Generation Brexit Study Guide: Fake News and Brexit

This study guide  survey's the problem of 'fake news' in the context of Brexit. It is relevant for students taking  AS /A  LEVEL POLITICS, SOCIOLOGY AND MEDIA STUDIES.

"Fake News' & Brexit




'Fake News'  & Brexit

Learning Outcomes

In this study guide, you will learn more about FAKE NEWS & BREXIT:

  • What does journalism do for democracy?
  • How does the current ‘digital’ media environment work?
  • What is ‘fake news’ and why is it a problem?
  • What is Brexit?
  • What role did  ‘fake news’ play in the UK's decision to leave the European Union (2016 Brexit Referendum)?
  • What are some possible ways of dealing with the problem of ‘fake news’?

The activities are intended to help you  deepen your understanding of these issues. They will also support the development of those critical thinking skills that you will be expected to demonstrate in your A / AS Level Exams, and at university. 

If you are a STUDENT you will find these  activities useful as part of your self guided study or exam preparation. 

If you are a TEACHER you may wish to incorporate these activities into your lesson plans either  as individual OR small group activities. 



'Fake News' & Brexit Slideshow

Activity One


In this task you are asked to examine the controversy about the Sun’s ‘Queen Backs Brexit’ headline.

First, you should read the Sun’s ‘Queen Back’s Brexit’ story AND the Sun editor's defense of the decision to publish the story (editorial defense appears first with the original article following in the link on the left). Then, you should read the Independent Press Standard Organisation’ (IPSO)s decision with respect to the complaint made against the Sun by Buckingham Palace. After you have finished reading these sources, consider the following questions. Be prepared to offer evidence in support of your views.

  1. Does the Sun’s ‘Queen Back’s Brexit’ story qualify as ‘fake news’? You may find it useful to refer back to the slideshow as you consider this question.
  2. Why did the Sun newspaper claim it was appropriate to publish the story?
  3. Why did the IPSO decide the Sun newspaper was wrong to publish the story?
  4. Do you agree with the IPSO decision, why or why not?


Activity Two

Activity Two 

In this task, you are asked to EXAMINE the LSE podcast 'What can be done about fake news' and the various  LSE blogs  that put forward proposals for dealing with the problem of 'fake news'.  You should then consider  the following questions. Be prepared to cite EVIDENCE from the resources in support of your position.

  1.  Is 'fake news' a serious problem for democracies?
  2. What is the best way to address the problem of 'fake news' - better education? better regulation? something else?



Activity Three: Making Effective Arguments

Activity Three

In this activity, you are asked to watch the short  video 'EU Referendum: lies, myths and half-truths' .  After you have watched the video, you should read the Brexit Opinion by Dami Olatuyi 'I worked for vote leave, we need a referendum on the terms of Brexit' de) AND 'The case for and against a second Brexit Referendum'

You should then try to  identify reasons FOR and AGAINST the following proposition: We need a second referendum on Brexit because we were lied to during the first campaign.

You should aim to identify a series of POINT / EXAMPLE / EXPLANATION style arguments. You may find it helpful to refer back to the 'Fake news and Brexit' slide show as well as the other resources included in the study guide. After you have completed these notes, take some time to consider your own point of view. Which arguments do you find most convincing, and on what basis? Be prepared to fully explain your position citing relevant evidence.

If you are using this study guide as part of your independent learning or revision, you may want to conclude this activity by  writing a practice exam style essay on this question.

If you are a teacher using this study guide as part of a lesson plan, then you may wish to use this question  as the basis for a class debate. 

Activity Four

Activity Four

This activity invites you to engage in a debate on post-truth society with other young people on the Generation Brexit platform. First, you should watch the short video by Prof Sonia Livingston on 'Fake News ,Post Truth and Trust'. Then you should go to the GENERATION BREXIT platform and find out what other young people are  SAYING in response to the following question. 


During the Brexit vote both sides gave empirically unsubstantiated claims that were widely report in the media. Was the proliferation of these threats and promises evidence of a post-truth society?  What role did  the media play in proliferating these unsubstantiated claims? Was #ProjectFear an example of misinformation or disinformation?

You should know that both the Livingstone video and the Generation Brexit challenge on 'post truth society' are  offered to  LSE undergraduates as part of the  compulsory LSE 100 course 'Understanding the causes of things'. This activity is therefore a particularly good introduction to the discussion based learning that you will find at university.

Do you have an IDEA to share?

Generation Brexit has one purpose: it gives young people across the UK and the EU a voice in the Brexit negotiations. By taking part in this policy making project you can shape the future of UK-EU relations post-Brexit. The best ideas will be turned into policy proposals sent to the UK and EU parliaments. 

Generation Brexit is also offering an exciting opportunity for Sixth Form students to intern with an LSE crowdsourcing project as a PLATFORM FACILITATOR responsible for encouraging constructive engagement with Brexit related issues amongst platform users.

 Each PLATFORM FACILITATOR will be expected to spend half an hour on the platform each week for a period of four weeks, and earn 100 participation points on the platform. These participation points can be earned by voting or commenting on other people’s ideas, responding to surveys or posting your own ideas. PLATFORM FACILITATORS who fulfil these requirements will receive a certificate  from the LSE to highlight their contribution to the project.

 This is a great opportunity to participate in the Brexit debate and gain valuable experience that you can include in your UCAS personal statement. For more information contact

The 'Fake News' Problem

Sonia Livingstone LSE 100 Video

What can be done about Fake News


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