Lessons From the Rolling Stone Debacle

EWA Radio, Episode 16

Earlier this month, Rolling Stone magazine published a story about an alleged gang rape at the University of Virginia, which resulted in outrage, shock, and a temporary suspension of all fraternities and sororities at the vaunted institution of higher education. But now, serious questions have been raised about freelance writer Sabrina Rubin Erdely’s reporting, as well as Rolling Stone’s decision to publish the story without stronger verification.

EWA Radio spoke with Bruce Shapiro, executive director of the Dart Center for Journalism & Trauma at Columbia University about the Rolling Stone debacle and some of the important conversations now unfolding in its wake. Among them: How are universities responding to sexual assault? Should newsrooms have codes of conduct for covering these stories? What are some “best practices” for education reporters when reporting on the experiences of individuals who have experienced trauma, including sexual assault?

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