ANCA-WR and Community Leaders Meet with LA Times Publisher

The Armenian National Committee of America Western Region and various community leaders met with Los Angeles Times Publisher David Hiller and Editor James OShea on May 3rd to discuss the on-going situation regarding Managing Editor Douglas Frantzs discriminatory actions. Attending the meeting were ANCA-WR Board member Zanku Armenian, former Glendale Mayor Larry Zarian, California Courier publisher Harut Sassounian, Chairperson of the Armenia Fund Maria Mehranian and University of Southern California Professor and Director of the Institute of Armenian Studies Hrair Dekmejian. The group met with Hiller and OShea to express the communitys alarm at the Los Angeles Times handling of Mark Araxs article on the Armenian Genocide and the apparent bias and discrimination exhibited by Managing Editor Douglas Frantz. Araxs article was scheduled to have run in April, but was killed because of allegations by Frantz that Arax had a conflict of interest and that he had circumvented internal news assignment processes. Both allegations have since been deemed to be untrue based on the results of an internal investigation, yet no actions have been taken against Frantz regarding his behavior. During the meeting, Hiller and OShea attempted to explain what had transpired internally as Araxs article had developed while the community delegation communicated their expectations. While we expressed our appreciation for the Los Angeles Times improved coverage of the Armenian community and Mr. Hillers positive outreach to our community, we made it very clear that the community expects that Douglas Frantzs unacceptable behavior must be dealt with in a direct and swift manner, said Zanku Armenian, Board Member of the ANCA-WR. We cannot stand idle in the face of the clear bias being exhibited by Douglas Frantz, we expect and demand action by the Times management. During the meeting Frantzs moderation of a pro-Turkish panel at the International Press Institute World Congress meeting in Istanbul later this month was also discussed. In addition to the panel serving Turkish government propaganda purposes, one of the participants, Andrew Mango, is known genocide denier and the Los Angeles Times is funding Frantzs participation. The ANCA-WR continues to monitor the situation very closely and asks that the community makes its voice heard by visiting www.anca.org and taking part in an ANC Action Alert urging Franz to step down.

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