August 7, 2014

The New York Times Revises Its Own History by Omitting Genocide


The New York Times Revises Its Own History by Omitting Genocide -

The New York Times interactive World War I retrospective



This week world leaders gathered in Europe to mark the centennial of the beginning of World War I. On this occasion, The New York Times has launched an interactive digital platform on its website chronicling the war, its aftermath and its ramifications on the world today.

In introducing “The Great War: A 100-Year Legacy of World War I,” The New York Times has not only tarnished its own legacy as our nation’s newspaper of record, it has also revised history—including its own—by omitting the Armenian Genocide from its historical timeline.

At the time of the Genocide, the Times was the most prominent source of reporting about the systematic killing of the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire and became the go-to source for coverage of what would later become the Armenian Genocide.

In fact, so impressive was the Times coverage of the events of 1915 to 1923 that more than 200 of its news and feature articles from the time are included a volume of press accounts edited and published by Richard Kloian in 1980. (The book, “The Armenian Genocide: News Accounts from the American Press: 1915-1922” was republished earlier this year by the Armenian Genocide Project).

As one of its ongoing projects, the Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region, last month, began posting news coverage from The New York Times during the time of the Genocide on its Facebook page, to highlight that the events of the time were chronicled and to counter the ongoing denial of the Turkish government ahead of the Genocide centennial.


A NY Times map of the world after 1924 that erroneously includes Georgia and Azerbaijan as separate countries and not as part of the Soviet Union

The New York Times’s World War I digital platform also features a map of the world after 1924. Interestingly, the map, which clearly shows the Soviet Union, also includes Georgia and Azerbaijan as countries in the Caucasus (no Armenia), despite the fact that the two countries were Sovietized in 1921 and 1920 respectively.


In 2001, when The New York Times was marking its 150th anniversary, one of its former executive editors, Max Frankel, went on record to acknowledge the newspaper’s “failure” to properly cover the Holocaust and the ramifications it had on history.

“The Times’s coverage generally took the view that the atrocities inflicted upon Europe’s Jews, while horrific, were not significantly different from those visited upon tens of millions of other war victims, nor more noteworthy,” said Frankel in his piece “A Horror Unexamined: Turning Away From the Holocaust,” which was published in November of 2001. “Six Years, Six Page 1 Articles,” he added.

The volume of coverage by The New York Times of the atrocities being committed by the Ottomans against the Armenians–both in its placement and tenor—went a long way to sensitize the American public about the dire situation and gave impetus to the national efforts to assist the victims of the Genocide through the Near East Relief effort, which also was extensively chronicled by the Times.

As the beginning of World War I is being remembered against the backdrop of extreme conflict around the globe, the very roots of which can be traced to the Great War, The New York Times must correct these errors if it seeks to educate and inform a new generation of Americans.

By omitting the Armenian Genocide from its retrospective of World War I, The New York Times has done a disservice to its own record and has revised history, including its own. The newly appointed Executive Editor Dean Baquet must correct this egregious error immediately.

       Kantsasar Weekly  Diario Armenia