Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Rape on Campus


“Reporting on rape has unique challenges, but the journalist still has the responsibility to get it right. I hope that my mistakes in reporting this story do not silence the voices of victims that need to be heard.”

—Sabrina Rubin Erdely, contributing editor and author of discredited 2014 Rolling Stone story, “A Rape on Campus,” responding to Columbia University report on the story, New York Times, April 5, 2015 
“Rolling Stone’s story, ‘A Rape on Campus,’ did nothing to combat sexual violence, and it damaged serious efforts to address the issue. Irresponsible journalism unjustly damaged the reputations of many innocent individuals and the University of Virginia. Rolling Stone falsely accused some University of Virginia students of heinous, criminal acts, and falsely depicted others as indifferent to the suffering of their classmate. The story portrayed university staff members as manipulative and callous toward victims of sexual assault. Such false depictions reinforce the reluctance sexual assault victims already feel about reporting their experience, lest they be doubted or ignored.”

—Teresa A. Sullivan, president, University of Virginia, in statement on report about the Rolling Stone story, New York Times, April 5, 2015  

Editorial Comment: 1. Tell the Truth. 2. Minimize Harm. The SPJ Code of Ethics.

Related: Rolling Stone’s investigation: ‘A failure that was avoidable,’” Columbia Journalism Review
Analysis: “Rolling Stone’s ‘Rape on Campus.’ Notes and comment on Columbia J-school’s investigation,” Jay Rosen, PressThink

PeezPix by Ted Pease 


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