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'A Rape on Campus' avoidable?

feminism rape culture padme journalism rape on campus

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#1 Padme

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Posted 05 April 2015 - 11:27 PM

The issue is best described by the article:

 

 

 

Last November, we published a story, 'A Rape on Campus' [RS 1223], that centered around a University of Virginia student's horrifying account of her alleged gang rape at a campus fraternity house. Within days, commentators started to question the veracity of our narrative. Then, when The Washington Post uncovered details suggesting that the assault could not have taken place the way we described it, the truth of the story became a subject of national controversy.

 

 

Read more: http://www.rollingst...5#ixzz3WVkzn5d7 

 

 

Basically, Rolling Stone published the article which shocked a lot of people especially when these accusations came from such an esteemed school such as UVA. It was criticized heavily and led to Columbia's school of journalism reviewing it and they came to the above conclusions. 

 

Columbia's article is here: http://article2.cjr....1428283910525=1

 

 

 

LAST JULY 8, SABRINA RUBIN ERDELY, a writer for Rolling Stone, telephoned Emily Renda, a rape survivor working on sexual assault issues as a staff member at the University of Virginia. Erdely said she was searching for a single, emblematic college rape case that would show “what it’s like to be on campus now … where not only is rape so prevalent but also that there’s this pervasive culture of sexual harassment/rape culture,” according to Erdely’s notes of the conversation.

 

 

 

The collapse of "A Rape on Campus" does not involve the kinds of fabrication by reporters that have occurred in some other infamous cases of journalistic meltdown. In 2003, the New York Times reporter Jayson Blair resigned after editors concluded that he had invented stories from whole cloth. In February, NBC News suspended anchor Brian Williams after he admitted that he told tall tales about his wartime reporting in Iraq. There is no evidence in Erdely's materials or from interviews with her subjects that she invented facts; the problem was that she relied on what Jackie told her without vetting its accuracy.

 

 

Do you believe that Rolling Stone should of retracted their story? What do you think this means for the reporting of rape culture & rape stories?  What would you have done? 

 

Do you think this article was purely negative/positive or a mix of both? Do you believe that Rolling Stone has since taken appropriate measures? Do you think UVA should take further action against Rolling Stone?

 

** It is important to note that this is NOT a discussion of whether 'Jackie' was actually raped or not. Merely on the reporting of it. Please do NOT speculate on that.**



#2 redlion

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Posted 06 April 2015 - 01:09 AM

I'm sorry, I must have smoked too much. That didn't make a lick of sense.

I'm still struggling to connect the dots after reading your post... too lazy to follow all your links before posting.

I mean if the rape isn't in question, where is the question of retraction coming from? How they obtained the story? As long as it was legal (not libelous) I believe in freedom of speech. I mean Rolling Stone is entitled to publish just as much rot as Rupert Murdoch, right?

#3 Waser Lave

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Posted 06 April 2015 - 01:26 AM

I'm sorry, I must have smoked too much. That didn't make a lick of sense.

I'm still struggling to connect the dots after reading your post... too lazy to follow all your links before posting.

I mean if the rape isn't in question, where is the question of retraction coming from? How they obtained the story? As long as it was legal (not libelous) I believe in freedom of speech. I mean Rolling Stone is entitled to publish just as much rot as Rupert Murdoch, right?

 

Apparently the first person who wrote up the story didn't do any fact checking and just relied on the word of the woman involved. Subsequent investigation couldn't find evidence to support her story and the police couldn't even determine if the event happened at all or not.

 

Stories like this (whether it was exaggerated or entirely made up, since we don't actually know) only perpetuate the idea that a lot of women make up rape claims and that can only be a bad thing for genuine victims. Imagine the doubt that stories like these put into the minds of jurors when they come out while they're sitting on juries involving rape... They'll be told to ignore the stories but obviously human brains don't work that way and it'll be in the back of their minds during the trial potentially jeopardising justice for real victims. Journalists have a responsibility to ensure that what they report is accurate both for victims and those who do get falsely accused, it doesn't say much for their journalistic integrity when they can't even be bothered to do the very basics of making sure a story even happened.



#4 redlion

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Posted 06 April 2015 - 01:55 AM

Apparently the first person who wrote up the story didn't do any fact checking and just relied on the word of the woman involved. Subsequent investigation couldn't find evidence to support her story and the police couldn't even determine if the event happened at all or not.
 
Stories like this (whether it was exaggerated or entirely made up, since we don't actually know) only perpetuate the idea that a lot of women make up rape claims and that can only be a bad thing for genuine victims. Imagine the doubt that stories like these put into the minds of jurors when they come out while they're sitting on juries involving rape... They'll be told to ignore the stories but obviously human brains don't work that way and it'll be in the back of their minds during the trial potentially jeopardising justice for real victims. Journalists have a responsibility to ensure that what they report is accurate both for victims and those who do get falsely accused, it doesn't say much for their journalistic integrity when they can't even be bothered to do the very basics of making sure a story even happened.

Well then the rape might be in question. So they didn't do their journalistic due diligence. Welcome to The Enquirer, or the Daily Mail, or The Sun. I mean it's their own fault, but it's not the end of the world for the magazine. I would like to think that your average person wouldn't compare something they read in a tabloid to a real life case before them as a jury member. Perhaps I overestimate people, but perhaps not.



#5 Bone

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Posted 06 April 2015 - 06:52 AM

Yeah, this was nothing short of a massive journalistic failure on Rolling Stone's part. The rate of falsification of rape accusations isn't any different than for other felonies, but unfortunately I think this debacle is only going to make things more difficult for victims to be taken seriously and further stigmatize them.


Well then the rape might be in question. So they didn't do their journalistic due diligence. Welcome to The Enquirer, or the Daily Mail, or The Sun. I mean it's their own fault, but it's not the end of the world for the magazine. I would like to think that your average person wouldn't compare something they read in a tabloid to a real life case before them as a jury member. Perhaps I overestimate people, but perhaps not.

 

I think you might be overestimating people. :p It does't help that Rolling Stone isn't (popularly considered) a tabloid, and that the case has gotten so much media attention.



#6 Padme

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Posted 06 April 2015 - 08:30 AM

Well then the rape might be in question. So they didn't do their journalistic due diligence. Welcome to The Enquirer, or the Daily Mail, or The Sun. I mean it's their own fault, but it's not the end of the world for the magazine. I would like to think that your average person wouldn't compare something they read in a tabloid to a real life case before them as a jury member. Perhaps I overestimate people, but perhaps not.

 

The rape is definitely not in question. What's in question is whether there is enough evidence publish an article that calls into question the good character of multiple institutions, the innocence of a group of young people and the like. 

 

People believe what they read far too often and take it as fact. In regard to any subject. It isn't right but that's how the great majority of people are :| 

 

Yeah, this was nothing short of a massive journalistic failure on Rolling Stone's part. The rate of falsification of rape accusations isn't any different than for other felonies, but unfortunately I think this debacle is only going to make things more difficult for victims to be taken seriously and further stigmatize them.


 

I think you might be overestimating people. :p It does't help that Rolling Stone isn't (popularly considered) a tabloid, and that the case has gotten so much media attention.

 

Ya, this really didn't help any victims, especially with just how blown up it became. The nature of sexual crimes is really hard for people that haven't experienced it to truly wrap their heads around usually so anytime it's poorly reported on or has bad legal proceedings it really hurts victims (male or female.) 

 

At least in this case there are better guidelines now with the help of the study unlike when the Duke Lacrosse incident happened. 





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