In November 2014, Rolling Stone magazine published a 9,000 word article entitled, “A Rape on Campus.” It told a horrific story of a young woman identified as Jackie who was gang raped by seven men at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Va. The article was quickly discredited. Four months later, the Charlottesville Police Department has suspended its investigation as it has found no evidence of the rape.
Sabrina Rubin Erdely wrote the article, which was named by Columbia Journalism Review as “the Worst Journalism of 2014” and as “Error of the Year” by the Poynter Institute. It wasn’t Erdely’s first story about rape. In 1996 her story about a woman who was alleged to have been raped by her gynecologist was nominated for a National Magazine Award (in was printed in Philadelphia). In February 2013, she wrote the article “The Rape of Petty Officer Blumer” (for Rolling Stone) which chronicled the alleged drugging and rape of a US Navy female petty officer by three Army soldiers. Her website states that she has taught journalism classes at Temple University and the University of Pennsylvania.