Globe and Mail | 08Nov2005 | Myroslaw Prytulak

Globe & Mail apology for ignoring Ukrainian deaths

THE UPDATE [as of 14Nov2005]:

THE GLOBE AND MAIL did FINALLY publish in its issue of Tuesday, November 08, 2005, on page A2, the Ontario Press Council's release of November 3rd, under a 5.5 inch long headline PRESS COUNCIL UPHOLDS COMPLAINT. You might still be able to see it at www.globeandmail.com. The Council's decisions, by the way, are also distributed by the Canadian Press (CP) news agency to all its subscribers throughout Canada and elsewhere.

HOWEVER, even though the OPC's directive stipulates that "The newspaper has an obligation to publish A FAIR ACCOUNT of the Council's decision including THE TEXT of the adjudication.", the Globe ignored "a fair account" part (about 2/3) and published only "the text" portion (about 1/3) of the hearing... And, I am not aware of any other Ontario newspaper (out of its 220) that did publish the OPC's decision as they were expected to ... That's, I suppose, how Canada's newspapers value the 8 million Ukrainians who perished in WW2 ... at the rate of 3,811 agonizing deaths per day for 2,099 consecutive days (i.e. 5 years and 9 months).

Myroslaw Prytulak
Windsor, ON


[Sent 04Nov2005]

Although The Globe and Mail, according to the constitution of the Ontario Press Council, is obliged (promptly and conspicuously!), and its other 220 member-newspapers (among them the 38 dailies) are expected to publish the attached-below text of the "Advance for release Thursday, Nov. 03, 2005", none of them (at least to my knowledge) did it so far.... It sure looks like the heroic and legendary deaths of some 8 MILLION UKRAINIANS in World War Two, was not only ignored by some 1,307,000 daily readers of The Globe and Mail on May 10th of this year, but continues to be scorned by all the member-newspapers of the Ontario Press Council now!
I AM APPALLED AND EXTREMELY ANGRY!


From: "M. Prytulak"
To: Recipients
Date: Thu, 27 Oct 2005 18:50:59 +0000

ADVANCE FOR RELEASE THURSDAY, NOV. 3, 2005

TORONTO – The Globe and Mail, responding to a complaint before the Ontario Press Council, has conceded that referring to the people of the former Soviet Union simply as Russians is an inaccuracy.

Myroslaw Prytulak of Windsor complained that a Moscow story published May 10, 2005 erred in saying 27 or 28 million Russians died during the Second World War. He said he was “unable to unravel the motives behind the Globe’s decision to airbrush the enormous losses by other East European countries, especially since their losses were much greater than those of Russia.”

Prytulak maintained that Russia’s losses were 5.8 million, including 1.8 million military and 4.0 million civilians, and that, by way of comparison, Ukraine’s losses were 8.0 million including 2.5 million military and 5.5 million civilians.

The highest estimate of Soviet (not just Russian) losses that he found was in the website of the Guinness World Records, which said “The Soviet Union lost an estimate 26.6 million of its citizens.”

The Globe said that before the war the terms “Soviet citizens” and “Russians” were synonymous in every day usage and that the reporter probably saw them as interchangeable. “It was an imprecise description but the writer was not trying to mislead or misinform.”

Offering to publish a correction now, the newspaper’s representative at the Press Council hearing said he regretted that it wasn’t corrected at the time. “Our reporter slipped and we didn’t correct him.”

He added that he resented the suggestion that The Globe and Mail had attempted to “discredit and intimidate” Prytulak, that it “arrogantly refused to redress” the dispute without involving the Press Council, and that it was trying to “airbrush” the enormous losses of other Eastern European nations.

He said the newspaper receives 300 credible letters every day and cannot reply to every one of the 288 it doesn’t publish.

Draft of the adjudication:

Myroslaw Prytulak of Windsor complained that a Globe and Mail article from Moscow published May 10, 2005 erred in stating that 27 or 28 million Russians died during the Second World War when, in fact, the figure included millions of non-Russian citizens of the Soviet Union.

The newspaper said that before the war the terms “Soviet citizens” and “Russians” were considered synonymous in everyday usage and that the reporter saw the terms as interchangeable. But it ultimately conceded that the reference was inaccurate and, after expressing regret that it wasn’t corrected at the time, offered to print a correction now.

The Ontario Press Council commends the newspaper for its offer but, in upholding the complaint, expresses its regret that the inaccuracy was not corrected when first brought to its attention.

At the same time, it rejects the charge that the newspaper attempted to “airbrush” the enormous losses suffered by other Eastern European countries and sought to “discredit and intimidate” the complainant.

Mailed Oct. 27, 2005