has clarified its apology over a story that had reported a female student was gang-raped at a University of Virginia fraternity, telling readers the mistakes were the magazine's fault, not the alleged victim's.
That's a shift from the original note to readers, issued Friday, when it said of Jackie, the woman who claimed to have been gang-raped at a Phi Kappa Psi fraternity, "Our trust in her was misplaced." The updated note removes that line, which struck some critics as blaming the victim.
The magazine said that it shouldn't have agreed to Jackie's request not to contact the alleged assailants to get their side of the story, out of sensitivity to her. "These mistakes are on Rolling Stone, not on Jackie," wrote the magazine's managing editor, Will Dana. "We apologize to anyone who was affected by the story and we will continue to investigate the events of that evening." The decision not to contact the alleged rapists prompted criticism from other news organizations.
Last month's sensational story used Jackie's case as an example of what it called a culture of sexual violence hiding in plain sight at the University of Virginia. The story claimed that too many people on campus put protecting the school's image and their own reputations above seeking justice for sex crimes.
Dana's updated message added some details calling into question the magazine's original story. He noted that Phi Kappa Psi has denied the assault, and said it didn't host an event on the night Jackie alleged she was raped. And Dana said that Jackie is now unsure the man who allegedly lured her into a room to be gang-raped by seven men was a member of Phi Kappa Psi.