Student Blog: Now 15% of women work past 70

Today the Daily Mail Online has an article as follows: ‘Now 15% of women work past 70: Number doubles thanks to meager pensions and rising life expectancy.  Being female and over fifty this article appealed.  The figures go on to claim the difference in the four yours rose from 5.6% in 2012 – 11.3% in 2016.  The article also advises that the figures are taken from an ONS survey but notes it does not have any figures on how many women this equates to.

It could all relate to that journalist nick each others stories and where a company is mentioned in the article, perhaps it is a promotional article?  In the one I have looked up a pensions analyst is mentioned, together with his company, perhaps this is what this is all about, women plan now for your retirement or you could be 70 and still working

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Student Blog Post: ‘Warning over segregation in England’s schools’

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-39344973

https://www.theguardian.com/education/2016/dec/26/rise-in-primary-school-pupils-suspended-for-racist-abuse

This article states that schools in England are segregated based on their ethnic backgrounds and they support this statement through the use of official statistics. The purpose of this article is for the reader to believe what the researcher has found, however it is evident that this article raises some issues. Firstly, segregation is not defined in this headline therefore the headline does not specify that this article is showing how schools separate students from others based on race and economic differences. The method used for this research was official statistics based on The Department for Education survey. Although, it states that these statistics are based on data collected between the years 2011-2016, it does not explain the trends and patterns over the 5 year period of research. The sample size for this research was also too large as it was a sample of 20,000 state schools therefore it is difficult to make a generalisation about segregations in schools. It also does not specify which ethnic group in particular suffers from segregation in schools. This article assumes that if a school provides free school meals to a child who is of an ethnic minority group, it does not necessarily mean that there is segregation in that school.  Moreover, it states that when Jon Yates visited the schools, he found that when ‘people from different backgrounds mix, it leads to more trusting and cohesive communities and opens up more opportunities for social mobility’. However this ignores the discrimination and racism within schools. This can be further supported by data from the Department for Education who suggests that 430 children were excluded from primary schools due to racist behaviour (The Guardian). Furthermore, this article does not acknowledge that a school reflects the community in which it is based meaning that the children in wealthy areas will be attending different schools from those in poorer areas. Thus, they are segregated in such a way however this claim that there will be more ‘cohesive communities’ lacks validity because when different social backgrounds mix it can lead to bigger consequences. As a result, this article is demonstrating the inequalities within schools and how this can be resolved but do not specifically address this in the headline.

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Student Blog: Average cost of a wedding in 2016 for the readers of Hitched magazine was £25,000…. and 48% of parents still foot the bill

According to the article on The Sun website, researchers have claimed that the average cost of a wedding costs £25,000, and that parents still contribute most of the financial means towards the bill. The data was found to be accurate, when compared with the original published article on Hitched.com, which also stated that the average cost of a wedding in 2016 was £25,000. However, from conducting some research myself into discovering what the average cost of a wedding was in 2015 to ensure that the average cost of a wedding has risen 21 per cent in just one year, I was unable to validate this statistic. I discovered that the average cost of a wedding in 2015 was in fact £24,000. Partly, as the original article published on Hitched.com did not include this information therefore it could be inferred that The Sun fabricated thus statistic in order to make the readers think that the average cost of a wedding has risen drastically. Also from the original research, it stated that 48% of both families foot most of the bill therefore a critique for this article in The Sun newspaper is that instead of using leading words such as ‘most’ they should have stated the exact figure to not be interpreted as misleading. The number of participants in the research was 3,000 which provide a very good diverse sample, which can be generalised to the wider population due to its vast size. Despite this, the participants were readers of the wedding magazine Hitched therefore its generalisability to a wider population has been decreased due to the narrow selection of participants. Also a reader of a bridal/wedding magazine may be more inclined to spend more financial revenue on a wedding as clearly being a reader of such magazine indicates the importance of the wedding to them, therefore is it the AVERAGE cost of a wedding £25,000. It would be valid to state that it is the AVERAGE cost of a wedding for the readers of hitched magazine. Thus instead the headline could have been:

Holy Matrimony – Average cost of a wedding in 2016 for the readers of Hitched magazine was £25,000…. and 48% of parents still foot the bill

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Student blog post: Daily diet of fresh fruit linked to lower diabetes risk-

http://www.nhs.uk/news/2017/04April/Pages/Daily-diet-of-fresh-fruit-linked-to-lower-diabetes-risk.aspx

The first thing to think about in this article is the sample used to make this claim and the statistics within it. The article claims that ‘A study of half a million people in China found those who ate fruit daily were 12% less likely to get type 2 diabetes than those who never or rarely ate it.’ Whilst that is a huge sample size but does not give us the specific information we require. We are not told what kind of fruit is being eaten or where it has come from in the first place. So the notion that this might work for the rest of the world is not applicable. It is again biased as the research was done by participants filling in details about their lifestyle so is subjective. In addition 6% of the individuals who took part already had diabetes thus completely changes the outcome of the results. Thus This study can’t tell us whether fresh fruit actually protects against diabetes, ‘because it can’t account for all the other health and lifestyle factors involved.’ There are too many differences in lifestyle between other populations that it is not as relevant than the title claims.

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Student blog post: TEENAGE GIRLS IN AUSTRALIA ARE TAKING UP SMOKING IN PREGNANCY TO DELIBERATELY HAVE SMALLER BABIES, STUDY FINDS  

 

The news story behind this headline is that it was found in a study that teenage girls, as young as 16 are deliberately smoking in order to have smaller babies due to their fear that their small bodies will not be able to handle childbirth. They decided to do this due to seeing health warnings on cigarette packaging, stating that ‘smoking while pregnant can reduce the weight of your baby’, which is supposed to deter mothers from smoking during their pregnancy, when instead this warning convinced them to smoke, and even current smokers to smoke even more. The data was collected from a 10 year anthropological study into smoking in Australia called ‘The New Zealand Herald Reports’, which is a very accurate study. However even though the girls are more likely to have smaller babies, with studies showing that mums who smoke are ‘twice as likely as non-smokers to have low birth weight babies’, with these babies weighing 200g lighter on average. Therefore, although this is shown to be accurate, the girls are not aware of the health hazards smoking while pregnant has as which could lead to many medical conditions with their child and issues with child birth such as ‘higher stillbirth rates and increased risk of childhood asthma and allergies.’

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Student blog post: London knife crime rises to four-year high

The story that I will be looking at was published by the BBC News, and the headline was; “London knife crime rises to four-year high” and can be found on: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-37412508. This article was published on 21st September 2016 and was looking at the rise in knife crimes over the past 4 years, June 2012- August 2016. The article claimed that ‘Knife crime in the city has risen to a four-year high’, however when looking at numbers the truth is being highly exaggerated. It stated that in ‘June 2012 there were 1719 recorded stabbings of people aged under 25’ however, when compared to the number of stabbings that were recorded in 2016, there were only ‘1749 in August 2016, the report found.’ Although the headline is true in regards to the increase, in actuality, the number of knife crime only rose to 30 stabbings over the 4 year period, which is only 1.75% increase. This headline is dramatic in terms of stating that knife crime is at an all-time high because it pushes a narrative that it is a massive problem, whereas it is not as a big of a problem as it causes people to believe because the increase is so small. The article also fails to state how they carried out their research, whether it being they got these numbers from police stations directly or from hospitals that dealt with injuries involving knives.

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Student blog post: Social care system ‘beginning to collapse’ as 900 carers quit every day

Feed URL: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-39507859

This article from BBC News uses a bold and effective statement to create panic amongst the general public and uses a large figure to add to the effect they want to give off. By saying that 900 carers quit every day it sets the tone of the rest of the article, one that portrays concern and fear.

The article expands on this claim and goes into sufficient detail as to where these figures came from and includes supporting evidence that their above statement is true.  Using data gathered by ‘Skills for Care’ the article points out that “in 2015-16 there were more than 1.3 million people employed in the adult social care sector in England”. The BBC then analyses the data given and concluded that “an estimated 338,520 adult social care workers left their roles in 2015-16. That is equivalent to 928 people leaving their job every day”. This is accurate to their heading and means the article does not give any false information.

Furthermore, the article goes into detail and attempts to conclude why there is a significant fall in adult carers in the last year. They provide more figures such as the average wage of a carer; being £7.69 an hour. They then provide an average of 1 in four adult carers being employed on zero contract hours and as well that 1 in 20 job roles remain vacant. These figures however are not supported with a reliable data source like the previous statements and so there is an issue that they are not entirely accurate.  The article then displays a range of bar charts to portray their statement and allow the reader to see clearly the extent to what they are trying to argue. The charts show a correlation between their previous figures and statements and further support their heading. This allows the article to be even more reliable and accurate to their initial statement.

Overall, this article uses mainly reliable data sources and analyses the data well in order to come to a just conclusion. The article has provided relevant figures and charts to accurately and easily identify what they are trying to argue, therefore, the article and it’s data within is relevant to its heading and provides no false information.

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Student blog post: One third of whites claim they are victims of racism  

According to this article on the Daily Mail, researchers have claimed that a ‘growing number of white people feel they are victims of racial prejudice in Britain’. The article states that 29% have said that they now expect to be treated worse than other races by public services and how they have been discriminated from jobs more in the past five years. This research was found from a Government study however the name of the Government study has not been specified.

In addition, the article also reveals how most ethnic minorities living in Britain feel stronger ties to the nation than whites. It shows how a survey of 15,000 people ordered by Communities Secretary Hazel Blears is likely to prompt a fierce debate about the disillusionment of the white majority.

This article is extremely unreliable as it does not state exactly where the information has come from. It just states how it has come from government surveys but it does not specify what type of Government survey and who has conducted it. Moreover, it does not say the type of population they asked such as their age, gender, ethnicity and class who may have revealed different answers. The article also doesn’t specify what areas within Britain that they came from as it might also have influenced the person’s answers. Additionally, the article states that they used a survey to ask how they felt about the statement, however it does not specify how many people responded, how it was distributed and how they gained the sample they had. Another major criticism is that the article does not state how many people responded to the survey. This could mean that only a small number of people responded which does not represent the population living in Britain, therefore making the statement incorrect.

 

Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1043717/One-whites-claim-victims-racism.html

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Student blog post: EU migrants make up 10% of workers in some sectors, official figures reveal.

Source: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/eu-migrants-make-up-10-10213290

The article is about the number of overseas workers, working in the UK. It uses statistics from the Office of National Statistics. The ONS is a an independent producer of official statistics in the UK. This makes it a reliable source of data.

The Daily Mirror claims that 11% or an estimated 34 million workers. After looking at the original statistics from the ONS claims that out of the total work force, 7% were from the EU and 3.9% were non EU nationals. The Daily Mirror reported these figures accurately. These numbers are from the total workforce, The Daily Mirror reported that EU immigrants make up 10% of the work force in some sectors. In the wholesale sector 14% of the workforce is from the EU, this was accurately reported by the Daily Mirror. Around 17% works in the communication sector. This makes the headline representative as in both those sectors EU workers make up more 10% of the work force. Overall, the Daily Mirror has reported the figures taken from the ONS accurately.

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Student blog post: “Pollution From Burgers Worse Than From Diesel Trucks”

 

The Huffington Post article (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/19/pollution-from-burgers-worse-than-trucks_n_1897730.html) entitled “Pollution From Burgers Worse Than From Diesel Trucks” inaccurately claims that the pollution produced by the commercial cooking of burgers (the commercial charbroilers) Is more than double that produced by 18-wheeler trucks.

When one refers to the original article(https://ucrtoday.ucr.edu/8896), however, it is clarified that in fact “When you consider both the directly-emitted PM2.5 from trucks, as well their NOx emissions that form particulate matter in the atmosphere, trucks are responsible for nearly three times the amount of PM2.5 pollution than that emitted by all commercial charbroilers,” amongst other things.The Huffington Post article deliberately deceives the reader by simply quoting a few parts of the article that support the premise that charbroilers are more harmful to the environment than heavy-duty diesel vehicles, for example the quote, “For comparison, an 18-wheeler diesel-engine truck would have to drive 143 miles on the freeway to put out the same mass of particles as a single charbroiled hamburger patty.”

More importantly, however, is that the title of the Huffington Post article implies that it is simply the cooking of burgers in general that produces extortionate amounts of pollution, when in fact the study very specifically focuses upon the method of charbroiling burgers as the primary cause of the high pollution production in the process of cooking burgers.

Moreover, they employ the use of a highly hyperbolic, emotive quote from someone that supposedly lives near a new burger restaurant claiming, “My throat hurt, my eyes burned, I can’t live like this.” This further undermines the already questionable objectivity and reliability of the Huffington Post’s article’s claims. Overall, the article is highly inaccurate and deceptive; deliberately hand-picking phrases from the original article in order to mislead the public into believing something that simply isn’t true; quite possibly in order to support a biased agenda.

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