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.

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  1. Hratch said:

    This can not be an egregious error. Obviously, this is a planned policy change. Back a hundred years ago things were much different. The US was not heavily engaged in world affairs, oil was not explored and Israel was not yet created. As a result, the New York Times was more free to write about the atrocities, there was no one to complain about the negative coverage. In today’s corporate world, nothing happens by chance. Every position and policy is scrutinized by think tanks and then released to the masses. There is nothing left up to chance anymore. This world is too far advance to simply label this an ‘egregious error’.

  2. Zareh said:

    Just follow the money. New York Times is bleeding money and Sheikh Ilham and Sultan Erdogan can fill N.Y. Times coffers with much needed petrodollars and narco dollars.
    Miyayn zenkov gah hayots pergoutyoun.
    Blow up the fcuking pipelines. They are ten km away from the border. I don’t know what is the Armenian government waiting for. When the pipelines were being built the west gave the Armenians assurances that petrodollars will not be used for purchasing arms by Azerbaijan. They certainly deceived us again. How many times the Armenians have to trust the West. This is the most opportune time. They started the latest skirmishes to try to gain some superiority so they can have the upper hand in the Minsk process. They certainly failed. And now it is our turn to stop the flow of oil money to the despotic regime in Baku.
    Just blow them up. Even Russia and Iran would be happy. The West needs their oil and we need our security. Which is more important for us. The answer is crystal clear.

    • Hratch said:

      If you blow up the pipelines, then get prepared for the bombing of Armenia. How many times has Mother Russia betrayed us? It’s funny how the recent sale of 4 billion dollars of sophisticated weapons to the enemy is being ignored by the Russophiles.

      While the West might have an interest in the region’s oil, the Russians have two interests. One is the oil and the other is the inclusion of Azerbaijan into the EEC. Do you really think Russia cares about Armenia’s well being? Nothing matters other than the complete hegemony of the region. Armenia’s interest and security is the least of their concerns.

  3. Hratch said:

    Unless we unite and elevate our position, this world will eventually gobble us up. There are two ways to survive on this planet. Either you must have the numbers to sustain or be wise enough to protect your interests. Since the first is in decline, the only other choice is to unite and work for a common goal. Short of that, and as they say in New Jersey, “Forget About It’

  4. Zareh said:

    70% of Israel oil comes from Azeri pipelines. They buy oil and sell them weapons allegedly to be used against Iran, to which I say bunch of horsecrap. They are using the weapons against us and not Iran.
    Blow the pipelines and let’s send them to the Stone Age. They have no industry except oil, narcotic trafficking and offering sex to the Western oil tycoons.
    So I say one more time. Blow the fcuking pipelines tomorrow.

  5. Zareh said:

    If they try to repair the pipelines we will hit them again and again and again until they give up. Aliev regime will topple in one week. He will fly to Monaco with his harem in his British made jet. Probably Tony Blair will be sitting next to him. And then the Armenian Mighty Army will reach Gur river and all the way to the Georgian border. Our defense lines will be shorter and we will divert the Gur River towards Armenia. Let us see what water they will use to quench the thirst of ten million barbarians.

    • hidi said:

      **** They are barbarians indeed..!!! totally agree with you. I also think Armenians strength comes from smart and innovative thinkers., not just numbers., the enemy has more numbers and money., but we have the most important assets., our smart people…and we are every where.!!!
      **** Long live strong and prosperous Armenia & Artshak ****

  6. Ara said:

    Revisionism done by amateurs indeed. There are other historical, geographical and political issues with those maps beside the ones mentioned here. Their latest errata was on July 9 to include the treaty of Lausanne boundaries; which lends me to believe that the Turks are busy lobbying the Times.

  7. Bernard Kloian said:

    My late brother, Richard Kloian, devoted the last half of his life to the creation of the very book you mention. It began as a search to understand our father’s nightmares and cries of anguish, remembering the brutal attacks, and butchering of his family. Along with one last surviving brother, their ultimate escape and survival left little doubt of what my brother’s destiny would be – to search history itself, and retell the awful truth from the very days of 1915 through the journalists reports from the pages of the New York Times. So please, don’t let the horror of those days, that the Ottoman Empire itself began, rear it’s ugly head to consume and influence today’s world, and therefore alter history, a painful history all Armenians will never forget, for all the 1,500,000 souls who’ll never come home.

  8. Antoine S. Terjanian said:

    I am surprised by this omission on behalf of the NYT.
    I remember that they issued a directive to their writers and reporters in 2004 and I am reproducing it here: “This directive, dated April 9, 2004, was distributed to the editing desks at The Times:
    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 _expression “Armenian genocide” may be used freely and should not be qualified with phrasing like “what Armenians call,” etc.
    When we refer to the 1915 events, we should normally add a few phrases of explanation for the many readers who have forgotten what they were taught about the Ottoman Empire (or who were perhaps never taught): 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.
    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 weight (“The Armenians say X, but the Turks say Y”).
    As with other emotionally charged words -­ “slaughter,” for example, or “martyrdom” ­- we should avoid devaluing “genocide” through overuse.
    Note that we will no longer be bound by narrower dictionary definitions, which view genocide as “a program of action intended to destroy a whole national or ethnic group.”
    Arthur Bovino
    Office of the Public Editor
    The New York Times

    Has any change in policy occur?

  9. Alex said:

    Wow… I will have to write to them complaining about this. By hiding the truth they are complicit in the act. The New York Times is guilty of perpetuating racist hate driven violence.

  10. Annie Ashrafian said:

    How do you report the truth to the world and then omit the vital information.
    History only remembers what was successful. The Turks successfully eradicated us.
    Hence, the Jews were next be sues it worked on the Armenians.
    As a Jewish owned company it’s sick what you have done.

  11. zarkim said:

    How can Americans be truthfull abuout Armenian history when they have problems explaining their own short history full of lies.
    What really happned on Septmber 11?
    What happned to those commandos who murdered Bin Laden?
    What happened to John F Kennedy?
    How the American Indians became an endangered species?
    Did they ever really go to the moon?
    Did Obama lie about Syrian chemical attack?
    “He who steals an egg will steal a horse”. Is a liar ever going to change, or is once a liar always a liar?
    To be, or not to be: that is the question.

  12. GeorgeMardig said:

    How can people give credit to what The New York Times reports if they make such big mistakes

  13. Edward Demian said:

    If you want truth and accuracy, than you have to control public opinion by controlling newspapers. The way to do it otherwise is to sponsor the publication and threaten to withdraw support for lack of editorial fairness.

  14. Tatiana said:

    Every one writing comments must write them to The New York Times. Only commenting on Armenian media’s page is preaching to the choir.

  15. Satenik said:

    Make no mistake,this is no “mistake”.
    In the next hundred year everything will be so revised that none of us who are alive now would ever recognise it(if we were to be brought to life that is)
    Never mind hundred years or ten years or over a year . All you have to do is follow the articles and news written in the papers….and if you read the comment section then you can see them disappear in front of your very eyes,all in the name of “truth” as the moderators get busy deleting the comments therefore instantly revising things before they even become history….

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  17. seto zoravar said:

    Parev hayrenagitsner ,

    – First of all ,,,,, let us all unite as one nation and for one propose .
    – Second , instead of building more communities in diaspora lets built our homeland Armenia .
    – Third , support the Armenian soldiers with everything .
    – Fourth , Armenians in diaspora and in major capitals and in the governments get higher positions inside important and powerful institutions .
    – Fifth , push the Armenian government to invest big funds to built our own weapons as much as we can so when a war starts we will not depend on any other country ( Israel is doing it )

    All these could be accomplished if we create a central bureau and have all the Armenian organizations connect to the central bureau so we can stand as one body .

  18. Ara kasparian said:

    This is toooo much !!!!Time how much did the Turks paeyt this (time)!!!

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