National Desk, The New York Times
Wednesday, June 11, 2003, New York, New York
The Pulitzer Prize Board said yesterday that it was reviewing a prize
awarded in 1932 to a correspondent for The New York Times who has been
accused of ignoring a forced famine in Ukraine that killed millions.
The review is the second by the board into the work of the correspondent,
Walter Duranty, who covered the Soviet Union for The Times from 1922 to
1941, earning acclaim for an exclusive 1929 interview with Stalin. A similar
inquiry in 1990 ended with a decision to let Mr. Duranty's Pulitzer stand.
Members of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America urged the new
review to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the famine, which claimed as
many as seven million Ukrainians as Stalin imposed collectivization on a
''Like any significant complaint, we take them seriously,'' Sig Gissler,
administrator of the Pulitzer Board, said yesterday of the accusations
against Mr. Duranty. ''They are under review by a board subcommittee.''
The review was begun in April.
A 1990 book by S. J. Taylor, ''Stalin's Apologist,'' found that Mr. Duranty
had known of the famine but had ignored it to preserve his access to Stalin.
The Times has distanced itself from Mr. Duranty's work. His Pulitzer is
displayed at the newspaper's headquarters with this caveat: ''Other writers
in The Times and elsewhere have discredited this coverage.''
Toby Usnik, director of public relations at The Times, said, ''The Times has
reported often and thoroughly on the defects in Duranty's journalism as
viewed through the lens of later events.''
Mr. Gissler, of the Pulitzer Board, pointed out that while Mr. Duranty won
the prize in 1932, the year the famine began, it was for reports he had
written a year earlier.
In addition, Mr. Gissler noted, the Pulitzer is awarded for work in a single
year rather than ''a winner's body of work over time.''
The New York Times, June 11, 2003, New York, New York
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