Infamous Rolling Stone Reporter Sabrina Rubin Erdely Fired

For the first time since the infamous Rolling Stone article “A Rape on Campus” was debunked, the status of the reporter’s career has been revealed.

According to court papers filed in the U.S. District Court of Western Virginia, “Rolling Stone is no longer working with Sabrina Rubin Erdely and has terminated her contract.”

“A Rape on Campus reported Jackie Coakley’s falsified account of a gang rape by members of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity at UVa. Erdely never obtained the rapists’ names, failed to utilize multiple sources, and did not fact-check Coakley’s claims.  For these reasons amongst others, Columbia University’s Graduate Journalism Program deemed the article “a journalistic failure at every level.” The Poynter institute names the piece one of the “Errors of the Year.”

The article has haunted the University of Virginia since its publication in November 2014.

Specifically, “A Rape on Campus” claimed that associate dean Nicole Eramo never seriously considered Coakley’s case. Ermao sued Rolling Stone for defamation for $7.5 million, but Erdely’s status with the magazine remained in question nevertheless.
Court papers filed last week finally revealed that Erdely has been terminated by the publication.

In an interview with the Washington Post, Erdely stated: “This experience has been devastating to me, both professionally and personally. Never in my 20-plus years as a reporter have I had a story or source fall apart on my after publication. After feeling so secure about the article and believing so strongly that it would help spur change on college campuses, losing faith in the credibility of one of my major sources post-publication took me entirely by surprise. I was stunned and shaken by the experience, and remain so to this day.”

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Liz Brown-Kaiser
News Director and MMJ for WUVA News. Former Intern at ABC News and D.C. CBS affiliate WUSA9. Media Studies and Foreign Affairs Double Major. UVA Class of 2019. Have a story idea or want to reach out? Contact the reporter! Liz's email addresses are eab7ck@virginia.edu and lizzybk@gmail.com.

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