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Columbia: Rolling Stone rape story an ‘avoidable journalistic failure’

NEW YORK — Rolling Stone magazine failed to follow basic journalistic safeguards in publishing a now-discredited story about an alleged gang rape at a University of Virginia fraternity house, according to an outside review of the matter released on Sunday.

”Rolling Stone’s repudiation of the main narrative in ‘A Rape on Campus’ is a story of journalistic failure that was avoidable,” read a report by Columbia Journalism Review, conducted at the request of the magazine. “The failure encompassed reporting, editing, editorial supervision and fact-checking.”

Led by the dean of the Columbia Journalism School, the review examined the editorial process behind the explosive story, after the reporting failed to hold up under a barrage of questions raised by media after its publication in November.

The article, written by Sabrina Rubin Erdely, described a 2012 gang rape of a first-year female student identified on “Jackie” at a fraternity house and accused the university of tolerating a culture that ignored sexual violence against women.

In December, Rolling Stone apologized for “discrepancies” in the account and admitted that it never sought comment from seven men accused of the alleged rape.

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