On the heels of Rolling Stone’s retraction of its UVA gang-rape story, which was deemed an “avoidable journalistic failure” by an independent review from Columbia’s Journalism School, the targeted UVA fraternity, Phi Kappa Psi, has announced that it will pursue “all available legal action” against the magazine. The fraternity, released a statement saying the report “demonstrates the reckless nature in which Rolling Stone researched and failed to verify facts in its article that erroneously accused Phi Kappa Psi of crimes its members did not commit.” While the fraternity has retained a lawyer, no formal action has been taken. Despite the damning report, legal experts do not believe a successful defamation lawsuit will be easy. The fraternity would have to open itself up to scrutiny over its social activities, and in the likely case that they are legally deemed a public entity they face the difficult task of having to establish “actual malice,” which entails that Rolling Stone knowingly committed a falsehood.
Read the full story at The New York Times.