Twitter Response To 'Rolling Stone' UVA Report Is A Mix Of Incredulity & A Lot Of Questions
Columbia Journalism School's report on Rolling Stone's "A Rape on Campus" story was published on Sunday evening and the review's findings are damning, placing fault on the magazine for errors in its "reporting, editing, editorial supervision and fact-checking." Having waited while the investigation continued for months, Twitter responses to Rolling Stone's UVA rape story report were immediate, and riddled with questions.
On Sunday, Rolling Stone retracted the UVA rape article and its author, Sabrina Erdely, issued her first comments at-length since the story's credibility was questioned, apologizing to readers, colleagues, UVA, and sexual assault victims. Commissioned by Rolling Stone in December — and published in place of the original story on its website — the report alleged that the magazine failed to conduct “basic, even routine journalistic practice” to verify details of the incident that Jackie, the story’s source, had told Erdely.
Published in November, the Rolling Stone article detailing UVA student Jackie's alleged brutal gang rape by seven men in 2012 at a Phi Kappa Psi party and the subsequent pressure from those around her who advised against reporting the incident caused nationwide outrage. But the story began to fall apart as media outlets found inconsistencies in Jackie's claims and that Erdely failed to contact the alleged ringleader of the rape upon Jackie's request.
As The New York Times reported Sunday, publisher Jann S. Werner said Erdely, Rolling Stone Managing Editor Will Dana, and editor of the article Sean Woods will keep their jobs at the magazine — a point of contention for many on Twitter.
Some also pointed out the effects that Rolling Stone's now-completely discredited article will have on victims of sexual assault in the future, who might perhaps be even more reluctant to report such personally harrowing incidents.
Some cautioned that the report was damaging to journalism as a whole — evidenced in the tweets about profession's decline.
However, many in the industry were similarly critical of Rolling Stone, as journalists expressed incredulity at the magazine's mistakes.