“Rolling Stone” Rape Story

Posted on December 11, 2014

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I am not surprised “Rolling Stone” made mistakes with its story about an alleged gang rape at a fraternity at the University of Virginia in a rush to put out a juicy story, perhaps in part to compete in this age of Internet, basic journalism, involving fact-checking, has eroded.

Even though it is premature to dismiss all of the “Rolling Stone” account, some facts were left out. For instance, the over reaction of school president who suspended all campus fraternities even though only one was allegedly linked to the incident.

Journalists must continue fact-checking their stories. Beating the competition should not be a consideration. Accuracy is the first word of a journalist.

Bloggers seem intent on posting something, or even anything, to accelerate page checks, which generate advertising dollars.

So here’s a prediction: In this era of  “citizen journalists,” where everybody becomes a reporter without proper training or peer review, the day will come when one of  them faces a lawsuit for libel. They won’t have a big money corporate media attorney to defend them.

Yeah, good luck with that.

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