hoax.

    1. Found it on at least three different websites that can be trusted? Check then if they have real information.
    2. Check your date to see if it's not April fools day or near it because people can joke around well.
    3. Make sure that it is an opinion and not a fact because people easily can turn opinions to facts without you knowing.
    4. Is it a changable website? Don't trust sites like Wikipedia to have all of the correct information, as people can change the words.
    5. If you type in a websites name or copy and paste it you can tell if it does exist or if it's fake.
    6. Don't always rely on family members, friends or strangers around! They can provide fake information to make you pursuade that it it true and spread. |Make sure to always check on the news or Google and even nearby people to ask if the information is true.
    7. Text or ask the people or experts if they know if the news is true or a hoax.
    8.( simular to number 2) Don't rely on your internet friends because they might be a bad person sending you fake news and information.
    There could be many more reasons but here are the ones that I could think of.

  • Are the news articles we read online accurate?

    1. Have you found the same news in three different websites/news articles?
    2. Don't trust everything that you see online.
    3. Have you heard this news from somebody you know? They could not be right, make sure you double check this information.
    4. Most of the time it will tell you information about its security
    5. If you are still not sure, if you copy and paste it into Google it will say website unavailable or that the website you want to use does not exist. Seconed is . Found it on at least three different websites that can be trusted? Check then if they have real information.

  • 1)Is it good to listen or read about the news and why?
    2)What kind of questions should you have when reading or listening to the news?
    3)Should you trust the website or press from which you receive your news from and why do you trust a specific one?
    4)Is it good to be bias and not actually justify yourself?
    5)Why is it good to use specific skills when reading or listening to the news?