His fabrications in The Village Voice were "neither culturally significant nor journalistically shocking," Philadelphia City Paper founder and former owner Bruce Schimmel writes in his weekly column, and the disciplinary actions that resulted were "a shot across the bow of the mother ship of New Journalism." But Duane Swierczynski uses his editor's letter to disagree: "If we're not vigilant about separating truth from fiction, can you imagine what schoolkids will be saying about George W. Bush in 200 years?" Fabrications are too often rewarded, and editors who prod writers for amazing dialogue need to be equally passionate about checking accuracy, Swierczynski argues.

Continue ReadingHow Severe Were Nick Sylvester’s Transgressions?

The Village Voice removed this week's cover piece, "Do You Wanna Kiss Me?" from its Web site after learning that Senior Associate Editor Nick Sylvester invented a scene in the story. According to an editor's note posted on the Web site, Sylvester lied about meeting three TV writers in a bar to discuss pickup techniques. Sylvester admits that the "scene was a composite of specific anecdotes" and says he "deeply regret[s] this misinformation." The Voice has begun a review of the entire story.

Continue ReadingVoice Writer Suspended for Fabrications