Rolling Stone’s original report on Jackie’s rape case at The University of Virginia was highly disturbing as well as it was impacting. I think that the most important tool it used in keeping reader engagement while also delivering important facts was that it found a powerful representative story that spanned for years and used it as a spine to deliver a larger story on sexual assault on college campuses. Jackie’s story had many points of inner conflict that served as points of relation for similar stories and statistical analysis on UV’s assault record and political neglect of assault. I think that this article is engaging because we continue to want to know about Jackie’s story even when we get pulled away from it by bigger information that contextualizes her story within a campus to country-wide problem. As readers, did you feel that the story balanced the spine with the information well, or do you think it could have been handled better? Was there too much spine and not enough background? Too much background and not enough spine?
On another note, I think it is important to inquire as to what Rolling Stone had to lose by publishing this story. Do you think the stakes of delivering such secretes were high for them? Do you think they had stock holders or executives with connections to UV? If UV has such a powerful alumni base, do you think the magazine faced unwarranted backlash? How much should we expect periodicals to look out for their own interests versus delivering important truths to their readers?