The authors of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism report that analyzed what went wrong with the Rolling Stone story, “A Rape on Campus: A Brutal Assault and Struggle for Justice at UVA,” will speak at Princeton University on Monday, April 27.
Lead investigator Steve Coll, Pulitzer Prize-Winning journalist and dean of the Columbia School of Journalism, and Columbia School of Journalism Dean of Academic Affairs Sheila Coronel will discuss their review of what went wrong in the reporting and editorial process for the Rolling Stone article. The discussion will be moderated by Joe Stephens, an investigative reporter at The Washington Post and Ferris Professor of Journalism at Princeton University.
“The collapse of Rolling Stone’s article on UVA ranks among the most distressing media failures in recent history, a cautionary tale for readers and journalists alike. It will be studied in classrooms for many years,” Stephens said. “We’re incredibly lucky to have Steve and Sheila — two of the most esteemed journalists of their generation — coming to Princeton to explain precisely what went wrong and how we can avoid a recurrence.”
Rolling Stone commissioned the independent report after its story depicting a University of Virginia student’s gang rape at a campus fraternity house came under attack as journalists at The Washington Post and other publications raised questions regarding the accuracy of the facts and inconsistencies about the assault. The Washington Post uncovered details suggesting that the assault could not have taken place the way it was described, and the truth of the story became a subject of national controversy.
The Columbia report “A Rape on Campus” What Went Wrong? was released on April 5. The report shows how basic fact-checking with sources other than the victim was not done and members of the fraternity were not confronted with details from the story and given the opportunity to give their side of the story. The report also raises the issue of the use of pseudonyms in stories. The report served as Rolling Stone’s “official retraction” of the story.
The discussion about the report, titled “‘A Rape on Campus’: What Went Wrong – An Anatomy of a Journalistic Failure” will be held in Dodds Auditorium at the Woodrow Wilson School on Washington Road at 7 p.m. on April 27. The event is free and open to the public, but tickets are required to attend.
The event is co-sponsored by the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, the Ferris Journalism Seminars in the Council of the Humanities, and the University Press Club.
Ticket distribution schedule at the Princeton University Ticketing office on the 100 level of the Frist Campus Center:
Tickets will be available to Princeton University students beginning at noon, on Tuesday, April 21.
Tickets for Princeton University faculty will be available beginning at noon, on Thursday, April 23.
Any remaining tickets will be available to the general public beginning at noon on Friday, April 24.
Ticket distribution will continue while supplies last during normal business hours, (M-F 10am-6pm).
For those not able to obtain a ticket, the event will be simulcast in Bowl 016, Robertson Hall.