NPR logo Fraternity Named In Retracted 'Rolling Stone' Rape Story To Sue Magazine

America

Fraternity Named In Retracted 'Rolling Stone' Rape Story To Sue Magazine

Updated at 1:39 p.m. ET

The fraternity at the heart of the retracted Rolling Stone article on campus rape says it plans to pursue "all available legal action against the magazine."

"After 130 days of living under a cloud of suspicion as a result of reckless reporting by Rolling Stone magazine, today the Virginia Alpha Chapter of Phi Kappa Psi announced plans to pursue all available legal action against the magazine," the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity said in a statement.

It's unclear when a suit will be filed. You can read the full statement below:

Our original post continues:

Columbia University says a retracted Rolling Stone article about the rape of a young woman at the University of Virginia "was the collective fault of the [magazine's] reporters, the editor ... and the fact-checking department."

"We don't believe in this case Jackie was to blame," Sheila Coronel, academic dean at the Columbia Journalism School, said at a news conference today.

Jackie is the name the magazine used to identify the young woman who said she was gang-raped during a fraternity party at the University of Virginia in 2012. The article prompted outrage and spurred the university to suspend all of the school's fraternities; those bans have since been lifted.

Steve Coll, dean of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, called the report released by the school on Sunday a "piece of journalism about a failure of journalism."

Coll and Coronel wrote the report, which was commissioned by Rolling Stone after major discrepancies were found in its reporting of the story, which was published Nov. 19, 2014.

The report, as NPR's David Folkenflik noted on Morning Edition, found "repeated, fundamental errors in the magazine's reporting and editing process."

As David noted:

"The story became a viral phenomenon, propelling a national debate over how well colleges handle allegations of sexual assault at a time of close federal scrutiny. But some of the methods employed by the article's author, Sabrina Rubin Erdely, came under challenge by such journalists as Richard Bradley and Hanna Rosin. In early December, The Washington Post published the first of several articles poking holes in Erdely's article."

On Sunday night, Rolling Stone's managing editor, Will Dana, retracted the story, apologized to readers, to the fraternity named in the reporting and to the University of Virginia. Erdely, in a separate statement, said the Columbia report was a "brutal and humbling experience."

David adds: "No journalists associated with Rolling Stone have been suspended or punished at the magazine for their role in the debacle. Dana said all have been involved in strong journalism — and he does not want this story to define them. Dana said he intends for Erdely, a freelancer, to continue to write for Rolling Stone."

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.