|The article that appeared in Rolling Stone|
The prestigious Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism issued a scathing report about the story, the Poynter Institute called it the Error of the Year in Journalism, and the fraternity is planning on filing suit against the magazine.
|Phi Kappa Psi's house at the University of Virginia|
As public information officers, we need to understand that incidents such as these are very few and far between, which is what makes their revelation such a shock to the journalism community. The vast majority of journalists take their professional duties very seriously, and they understand that misreporting a situation - such as the incident that happened in Rolling Stone - can have a terrible effect on victims who may now fear that their accusations may not be taken seriously.
The Society of Professional Journalists is clear in its code of ethics that as custodians of one of the most precious First Amendment Rights - freedom of the press - journalists have an ethical duty to:
- Seek the truth and report it;
- Minimize harm;
- Act independently; and.
- Be accountable and transparent.
|Being open with and responsive to reporters is a critical part of our jobs|
While this is absolutely no guarantee that the reporter will get every single detail right, it does provide a trail of evidence that unequivocally relates what your message is and proves that you have done your part to help get the report as accurate as possible.
Tom Iovino, Public Relations Strategist
Hillsborough County, Florida