Armenian National Committee of New York
PO Box 693 Woodside, NY 11377
For Immediate Release ~ April 17, 2004
Contact: Tony Vartanian ~ tonyvartanian@...
NEW YORK TIMES REVERSES POLICY ON ARMENIAN GENOCIDE
ANCA Welcomes Historic Move by Newspaper to Properly Characterize
WOODSIDE, NY - In a move aimed at reaffirming its past record on the
first genocide of the 20th Century, the New York Times has lifted its
long-standing policy against the use of the term "Armenian Genocide,"
reported the Armenian National Committee (ANC) of New York.
According to a news release by the International Association of
Genocide Scholars, The New York Times revised guideline for
journalists states that "after careful study of scholarly definitions
of `genocide,' we have decided to accept the term in references to
the Turks' mass destruction of Armenians in and around 1915." The
policy goes on to note that "the _expression `Armenian genocide' may
be used freely and should not be qualified with phrasing like `what
Armenians call,' etc."
The New York Times guidelines continue, noting that, "by most
historical accounts, the Ottoman empire killed more than one million
Armenians in a campaign of death and mass deportation aimed at
eliminating the Armenian population throughout what is now Turkey."
Finally it advises journalists that "while we may of course report
Turkish denials on those occasions when they are relevant, we should
not couple them with the historians' findings, as if they had equal
"We welcome this decision taken by the New York Times as a meaningful
step toward ending official U.S. complicity in the Turkish
government's campaign to deny the Armenian Genocide," said ANC of New
York Chairperson Tony Vartanian. "We appreciate the tremendous
contribution of all organizations, historians and activists who, over
the years, worked to provide the necessary information to the New
York Times so that they can make this informed, but long overdue
decision. Armenian Americans feel a tremendous sense of pride that
the Times - the paper of record - no longer actively participates in
the denial of this great crime against humanity."
The New York Times recently released guidelines returns the newspaper
to its policy of accurate reporting established during the years of
the Armenian Genocide. According to Peter Balakian's New York Times
best-seller "The Burning Tigris," the Times "published 145 articles
on the Armenian massacres in 1915 alone (an article about every two
and a half days)." The term "genocide" would not be coined for
similar crimes against humanity until the 1940's.
For more than two decades, the ANC, working with its network of
grassroots activists around the country, initiated several nationwide
campaigns to press The New York Times to end its practice of
dismissing the Armenian Genocide as simply an Armenian historical
claim. During an ANCA campaign in 2002, activists specifically asked
What standard does the New York Times use in the application of the
word genocide in its news stories
What is the New York Times specific policy on the use of the term
genocide in its coverage of the Armenian Genocide?
Armenian Weekly editor Jason Sohigian has written extensively to the
New York Times, working to provide timely information and input to
the editorial staff.
Last year, the ANC of Eastern Massachusetts spearheaded the
successful effort to urge the Boston Globe to suspend its policy
against the use of the term "genocide" when referring to the Armenian
Genocide. The decision was made in July 2003, setting a precedent for
its parent company - The New York Times - to reexamine its policy.
The Armenian National Committee is the largest Armenian American
grassroots political organization in New York and nationwide. The ANC
actively advances a broad range of issues of concern to the Armenian
Questions? Please email us: anca@...
Copyright © Armenian National Committee of America, 2000. All Rights