Say a highly-placed source has a mountain of incriminating data they want to make public. Who are they going to send it to? Judging by the last few years — think Glenn Greenwald or Bastian Obermayer — a journalist they can contact discreetly, with the expertise to sort through reams of digital information.
When a stray bullet kills a child, we want to know that bullet’s story. Who fired it, who were they trying to kill, what set did they claim in the city’s neighborhoods, and how could they be so careless as to put a child in harm’s way? But when a car kills a child, we treat it like the weather. These things happen.
The Columbia School of Journalism's review of Rolling Stone's "A Rape on Campus" found the story published last November was largely based on a single reluctant source named "Jackie" whose story about being gang raped at a University of Virginia frat house cannot be verified. Rolling Stone editors retracted the story and apologized for it but said they see no need for a major overhaul in how the magazine reports and edits.