At Rolling Stone’s Request, Columbia Journalism Review To Review Rape Story


Rolling Stone magazine asked the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism to review the widely disputed article about a gang rape at the University of Virginia, the New York Times reports. Jann Wenner, Rolling Stone's editor and publisher, said the review would be led by Steve Coll, the journalism school's dean, and Sheila Coronel, the dean of academic affairs, and that it would evaluate “the editorial process that led to the publication of the story.” The report will be published in its entirety on Rolling Stone's website, and excerpts will appear in the magazine. Coll said Rolling Stone promised unfettered access to its staff and materials. “We are focusing on the editorial process but have the freedom to move in any direction along the way that we believe would be germane and of public interest,” he said.

The Times says the review may do little to quell the debate that has erupted over the story. The 9,000-word article detailed the experience of a student identified as Jackie, who described being raped by seven men at a fraternity party. The explosive account led the university to suspend the fraternity's operations and helped drive a discussion about the failure to address sexual violence on college campuses. Then the narrative started to crumble. The magazine acknowledged that the reporter, Sabrina Rubin Erdely, had relied almost entirely on Jackie's account and never contacted the accused rapists.

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