Op-Ed: Always check your sources, especially with The Walking Dead news

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes - The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 16 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes - The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 16 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC /

There has been so much news about The Walking Dead this week that if you blink you might have missed it. But how do we know what to believe?

When it comes to breaking news, you have to consider your sources, and when it comes to the recent news about The Walking Dead the truth of the matter is that we don’t really know what’s happening. While it’s important to follow the various reports, it’s hard to really believe anything until we hear from actual sources.

When I was in college I couldn’t decide between majors so I double majored: Political Science and History. Both disciplines require a lot of reading and research papers, and the first rule in both majors is strict adherence to sources. Sources are everything. Without sources, you have nothing.

Right now, we have reports. We have rumors. We have unnamed sources.

Andrew Lincoln is leaving The Walking Dead at the end of season 9 “according to sources.”

Norman Reedus is getting $20 million in his new contract “according to reports.”

Which sources? Which reports? 

There’s no way of knowing what’s actually happening because we have not heard anything from AMC, Andrew Lincoln or Norman Reedus.

When it comes to reading up on all of the news, pay close attention to the sources. If there is no official source (i.e. AMC or one of the actors) then it isn’t fact. Not yet, anyway. Many times outlets like Entertainment Weekly or The Hollywood Reporter have inside information that ends up being true once it’s confirmed.

However, so far this week I have seen that Melissa McBride is also only doing 6 episodes, Danai Gurira is leaving, and Chandler Riggs could make a comeback.

See the problem there? None of that is true but it’s out there. And just because it’s out there doesn’t mean it’s true, or even close to being true.

AMC should get out in front of this. While they can’t comment on contracts (salary information will eventually be posted, but they can’t offer that up themselves) they can certainly confirm the news about Lincoln’s departure. In fact, it would do the network a world of good to staunch the flow of misinformation being spread right now.

Next: TWD fans react to news that Andrew Lincoln is leaving

So as you’re seeing headlines this week (especially the clickbait-y ones) stop for a moment and check the sources. That will give you a good sense of how much faith you can put into this information you’re reading.