Behind the Headline: News as Fact or Fiction?

Ref: C3743072

In 1921 C P Scott of ‘The Manchester Guardian’ wrote that 'comment is free, but facts are sacred'. In 2017 Collins' Dictionaries made 'Fake News' their word of the year. In this course we will investigate how 'facts' are presented in the news and how words and images can influence our perceptions. Through close analysis of print, online and broadcast items we will discuss whether the news stories presented can ever be truly factual or entirely fake.

Course aim

To introduce the learners to close reading of news in texts and broadcast media. Through these close readings the learners will begin to examine how news is narrated from a perspective and what is at stake for these perspectives.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • To discuss how facts are presented in the media
  • To closely read print, broadcast and online media
  • To choose relevant material and explain it's relevance to the course
  • To describe how we read differences between reports of the same event
  • To discuss why objectivity is difficult to achieve

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed
  • All materials will be provided

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course

Download full course information sheet

Behind the Headline: News as Fact or Fiction?

Is this course right for me? Request more information

This course has been cancelled.


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2018
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact

Visa Credit payments supported by RBS WorldPay Visa Debit payments supported by RBS WorldPay Visa Electron payments supported by RBS WorldPay Mastercard payments supported by RBS WorldPay Maestro payments supported by RBS WorldPay JCB payments supported by RBS WorldPay Solo payments supported by RBS WorldPay
RBS WorldPay Payments Processing