Village Voice Contributor Fabricated Sources

Village Voice editor Tony Ortega decided to pull an article written by contributor Rob Sgobbo after the paper discovered that sources Sgobbo quoted in his article had been fabricated.

In his piece on for-profit colleges, “For-Profit Blues“, Sgobo quoted a woman named “Tamicka Bourges,” whom, he said, had accumulated massive debt while attending Berkeley College, without obtaining a degree.

Berkeley College reached out to the Village Voice, informing the paper that its spokesperson had never spoken to Sgobbo, and that it had no record of a student named Tamicka Bourges. Additionally, the U.S. Government Accountability Office informed the paper that “Matt Fraser,” quoted in the article as the organization’s spokesperson, did not, in fact, exist.

The paper has since apologized for the incorrect and misleading information.

This isn’t the first time the Voice has had to deal with less-than-honest contributors. Back in 2003, long-time Voice writer Vivian Gornick gave a talk at Goucher College during which she admitted that she had used “composite” characters and conversations in some of her pieces for the paper.

And in 2006, the paper was forced to pull a cover story by Nick Sylvester after people quoted in the story came forward saying they had never spoken to Sylvester.

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