Challenge 2: Critical Thinking

“the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skilfully conceptualizing, applying, analysing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action”. Scriven, M., and Paul, R.W., Critical Thinking as Defined by the National Council for Excellence in Critical Thinking (1987)

Write 600 words approx that shows two examples of information from two different sources that interpret the same piece of information in different ways. For example… newspapers of the time, magazines, books and web. Compare and contrast.

The Death of Marilyn Monroe’ 

The sixties or “swinging” sixties as a lot of people knew it by, was a very eventful year, tremendous events such as England winning the world cup, the first man in space and the first man to walk the moon happened throughout as well as traumatic events such as the death of Marilyn Monroe on August 5th 1962 aged thirty six.

The death of Marilyn Monroe caused a huge conspiracy, one of the biggest known to the world actually. There was talk of whether Marilyn Monroe’s death was coincidence, murder or even suicide. Many speculations and stories were published about her death, all very different to one another. I decided to look at one Newspaper published at the time (The Sun) as well as a News website online (BBC) to see how much the information on the story differs.

There are many claims about her death, this giving an argument between many people on what they believe to be the truth, although no article whether it being online or offline proves her death, they both give a different opinion, such as the newspaper making it sound more likely to be suicide, whereas the website only giving so much information, to try and keep it formal. Another way to look at this is that each are giving assumptions of what they believe to be true. The Sun tends to try and make a big headline so people buy the newspaper and try to make everything sound a lot more dramatic to a more factual website such as BBC News.

If each of the separate news articles were trying to find out more details then they wouldn’t have just settled on the information they had. They would keep questioning so that more answers would be triggered and they could come somewhere near a better conclusion instead of just assuming. The whole story could have came by due to something that had been going on in her life or it could have been any other influencing factor. This we don’t know, so again we just assume what we hear is correct, but to give us a full detailed effect would have been better, this obviously didn’t happen because no one can explain Miss Monroe’s death apart from her herself.

There is a lot of different comparisons to the different articles, one being less detailed but being more factual and the other being more detailed but less factual and more about presumptions. They both are trying to put across a story, but because The Sun is more of a daily read and a competitive newspaper, it tries to make the whole story blow out of the water so that it encourages people to buy. Whereas the article online doesn’t need buying, so it isn’t too bothered about the competition. All the main events of her life and her final moments were looked upon, so this is synthesising the information to make it clearer about what happened to her and any other influences which could have helped understand the death. Obviously not everything can be looked over from editors of newspapers/websites, that is left to the experts, so we don’t expect every little detail to be discussed, but main details could trigger something, which could cause controversy.

The application of the different layouts automatically shows what each story and how it is interpreted is trying to sell something. The newspaper includes bigger and more bold headlines so that it attracts peoples attention and wants them to read more, this is then making them question and also talk to people more about the newspaper on what huge headlines they may have picked up on the way. Whereas a factual website is just plain and allows people to understand the most recent news on the story instead of having to listen to every little “made up” detail which might not even be true in the slightest.


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