Written by: Kenzie Kesselring, Asst. Opinions Editor
Rolling Stone magazine has long been thought of as a prestigious and creditable new source, but the decision to not fire anyone following their journalistic meltdown that took place earlier this month is a huge mistake.
The slipup reporter Sabrina Rubin Erdely made while attempting to report on an issue plaguing college across the United States hurt many people. It hurt the members of the fraternity accused of the crime, it hurt the University of Virginia, but most importantly, it hurt other victims of sexual assault.
It is already difficult for college-aged sexual assault victims to be taken seriously, but when the spotlight is on women who have lied about being taken advantage of, it only perpetuates the negative stereotypes surrounding women who claim to be victims of sexual violence.
When Erdely neglected to investigate all sides of the story she was breaking the first rule journalists are taught. Journalism is not about sharing one person’s side of the story; it is about exploring all sides of a story and letting the reader make his or her own decision about the situation. Erdely’s inability to capture all sides of the story showed a lack of dedication to her line of work and a lack of ability to do her job.
Erdely should have interviewed the friends of the victim, the victim’s parents and should have tried harder to talk to the fraternity men who were accused of the crime. What Erdely did was not journalism, it was merely telling a story that was never confirmed.
This lack of good reporting makes Rolling Stone look less than prestigious, but choosing to keep the reporter responsible for this blunder employed makes them look incompetent.
It makes Rolling Stone look as if they do not hold their reporters to a high standard and this will hinder the reputation, as it should, of Rolling Stone magazine in the future.