Rolling Stone asks Columbia J-school to review its UVA rape story handling
Rolling Stone Magazine is unable to save itself and is turning itself over to a higher power – in this case, reliably leftist Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Alexandra Alter reports in the New York Times:
Rolling Stone magazine said Monday that it had asked the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism to conduct a review of a widely disputed article about a gang rape at the University of Virginia.
In an editor’s note that will appear in the magazine’s next issue, Jann Wenner, Rolling Stone’s editor and publisher, said that 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 unedited and in its entirety on Rolling Stone’s website, and excerpts will appear in the magazine.
Mr. Coll said in an email that Rolling Stone had 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.
These are difficult times for the magazine industry, and Rolling Stone has engaged in some egregious behavior of late, most prominently its glamorization of the Boston Marathon bomber. Coll’s background is in journalism, as a writer and editor, so he certainly has the chops to do a good job on what went wrong. I do hope that he won’t wear ideological blinders and will comment on why so many obvious lines were crossed by the writer and her editors. The fact is that a campaign is underway to falsely portray the incidence of rape on college campuses, and even President Obama has cited the completely bogus and debunked statistic that one in five college women is raped during her years on campus. The UVA article is an obvious part of that campaign, and if Coll ignores this context, he will implicate himself.