History Behind the Headlines

Ref: C2341874

Newspapers are a wonderful source of information and insights into contemporary life. We will take a different approach to the history of Rutland and its locality by exploring the stories behind some of their headlines from the early 19th century, from matters of great moment to 'melancholy' and 'mysterious' occurrences, letters to the editor on issues of the day, and advertisements for a range of goods and services. We will investigate such headlines as 'Proposed Navigation from Oakham'; 'Rutland Association for the Prosecution of Felons etc.'; 'WANTED - AN APPRENTICE'; and 'Alleged Sacrilege at Bottesford'. We will ask what the Victorians made of the vagaries of the weather - and there will be an opportunity for you to choose other topics from a list of unusual headlines compiled by the tutor. We will also learn something of the ownership of local newspapers and their political inclinations.

Course aim

We will take a different approach to the history of Rutland and its locality and its locality by exploring the stories behind some of the headlines in local newspapers from the early 19th century.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed

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

  • Give examples of some of the stories behind the headlines that we study during the course.
  • Identify some of the historical sources that allow us to discover their wider context.
  • Explain how ownership of newspapers, their political bias and sources of funding could affect their reporting of news and issues of the day.
  • Make some comparisons where appropriate with the media in the 21st century and how they 'headline' news stories.

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?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed

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
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member
  • Access the WEA What Next? booklet here http://www.wea.org.uk/learn-wea/what-can-i-do-next

Download full course information sheet

History Behind the Headlines


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 2019
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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