‘She didn’t have credibility anymore’: The moment Rolling Stone’s U-Va. rape story unraveled 

Blogging the latest developments in a story I use in my journalism classes. “When I got off the phone, I felt like the ground had shifted from under my feet,” Erdely said. “The person I had talked to was not the person I was familiar with from my story. I felt that she didn’t have credibility anymore, which meant that we couldn’t stand behind anything that she had given me.”…

Practicing Intellectual, Evidence-based Disagreement

This is what a busy literature seminar on evidence-based disagreement looks like. I’ve asked the students to pair up to create a 2-3-minute podcast that demonstrates they can participate in a respectful, evidence-based disagreement over Poe’s “The Raven.” I asked each student to introduce the other student’s position, and to do so respectfully, without caricaturing or demeaning the ignorant or evil jerks whose opinions or values or life experiences dare…

Rolling Stone heading to trial over debunked story of UVa rape

For the first time since Rolling Stone magazine’s shocking story about a brutal gang rape at the University of Virginia hit shelves two years ago, the public may hear from the young woman at the center of the now discredited article “A Rape on Campus.” | A defamation trial against the magazine is set to begin Monday over the November 2014 article about the woman identified only as “Jackie” and her…

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Debunking the newspapers are dying idea

Don’t count on viral social media posts or TV talkshow monologues to form your world view. It’s a moral obligation for people in a free society to have access to credible, unbiased information. All evidence shows that people of all ages want and consume more news than ever. We need to focus on new ways to address the needs of audience. Legacy newspapers are considered trusted sources of information; we…

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A Dance Mom Gets Schooled by a Ballet Mistress Who Can Write

Avoid trying to publicly shame a ballet mistress who can write.

This morning, someone pseudonymously spammed the parent email list at my daughter’s ballet school, with a scolding complaint about a delayed cast list. It read, in part: “We pay our fees on time…. We received the email to donate to the school’s fundraiser this week on time. But no cast List. This is a teachable moment to demonstrate that being on time, especially when a promise is involved, is important.”

The school’s response, posted about a half hour later, ended thus: “Emailing using an address we can not identify and failing to sign your email shows a lack of conviction. Failing to understand that it is a relatively easy thing to discover your identity through your IP address is another indication that your action was not thought through. If the lessons you wanted to teach here were your own ignorance, arrogance and cowardice, you’ve succeeded.”

The whole response is worth a sincere, rousing “slow clap”.

Yes, Virginia, There Is a Journalist!

My new hero is NPR’s Michael Oreskes. Scott Detrow had a terrific story today about Donald Trump’s appearance at a Black church. The pastor called Trump on the carpet for attacking Hillary Clinton when he had promised not to be partisan. Trump later attacked the pastor and misstated key facts about what actually happened. Why was this story terrific? Scott was one of a handful of reporters in the church…