Rolling Stone Fired Editor After Negative Review Of Hootie & the Blowfish AlbumPosted: April 6, 2015
RICHMOND, Va. (CBSDC/AP) — Rolling Stone is pledging to review its editorial practices but won’t fire anyone after a leading journalism school issued a blistering critique of how it reported and edited a discredited article about an alleged gang rape at the University of Virginia.
“The move came Monday, after the weekly New York Observer ran a story saying that Rolling Stone founder-editor Jann Wenner had killed DeRogatis’ negative review of the new Hootie & the Blowfish album and replaced it with a more positive one.”
Reports are now beginning to surface across social media of former employees getting fired from Rolling Stone, with one senior editor reportedly getting let go following a negative review of a Hootie & The Blowfish album.
“The Observer story included quotes from DeRogatis implying that Wenner routinely pulls copy that he disagrees with and suggesting that Wenner’s motive for the Hootie change was not to alienate the massively popular band.”
— The Los Angeles Times in 1996
The Columbia Graduate School of Journalism said in the Sunday report that the magazine’s shortcomings “encompassed reporting, editing, editorial supervision and fact-checking.”
Two of the report’s authors, dean Steve Coll and academic dean Sheila Coronel, were scheduled to discuss their investigation at a news conference Monday in New York.
“As far as why they fired me, you have to ask them. What they told me is that I’m a bad apple and don’t know anything about music.”
— DeRogatis, to The L.A. Times
The analysis was accompanied by a statement from Rolling Stone Managing Editor Will Dana apologizing for the failures and retracting the November 2014 story. Some University of Virginia students said none of that will erase the article’s repercussions.
Maggie Rossberg, a second-year nursing student from Crozet, Virginia, said her chief concern is the effect the journalistic lapses will have on rape victims. “This is probably going to discourage other sexual assault survivors from coming forward,” Rossberg said.
This is the kind of thing that it takes to get fired from Rolling Stone (from 2006): pic.twitter.com/AN6wrEoHIQ
— Doug Powers (@ThePowersThatBe) April 6, 2015
The Columbia review was undertaken at Rolling Stone’s request and posted on both organizations’ websites. It presented a broad indictment of the magazine’s handling of a story that had horrified readers, unleashed protests at the university’s Charlottesville campus and sparked a national discussion about sexual assaults on college campuses.
“I think the real casualty of the report is the University of Virginia’s trust in journalism. I don’t think any University of Virginia student going through this will ever read an article the same way.”
— Abraham Axler of New York City, president of the university’s Student Council
It came two weeks after the Charlottesville police department said it had found no evidence to back the claims of the victim, identified in the story only as “Jackie,” who said she was raped by seven men at a fraternity house.
The article’s author, Sabrina Rubin Erdely, also apologized in a statement, saying she would not repeat the mistakes she made when writing the article, “A Rape on Campus.”
“Reading the Columbia account of the mistakes and misjudgments in my reporting was a brutal and humbling experience,” she said.