+3

Rolling Stone Exercise


Do scandals like Rolling Stone’s do lasting damage to journalism? Post your response citing the sources below.

Read at least two of the following articles online

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/04/rolling-stones-sensational-failure/389718/

http://www.richardbradley.net/shotsinthedark/2014/11/24/is-the-rolling-stone-story-true/#comments

http://www.cjr.org/investigation/rolling_stone_investigation.php

http://www.cjr.org/q_and_a/columbia_journalism_school_interview.php


Discussions

  • Yes, stunts like the one pulled in Rolling Stone's magazine, do damage journalism. It makes the source look unreliable, fabricated, unknowledgeable, and sensation seeking to the eye. It makes people more skeptical to believe the news being reported, and it makes everyone wonder what else have they lied about. Now, we have to look through different sources to get an accurate report that matches many others. Sabrina definitely lied and should of had more evidence, and statistics to prove her case in this article.

    • You're definitely correct on this response. It makes it hard to believe what the actual truth is. You have to really think about & research if what people are saying is true.

  • I think it does especially when they misinform people on a powerful issue. I understand that the journalist who reported this story just wanted to help and get this girls story out there however, being a journalist she should KNOW that she needs more supporting evidence.

    • I feel like Erdely's first priority was putting out a hard-hitting story, then letting people know about this girl's struggle. I agree however, she needed more evidence before printing the story.

    • It's a basic rule to have more sources. She should have at least tried to have contact the assailants. While it's "Jackie's" story to tell, it's the Rolling Stone reporter's story to write.

  • In my own opinion, I think the reports make readers only received one-side messages, which may possible turn out to be a false report. However, false information may do harm to the people involved inside and the damage will last for a long time. Therefore, I think it is better for journalism to check the accuracy of their information source before they post anything.

    • I agree, the misinformation that is reported do cause damage to individuals but if looking at the bigger picture, the damage is also down to journalism as well. When websites like The Rolling Stone post information that is misleading, their credibility is questioned, and false reports like the one mentioned in the article do cause lasting damage.

  • Yes, scandals do leave lasting damage to journalism. The reason why is because when a person gains your trust like a journalist and you follow behind everything they say and believe it, and all of a sudden you figure out they lied about a recent report. It makes you realize that they probably have been lying from the jump about other things they have reported. Journalist then start to look like untrustworthy sources.

  • In my perspective, it does diminish the credibility of the journalists publishing such incorrect and poorly sourced information, as well as who they publish for. Once such a terrible, false story is put out there, the public now permanently remembers and resents any type of information published by such source. This is somewhat controversial though, and may or may not affect journalism as a whole depending on the audience's perspective. Some may say that it does ruin journalism's credibility as a whole, while others consider credibility lost only by the source's behalf.

  • gflores342 is pro
    +3

    I do believe that inaccurate publications have a negative effect of the credibility of the publishers. Things like that make me wonder what other articles they have lied about. To me, thats a poor level of professionalism. Also, not only does it have a negative effect on journalism in general but on the people involved in the story. So many lives can be damaged due to misleading representations.

  • shmoland is pro
    +2

    The craft of journalism will survive the travesty that was Rolling Stone's UVA rape story. Journalism will survive long after Rolling Stone is gone. The veracity and trustworthiness of print news has survived decades of Rolling Stone's "Rock out with your cock out with a steno pad in your hand" style of journalism.

    Sabrina Erdely's career is effectively over. Rolling Stone lost most of what little credibility it had as a journalistic institution. What the UVA story has done is chip away at the reputation of all magazine reporting. This reputation, this trust, takes a lifetime to build, and it it going to take a long time for all of print news to earn back the trust that Rolling Stone lost with this disaster of a story.

  • leanna_n is pro
    +2

    I do believe that these scandals have a negative effect on journalism. I understand that some reporters do not do fact checks on articles like political articles and such. However, on a serious issue like this where the author accuses another organization, they need to check if their sources are accurate. I understand that this is a serious issue and that someone would not lie about, but sometimes, you never know. This girl might have lied about some things, and this article actually had the fraternities's specific name and what school it is on. This article is just unreliable, and because this article is on Rolling Stone, which is a popular magazine, it makes people rethink things. If a big magazine like Rolling Stone did not fact check one of their articles, then people might question if other popular news sources fact check their sources or not.

  • mychel28 is pro
    +2

    I think that articles like these do lasting damage to journalism. If you think about it, when articles like what Rolling Stone posted didn't just affect them, it also affected people that were apart of the article, the fraternity, & the school as well. It's unfortunate that Sabrina lied the way she did & I think that she should have definitely thought about how this was going to affect not just her but the rest of the people who were involved. As a side note, one thing I found interesting was reading the comments on one of the links & how they went from talking about the story to transitioning to talking about presidents & how they have lied in certain ways. Bill Clinton was the main focus in the comments section in one of the links.

  • I believe The Rolling Stone's scandal does more damage to itself and its reputation as a journalistic source, rather than the entirety of journalism. In The Atlantic's article "Rolling Stone's Sensational Failure, as well as an article from Shots in the Dark, they both describe the Rolling Stone's article as a journalistic mistake. Falsified and badly-written stories are harmful to journalism, but a lot of the harm is thrown back at the bad writers, as seen in these articles. I think the fact that other journalistic sources are analyzing and acknowledging how the Rolling Stone's messed up and how they could have avoided the situation entirely, journalism as a whole hasn't been affected much by their story.

  • In my opinion, I believe it is important for journalists to make sure their facts are straight before printing a story. Reporters should print their stories because they are true and the public needs to be informed. Not because someone came up with the idea and had to find the "right fit" to create this story. This particular story will create long-lasting damage to "Jackie", but also the frat, and Rolling Stone.

  • I think this does have an effect on journalism. People remember events like these and they use it as arguments to doubt any news story they don't think is believable. However, I think after a while people begin to forget about events like these until another scandal comes up. While journalism itself might not be stained, the institution that is blamed usually keeps the reputation.

  • Scandals like the one that occurred with the Rolling Stone can damage journalism. It can easily make the Rolling Stone magazine look amateurish in the eyes of those reading the story due to the fact that they could not name or contact the "source" or the people the source apparently knows as friends, committing a cardinal journalism sin. Without sources named, the events that happened simply copy stereotypes about these kinds events. Also, the journalist did not bring up the possibility that the attackers might have been injured after falling down on the attacker on a glass table. No one would walk away from that unscathed.

    Sabrina Erdely now shares something in common with Brian Williams after this story: a seemingly respected journalist who lost their credibility after fabricating a story and passing it off as a real one to fool the public for their own interests, killing off the news outlet's credibility in reporting stories.

  • I don't think the damage to journalism is lasting,. people generally dont lose faith in institutions, but have an easy time blaming individuals within them. Erdely will be ostracized, but rolling stone will keep on printing.

  • False stories and scandals like the rape story at UVA definitely damage the views of journalism. It makes the people who read the stories question if others stories are fabricated to gain the public eye. In the Richard Bradley article, the writer discusses that his old boss would sensualize stories so it's possible that other journalists do the same. The articles about the gang rape could potentially cause actual rape victims not to come forward.

  • Ken4 is con
    +1

    Yes they give the people a reasons not to trust what is being published in the news. Every news article has a fact-checker and for this story to make it to the public without being questioned. Shows what level of professionalism Rolling Stones magazine operates.

  • I think the article that was published could have somewhat tarnished the reputation of journalism. In the second link a lot of skepticism is presented; the author ignored a major 'rule' in journalism and did not try to contact any of the other people involved, and didn't even try to properly identify them. The way that the situation is presented made it seem more like a story and less like an actual event, and the author did not to a good job at making it seem accurate, leaving a lot of the 'facts' to not add up and making it confusing to decipher for her readers.

  • I think the media's reputation is going to be viewed with cynicism regardless of the Rolling Stone story. There's always going to be a journalist fabricating a story in one way or another. And because all media outlets, large-scale or local, are lumped together whenever one reporter makes a mistake, it doesn't matter who screws up. As long as someone does, the views on on journalism will remain where they are.

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