When Sources Lie: Why You Can’t Rely on Confidence or Consistency

How do reporters know when their sources are telling the truth? In the collapse of Rolling Stone’s November story on campus rape, a gullible reporter relied far too heavily on the unchallenged word of an alleged victim. Heinrich Böhmke, an adviser to the African Network of Centers for Investigative Reporting, takes a look back at the case and warns that journalists should learn from the law and apply a tough standard even when sources are convincing, confident, and have consistent stories.