Something that has recently caught my attention has been the infamous starsuckers hoax which has been played on many un-suspecting tabloid newspapers. Chris Atkins and other documentary makers have been inventing somewhat funny stories about well known celebrities and feeding them to some of the UK's best selling newspapers.
This seems like a great laugh in itself, however the thing that really gets me explaining this to other people over and over again is that it is a great way to make some serious money! For example Chris Atkins explained that he was 'promised' £600 from a story sold to 'The Sun', that the Girls Aloud singer, Sarah Harding, was in fact the owner of many quantum physics books. It is simply amazing that something as simple as that can earn you £600 in less than half an hour; in which the same time, most people would earn a mere £3!
Atkins did explain however that it was not his aim to mak money, rather to 'test the theory that tabloid editors publish celbrity stories with scant regard for the truth'. He does also go on to say that it would have taken a minimal amount of time for these editors to fact-check these stories, so in my opinion it shows sheer idleness. On the other hand, it is stories like this that have made newspapers such as 'The Sun' so popular.
So, if any stereotypically poor students want a way of making some quick, hard cash, all you need is a 'phone number, a (fake) name, a funny story which is also not too offensive (so a story they do not have to fact check.).
For the full story visit http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2009/oct/14/starsuckers-tabloids-hoax-celebrities
Also, the Starsuckers the movie is in cinemas on the 30th October. http://starsuckersmovie.com/