Cavalier Daily at UVA Praised for Reporting ‘Every Angle & Development’ of Rape Scandal

The Cavalier Daily at the University of Virginia has been earning mass amounts of praise, professional news shout-outs and social media shares for its comprehensive coverage of a scandal involving “heinous allegations of rape.”

1As most media-watchers know, a feature story in Rolling Stone landed like a nuclear warhead at UVA and within the higher ed world roughly two weeks ago. The piece “detailed several cases of sexual assaults of [UVA] students and painted administrators and policies as insufficient in addressing and adjudicating these cases.”

Since that time, the Cavalier Daily has majorly dived in, offering related content with depth, breadth and a frequency seemingly unmatched by any other news outlet nationwide — student or professional.

As Cameron Austin, outgoing editor-in-chief of The Collegiate Times at rival Virginia Tech, tells me, “As an editor from a neighboring university, it was very apparent that the UVA community came to the Cavalier Daily as a trusted news source for the campus. As student journalists, that’s the most important thing we can achieve — that when in need, the community turns to you to get their voice heard.”

In a column late last month, Cavalier Daily public editor Christopher Broom offered similar praise for what he calls “a fantastic job of reporting overall.” Broom believes the staff’s full-throttle editorial work offers a prime example of what student media can, and should, be.

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As he contends in his rundown:

“I have written in this space previously wondering what the purpose of a college newspaper is and musing on various possibilities. What The Cavalier Daily has been for the last week is a lot of how I’d like to define any good newspaper. … I stopped counting at a dozen different bylines on articles related to the Rolling Stone piece and reactions to it. There were reports from many corners of the university and from virtually all groups of stakeholders including faculty, alumni, undergraduate and graduate students, the Board of Visitors, state-level politicians and so on. On Twitter there were photos in real time of protests that sprung up including the few arrests outside of the Phi Kappa Psi house. I watched as my personal Twitter feed … shifted from links to national news sources to sharing Cavalier Daily articles. … That was notable for me because in the past, even with university-related news, people I follow tend to stick with national publications. The Cavalier Daily was simply doing a better job of working the story than anyone else.”

Bottom line, according to Broom: “It really felt like the CD was just everywhere on this, which is about as high praise as I can think to give a newsroom working a story.”

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