The Great Famine-Genocide in Soviet Ukraine (Holodomor)


OPINION: Rocky Mountain News
Denver, Colorado, October 25, 2003


The Pulitzer Prize board is finally seriously considering revoking its 1932 award to New York Times "reporter" Walter Duranty, a Stalin apologist who infamously covered up the Ukranian famine of 1932-33, in which 10 million people died.

We say "finally seriously" because a similar probe in 1990 ended with a decision to let the Pulitzer stand. This time however the Times itself requisitioned the review and forwarded the recommendation to the Pulitzer board. We hope the board has the wisdom to redress what is arguably one of the most egregious wrongs ever committed in the history of journalism.

The review was conducted by Mark von Hagen, a Columbia University history professor, who in an interview with the Associated Press Wednesday said: "For the sake of The New York Times' honor, they should take the prize away." His report is in the hands of a Pulitzer subcommittee. The ultimate decision would come from the entire Pulitzer board, which meets in November and April.

No Pulitzer has been revoked since the prizes were first awarded in 1917, but we can't think of a better opportunity for the board to make history. Journalism often demands from individuals and institutions the highest ethical standards, and pounces when they don't deliver. It's about time the profession cleaned its house of Duranty's shameful mess.

OPINION: Rocky Mountain News, Denver, Colorado, October 25, 2003,1299,DRMN