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How Rolling Stone Should Have Dealt With the Fallout From Its UVA Story

Jackie’s “inconsistencies” are hardly as egregious as the sexual assault animating much of Greek life on college campuses today.

A UVA student protesting Phi Kappa Psi. Photo by Flickr user Bob Mical.

After reading the account of a young woman’s brutal and vicious gang rape, I didn’t think I could feel more disgusted or horrified. I was wrong. Rolling Stone retracted its UVA story in the most vile manner by pandering to the motif of the despicable woman crying rape in order to… what exactly would anonymized Jackie get out of making up this story? In any event, I was wrong. I did feel more disgusted and horrified as I witnessed the barrage of responses crucifying this young girl’s character and then eventually putting her in physical danger by publishing her address and literally running her out of her home. Is it any wonder that women don’t report their rapes when it is their integrity and character that are put on the line rather than their rapist’s?

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Will an App Rescue Long-Form Journalism?

For the creators of the new Atavist app, story is everything.


While most of his fellow writers and editors were wailing and wringing their hands about the death of print, journalist and Wired contributing editor Evan Ratliff got excited about the possibilities of what was next.

"Certainly no freelance writer could look around and say things are the same as they were 10 years ago.” Ratliff says. “But to survive at all as a writer you have to possess, below the fear and cynicism obligatory for the profession, some basic belief that people are enticed by great stories. If you start at that end, and then think about the new possibilities for small, or independent, outfits to try new types of storytelling, it looks exciting instead of depressing."

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