By DIYA VASUDEVAN
I remember when Rolling Stone‘s University of Virginia gang rape story first came out, there was a level of fear and understanding that resonated with me regarding the story. I had been a freshman for only a month or so when the story came out and after seeing what university was like there was no doubt in my mind that the story was true. That is what this article preyed upon.
Regardless of the validity of the story, Rolling Stone was the first ones to talk about it in a big way, to draw attention to a real issue. However, they used the wrong story, they fabricated it, it was intentional manipulation.
A scandal like this has many repercussions on many levels. Not only will true experiences like this be doubted in the future, thus making it harder for victims of rape to speak out, but the whole topic of rape itself will become more of a taboo.
On a journalistic level, however, will people trust journalists less and less as time goes on? There have been multiple events in the past year or so that has called into question journalistic integrity.
The scandal relating to Brian WIlliams was one of the biggest ones in recent times that has made the public call into question if it really can trust journalists to be honest and give them correct information. A scandal like this could have been easily avoided with simple fact checking by the editors and the main writer, this kind of fabrication was intentional and says a lot about journalism today.