Media Awareness 101: What makes Episode VII/VIII/IX news confirmed?

Short answer: It’s on StarWars.com.

Long answer: It’s on StarWars.com, and is reported by media outlets as such. The outlet will either source/link StarWars.com or have quotes from Lucasfilm people using their actual names.

For a recent example of an outlet actually breaking news with Lucasfilm’s blessing, let’s look at IGN’s original report of David Tennant in The Clone Wars. It has extensive quotes from Dave Filoni and a video clip – which was exclusive to them when the story broke. (StarWars.com later posted it as a preview of the episode.) So far, Lucasfilm hasn’t been doing this with Episode VII news – the Arndt item simply appeared on the site – perhaps because they know that everyone is going to write about it anyway. The Tennant news simply isn’t as big, and getting it onto a mainstream outlet gives it an extra boost that will reach casual fans (and people like Doctor Who fans) who aren’t regularly watching The Clone Wars. This is also probably why Del Rey gave Entertainment Weekly that Scoundrels exclusive EU fandom spent a day agonizing over back in March.

Obviously, an outlet reporting something from unnamed sources – as is the case with last night’s Kasdan/Kinberg stories from Deadline and THR – are not confirmed.

Other outlets writing about those stories does not confirm them, either. Words like ‘reports’ and ‘reportedly’ are basically just a journalistic way of saying ‘rumors.’ It might give them a little more weight – I tend to use the word ‘report’ if I think something is just a tad more plausible than things like, say, Vader rising from the dead. But in essence? They mean exactly the same thing: It’s not official yet, just things people or the media are saying. That doesn’t make them fact, no matter how many people run the story.

Because nothing is confirmed until Lucasfilm says it is. Lucasfilm and, now, Disney. Not Major Entertainment News Outlet #47 reporting off Major Entertainment News Outlet #86. And trust me, we are watching.

17 thoughts on “Media Awareness 101: What makes Episode VII/VIII/IX news confirmed?

  1. Stooge

    There’s a great rule about headlines for entertainment news: if it ends with a question mark, the answer is no. If it ends with an exclamation point, the answer is yes.

    Reply
  2. Lucien

    But I live for misinformation! Nah, I just never got involved with the blog news for any of the SW previous and I want to do something different so I have been posting newsies a bit…with a care in the world. I will be a more responsible poster from now on….kinda? maybe. Definitely maybe. :D

    Reply
  3. Pabawan

    FYI, in the prequel era, StarWars.com would not/could not discuss anything until a deal had been signed between talent and production. Other media outlets aren’t beholden to such restrictions. Technically, though, it’s not a done deal until it’s signed.

    Reply
  4. Trace

    Amen. All the shrieking and rabid speculation has just been making me tired — not to mention, making my head hurt. Thank you for this.

    Reply
  5. Josh

    One of the (many) reasons I visit Club Jade is because it’s always so grounded when it comes to rumours – nothing is said to definitely be happening until it actually is happening. It’s refreshing to see, especially in a fan site.

    Reply
  6. Dunc Post author

    Thanks, Josh. And everyone else.

    Luci: Do I need to teach a seminar? ;)

    Pablo: FYI, in the prequel era, StarWars.com would not/could not discuss anything until a deal had been signed between talent and production. Other media outlets aren’t beholden to such restrictions. Technically, though, it’s not a done deal until it’s signed.

    It happens everywhere. Watch for it the next time [some sports team] signs [well-known sports dude]. The basic lingo is exactly the same, and it may be days before anything is actually official.

    Reply
  7. Lucien

    Oh yeah, teach the seminar and call it “Luci Stop Picking on the Fans” lol! I think I am going to join in the frenzy this time though. Being well behaved is not nearly as fun as jumping into the melee…

    Reply
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