There have been many newspaper articles, news reports and blogs on the subject of the Rolling Stone magazine’s apology for publishing information about an alleged sexual assault at the University of Virginia (UVA) without a thorough fact-finding exercise, and without contacting the alleged perpetrators. Some people blame the accuser, others blame the magazine and the media, while some are somewhere in between. There are those who believe that there has been a lapse in good journalism by some reporters and their sponsor news organizations who print information and innuendos gathered from one source without doing the due diligence of reaching out to the other parties involved in order to conduct adequate fact-finding. Once something is printed, the nuances remain even after a retraction or correction has been made by the reporter. Sexual assault advocates are angry that this apology will deter future reporting of assaults.
It is very critical to note that victims of assault should always report the assault.
I would like to highlight the article that resonated with me which looked at the events through the eyes of UVA student journalists who not only have to report the story, but live on the same campus daily. What lessons are student reporters learning about the profession they plan to work in? The editor-in-chief of The Cavalier Daily, a student run news outlet at UVA, Rebecca Lim stated that the coverage is part of the students’ daily lives. She said, “We’re reporting on the community that we’re very much a part of. If you take the reporter hat off, at the end of the day you’re a student at the university.”