Writing a story on a story about a story seems redundant. But what is even more redundant is the article we had to read. A pathological liar who can lie for more than a year about something this horrifying goes hand-in-hand with a serial killer– sorry.
Our society is fixated on being better, but when we are given the chance to fix something we lie. This entire dilemma could have been avoided and it’s sad that the only mistake Rolling Stone made was believing in humanity. Don’t blame Elderly or Rolling Stone, blame Jackie. Many of RS’s stories use pseudonyms to protect those who are willing to cooperate but are too scared to use their real names. Jackie’s nonsense somewhat discredits anything published by Rolling Stone. It even has the potential to discredit any survivor story. There are some people who don’t believe rape is real and this just motivates their arrogance.
Rolling Stone is a prestigiously liberal magazine that’s respected above all mistakes it has made in the past. The magazine itself respects their staff. Sabrina Elderly’s seniority in the journalism department, as well as Wood’s, is one of the reasons why the pseudonyms were questioned and not investigated. In fact, the fact-checker who was assigned to Elderly’s story went directly to the Wood and Elderly when discussing the loopholes in the story.
Journalism has guidelines that help establish credibility. Maybe as journalists get comfortable they stop worrying about investigating and focus on the impact their stories will make. Elderly’s laziness jeopardized her career and Rolling Stone’s credibility. Kristen Lombardi is described as a writer who works with rape victims. And unlike Sabrina Elderly she makes sure her victims know that she needs official documents and the names of those involved. As a magazine that has the measures and abilities to help bring awareness to rape on college campuses, why won’t a rape victim want to cooperate? And if she/he didn’t want to it might be because he/she isn’t ready to relive what happened— Jackie was very descriptive about what happened to her that nigh (as stated in Coronel’s article).
The biggest mistake Rolling Stone made was believing the victim of a tragic story and forgetting about the rules to accommodate a source. This magazine tragedy is a great example for all journalist.