May 01, 2004

Genocide and the Gray Lady

Posted by Ed

If you're like me, and you're both interested in history and oddly intrigued by questions of proper style and word usage, you may enjoy reading this New Yorker "Talk of the Town" piece. It seems that The New York Times has abandoned its long-standing policy of preventing writers from describing the Armenian "genocide" of 1915:

Reporters at the paper have used considerable ingenuity to avoid the word (“Turkish massacres of Armenians in 1915,” “the tragedy”) and have sometimes added evenhanded explanations that pleased many Turks but drove Armenian readers to distraction: “Armenians say vast numbers of their countrymen were massacred. The Turks argue that the killings occurred in partisan fighting as the Ottoman Empire collapsed.”

The decision to change this policy and allow the word "genocide" was made by the paper's executive editor, Bill Keller, who had slipped the word past his editors in a a 1988 article (when he worked as the paper's Moscow bureau chief.)

Posted by Ed at May 1, 2004 01:56 PM


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Posted by: lolita at January 19, 2005 08:54 PM
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