Jay Paul/Getty Images
Jay Paul/Getty Images
Heads are still spinning at Rolling Stone after the magazine was forced to fully retract its now-infamous campus rape story, but students at the University of Virginia still aren't satisfied.
The Cavalier Daily, UVA's student newspaper, posted a reaction to this weekend's big developments, and it's every bit as scathing as the report from The Columbia Journalism Review. Which, frankly, is hard to do. The Columbia report called into question basically every reporting step and editorial decision that led to the magazine's publishing of the article detailing the discredited rape; the managing board of the Cavalier is in complete agreement with everything in the report, but they believe that CJR failed to investigate a very crucial aspect: The portrayal of the university itself.
In the editorial the students argue that Rolling Stone didn't just misrepresent the fraternity and the now-nonexistent party, but it misrepresented the entire campus—including its culture and its students. They claim that the article unfairly vilified school administrators and others in leaderships roles, and that the report from Columbia didn't do enough to investigate what went wrong there, too.
"The desire to portray rape at its most gruesome, and U.Va. at its most privileged, spilled over into Erdely's descriptions of other elements of U.Va., elements not necessarily connected to Jackie's story," wrote the managing board, adding that the Columbia report did not address those issues at all, choosing to focus solely on the editorial mistakes related to Jackie.
They also gave a few examples of misplaced facts from Rolling Stone's story, such as when the reporter quoted a fourth-year student talking about the importance of parties on campus but failed to mention that he also happened to be the president of a sexual assault prevention group.
The Cavalier Daily took note of the fact that it wasn't the Columbia Journalism Review's job to right every wrong from the Rolling Stone article, but they did call the decision to narrow down the investigation a "dramatic oversimplification."
"Where the Columbia report did not investigate, we hope we have filled in gaps as to Erdely's presentation of our school," wrote the board. "We hope future endeavors do, in fact, do better — not just at fact-checking, but at presenting information in its entirety."
Read The Cavalier Daily editorial in its entirety here.