The Epoch Times
Front page of the New York edition on October 13, 2009
|Language||multiple ; mainly Chinese and English|
|Circulation||1.4 million (unaudited)|
|Official website||The Epoch Times|
|The Epoch Times|
The Epoch Times is a multi-language, international media organisation. As a newspaper, the Times has been publishing in Chinese since May 2000. Headquartered in New York City, the newspaper has local news bureaus and a network of local reporters throughout the world. It is either sold or distributed free-of-charge in roughly 35 countries worldwide, and maintains editions in English, Chinese, nine other languages in print, and 21 on the internet.
According to the newspaper itself, The Epoch Times was founded in New York in May 2000, following the arrest of a small circle of journalists in China in 2000. As stated on the website, it was “in a suburban Atlanta home basement with a noble cause, a clear sense of purpose and a few home personal computers.”
On August 12, 2002, The Epoch Times launched its first daily in Washington, D.C. In August 2004, an English language edition of The Epoch Times was launched in New York City, as well as Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, and several other cities. It is also distributed in San Diego, San Francisco, Boston, Dallas, New Jersey, and Chicago. The paper has associated media services, including the television station New Tang Dynasty TV and the radio station Sound of Hope.
The Epoch Times is often connected with the Falun Gong spiritual group. A 2006 report by the U.S. Congressional Research Service listed the newspaper as a Falun Gong affiliated media source, and Professor David Ownby, an expert on Falun Gong, said that after years of ill-treatment by journalists, "they decided to publish a newspaper by themselves to publicize their beliefs..."
As of September 2010, The Epoch Times is available in ten languages for its print editions and in 17 languages on the Internet. English editions were distributed in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and the United States. German and French editions were launched in late 2004. There were two language editions published in Tokyo, Japan: the Chinese language edition, launched in January 2001, and the Japanese language edition, launched in 2005. In addition, a Hebrew edition of the Epoch Times has been available in Israel since 2005.
Yuezhi Zhao, Assistant Professor of Communication at Simon Fraser University, Canada, wrote in 2003 that The Epoch Times website and The Epoch Times group of newspapers had "grown into one of the largest Chinese-language news websites and newspaper groups outside China in the past two years, with local editions in more than thirty U.S. states, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Indonesia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and major Western European countries." It claims a circulation of 100,000 in the United States, and more than 1 million worldwide in 2009 (unaudited).
Its New York-area circulation is 35,000 weekly for the English version and 105,000 weekly for the Chinese-language edition, according to a spokesman for the company. Each daily issue was free before June 2012, then it briefly went on sale for $0.75 and dropped to $0.25 toward the end of July 2012.
All Print Editions 
|Chinese||990,850 copies/weekly||http://www.epochtimes.com/, http://www.epochtimes.com.tw/,||Asia, Canada, Europe, Oceania,|
|English||218,000 copies/weekly||http://en.epochtimes.com/||Asia, Canada, Europe, Oceania,
|French||17,500 copies/weekly||http://www.epochtimes.fr/||Canada & Europe|
|Spanish||9,775 copies/weekly||http://www.lagranepoca.com/||Europe & South America|
Web Only Editions 
Coverage and focus 
Typically a 16-page broadsheet, the Epoch Times also runs mainstream newswire stories and in some places can resemble a community newspaper. Some local versions take the form of a free weekly newspaper drawing on content from the Epoch Times website, and are distributed worldwide. Zhao said: "While mainstream newspaper typically treat Web versions as an extension of the already-existing print version, the Epoch Times website serves as the master for all its worldwide papers."
The paper covers general interest issues with a focus on China news and human rights. The newspaper is heavily critical of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the policies of Chinese government. In 2004, the newspaper published the "Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party", an in-depth critique of China's ruling regime. The newspaper covers causes and groups opposed to the CCP, including Falun Gong, dissidents, activists, and supporters of the Tibetan government-in-exile. The Epoch Times website also hosts a "CCP Renunciations" service, encouraging Chinese to quit the CCP and related organizations. The PRC government blocks mainland Chinese from accessing the Epoch Times website.
The paper staffs reporters locally based in offices in each country where an edition is printed. In New York they are a common presence at public events, and around the world they cover stories that pertain to their own areas, contributing to a pool of articles for the different editions to share. David Ownby, director of the Center for East Asian Studies at the University of Montreal and the author of Falun Gong and the Future of China, wrote that the newspaper’s articles are “well written and interesting, if occasionally idiosyncratic in their coverage."
"The Epoch Times is a newspaper with a mission," Ownby says, which includes "reporting on issues bearing on human rights throughout the world, which allows for considerable focus on China and Falun Gong."
New York Edition 
The Epoch Times’ flagship New York edition is typically around 50 pages, divided into four sections. The “A” Section is primarily devoted to current events, covering local news about New York and area, Nation and World pages, as well as several pages devoted to China issues and politics. In addition to hard news pages, the A section also includes Opinion pages, Sports, Science & Technology, Business and Real Estate.
The “B” section features pages primarily devoted to Arts & Culture—covering classical art forms, exhibits and events that occur both globally, and local to the New York area. The B section also includes Style and an “Essence of China” page devoted to traditional Chinese culture, stories, and art forms. The “C” section focuses on health and fitness featuring mainstream medical science and alternative and Chinese medical treatments. The “D” section is the food section focused on cooking and local restaurants.
Other English Editions 
Outside of New York, other English editions typically take the form of a 16-24 page broadsheet. The content is a somewhat condensed version of the New York edition, but features a focus on each edition’s local region. For example, the Canadian edition will have Canadian articles throughout the paper in all sections with a national news section comprised entirely of Canadian news.
Chinese Edition 
According to the newspaper itself, The Chinese Epoch Times (Dajiyuan) is the largest and most widely-distributed Chinese language newspaper in the world, covering 35 countries. The print edition ranges from 30-80 pages depending on geographical region. The typical print edition includes sections on local & national news, China, world, health, science, autos, real estate, arts & culture, style, home, food, dining and special sections covering traditional Chinese culture & values.
Notable Coverage 
During the 2009 New York City Comptroller elections, the Epoch Times alleged that Taiwan-born Democratic nominee John Liu is part of a "United Front" by the Chinese Communist Party to infiltrate the United States and subvert its government, democracy, and human rights in general. The newspaper alleged that "the CCP works tenaciously and systematically to place its people [...] in key positions in corporations, academia, and government in the United States and other countries." The Epoch Times also published an 8-page "special edition", and also featured on its website a section focused on coverage of Liu's reported ties with CCP officials.
During Hu Jintao's visit to Canada in June 2010, the Toronto Star noted that the Epoch Times had published several "hard-hitting" critical stories on Hu's visit, such as allegations of the local Chinese embassy's orchestration of welcome parades, as well as an alleged recording of a speech by the first secretary of education Liu Shaohua, in which Liu stated that embassy would provide accommodation and transport for over 3,000 participants in the welcome parade.
Canadian media reported that the parliamentary press office made deliberate arrangements in relation to Hu's public appearances limiting the Epoch Times' access to the Chinese President, even though the newspaper is an accredited member of the Canadian Parliamentary Press Gallery, with all the same access rights as other media outlets. The paper also carried an exclusive interview with outspoken Canadian Member of Parliament Rob Anders, wherein Anders alleged that the Chinese government used gifts and business deals in attempts to influence Canadian political decisions.
Political stance 
The Epoch Times originally targeted Chinese readers living abroad and reported on various abuses and inner workings of the Communist Party of China (CCP). The paper's reports on China are highly critical of the PRC government, particularly in its tone and commentaries towards the Communist Party. The paper is unique in giving significant attention to Falun Gong's campaigns, particularly their attempt to sue former Chinese President Jiang Zemin under civil legislation for genocide, which many mainstream publications have not covered. As reported by the paper itself, Chinese journalists relayed stories overseas of alleged human rights abuses, infringements on civil liberties and corruption in the CCP, among others. In 2005, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that "three new U.S-based, Chinese-language media outlets that provide provocative reporting about the Communist Party, government oppression and social unrest in China [namely the Epoch Times, Sound of Hope, and NTDTV] have ties to the Falun Gong spiritual movement." When interviewed, executives at each outlet said they did not represent the Falun Gong movement as a whole.
The paper also counters what it considers to be CCP propaganda through its own opinion pieces. The paper is vocal in supporting dissidents, pro-independence Taiwanese, and other traditional opponents of the CCP.
According to Ming Xia, political science professor at the College of Staten Island, The Epoch Times represents part of Falun Gong's effort to expand to non-practitioners, and "is part of the Falun Gong strategy to embed itself into the large civil society for influence and legitimacy"
Nine Commentaries 
Since November 2004, the Chinese version of The Epoch Times have published and heavily promoted a series of editorials and a booklet entitled "Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party" (traditional Chinese: 九評共產黨; simplified Chinese: 九评共产党). The editorials purport to give an alternate exposé of the CCP through its history, from its ascent to power under Mao Zedong to its present-day form, as well as a condemnation of communism in all of its forms. In it the CCP was criticized as an illegitimate institution who employed underhanded tactics to gain power. The commentaries allege that the CCP "destroyed traditional Chinese culture" and goes so far as to brand the CCP an "evil cult". According to Ownby, the Commentaries are a condemnation of Communism and direct indictment on the legitimacy of the Chinese Communist Party in ruling China. While acknowledging the "unnecessary violence" the Chinese Communist Party have inflicted, as a professional historian Ownby finds that the lack balance and nuance in tone and style makes the editorial resemble "anti-Communist propaganda written in Taiwan in the 1950s."
The Nine Commentaries won the “Asian American Issues – Online” category of the AAJA National Awards at the 2005 Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) convention held in August 2005. The "Commentaries" were subsequently translated into more than 30 other languages.
The number of people who have renounced the Communist Party of China or its affiliate organizations, as tabulated by The Epoch Times, is usually published under the masthead of the Chinese editions of the newspaper. The counter stood at over 103 million as of October 10, 2011.
Organ harvesting 
The Epoch Times was the first newspaper to report on allegations of widespread, live organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners detained in China's network of prisons and labor camps.
Throughout March 2006, the newspaper published a series of articles containing allegations by a number of anonymous individuals claiming to be eyewitnesses to organ harvesting in Sujiatun Hospital and beyond. The claims were criticized by dissident Harry Wu, who said they lacked sufficient documentary support or detailed information.
One of the newspaper's reporters working on the organ harvesting story, Wang Wenyi, who practices Falun Gong, yelled at Chinese President Hu Jintao over recent allegations of organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners in China after using her Epoch Times press pass to gain access to a White House lawn press briefing. The Epoch Times was criticized for the incident; Dr. Liu Kang, professor of Chinese Cultural Studies at Duke University, thought the incident damaged its credibility and contributed to the impression that the paper is "not viewed as an independent objective news media" in the overseas Chinese community. The paper apologized to the U.S. President, while suggesting the incident didn't damage its credibility, and denying any direct ties to or funding from Falun Gong.
A New America Media report cited the newspaper's withholding of names in transcripts of telephone conversations between sources in Chinese hospitals and a researcher, which were used to support allegations of organ harvesting, as not adhering to journalistic standards of professionalism and objectivity. Cindy Gu, communications director for The Epoch Times, said that the newspaper needed to protect the identity of their sources.
Awards and achievements 
The Epoch Times global media company has been the recipient of several awards:
• 2005 National Ethnic Press & Media Council Award – The Epoch Times was given this annual award for being “a strong defender for human rights and democratic values.” The paper was also acknowledged for being the first to report on the coverup of the SARS virus by Chinese authorities in China.
• 2005 Asian American Journalists Association National Award - The Epoch Times was awarded for “excellence in coverage of Asian American Issues” for its editorial series, Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party. According to the newspaper itself, The “Nine Commentaries” prompted millions of Chinese people to quit the Communist Party because it provided “the first in-depth look at the true nature and history of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).”
• 2005 International Society for Human Rights Award - In May 2005, Die Neue Epoche, the German-language edition of The Epoch Times, received a special media prize from the International Society for Human Rights (IGFM) for "extensive and regular reporting about violations of human rights in China."
• 2012 Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal - The Epoch Times was awarded this commemorative medal, which honours “significant contributions and achievements by Canadians.” Canadian publisher Cindy Gu was nominated for the medal by the Canadian Centre for Abuse Awareness (CCAA) for raising awareness of human rights abuses in China and the organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners.  
• 2012 National Ethnic Press and Media Council Award - The Chinese edition of The Epoch Times was given this annual award for, “Excellence in editorial/free expression, best concept and visual presentation.” 
• 2012 New York Press Association Award - The Epoch Times won first place in the category “Best Special Section—Advertising, Division 2” for a special section produced for Asia Week New York in March 2012. “A great special section has five strong components: a great cover, appealing design, good art, strong content, and well designed complimentary advertising. This section has all five,” said the NYPA judges. “In all, this is one of the nicest sections I have ever seen produced by a newspaper.” 
• 2013 Society of Professional Journalists’ Sigma Delta Chi award - The Epoch Times China reporter Matthew Robertson won this award in the category of Non-Deadline Reporting for a series of articles he wrote on forced, live organ harvesting in China.
James Bettinger, a professor of Communications at Stanford University and the director of the John S. Knight Journalism Fellowships, said "Even if the Epoch Times is not associated with Falun Gong, if they consistently write about Falun Gong in the same perspective, or if there are no articles examining Falun Gong, people would perceive it as being not credible."
In 2010, The Epoch Times had to defend its reporting in the Canadian court system, when a publisher they had reported on, Crescent Chau, sued for libel. The justice in charge of the case ruled that the paper had acted in the public interest, and that the particular article expressed "legitimate concerns and constitute an opinion which is drawn from a factual premise". In examining the case, John Gordon Miller, a Canadian journalist and media professor, noted that the articles of the paper "appear to be thoroughly and professionally reported, which isn't always the case in the often under-resourced ethnocultural press." Miller viewed the court victory as significant step in repairing its credibility, previously damaged by the Wang Wenyi incident. "In the Quebec case, the paper's reporting stood up to the court's scrutiny," Miller wrote.
Orville Schell, dean of the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, said in 2005 that "It's hard to vouch for their quality because it's difficult to corroborate, but it's not something to be dismissed as pure propaganda."
The paper's stance has been lauded by some Chinese political commentators. Jiao Guobiao, a former Beijing University journalism professor who was dismissed after criticizing the Central Propaganda Department, proposed that even if Falun Gong outlets published only negative information highly critical of the CCP, the weight of their attacks could never begin to counterbalance the positive propaganda the party publishes about itself. In addressing media balance, Jiao noted that the Chinese public lacked negative, critical information regarding their country. As such, he noted for a need of media balance based on the principles of freedom, equality, and legality, and that media balance "is the result of the collective imbalances of all"
- The Epoch Times, "About Us". Retrieved July 1, 2006.
- "The Epoch Times – Advertising with a corporate social responsibility". Ads.epochtimes.eu. Retrieved December 18, 2009.
- Michael Miner (October 14, 2005). "Down With the Chinese Tyrants! Chicago's latest free weekly has a simple editorial message". Chicago Reader.
- Thomas Lum (August 11, 2006). "China and Falun Gong". Congressional Research Service.
- ibid Radio Canada ombudsman report, Pg10
- "Epoch Times has 17 Languages on the Web". En.epochtimes.com. Retrieved December 18, 2009.
- "大紀元時報−日本". Epochtimes.jp. Retrieved December 18, 2009.
- Zhao, Yuezhi, "Falun Gong, Identity, and the Struggle over Meaning Inside and Outside China", pp 209–223 in Contesting Media Power: Alternative Media in a Networked World, edited by Nick Couldry and James Curran (Rowman & Littlefield, 2003)
- "Annual Report on American Journalism". State of the News Media. 2009. Archived from the original on December 13, 2009.
- Morais, Betsy. "The Epoch Times doesn't like to brag", Capital Magazine, Jun. 23, 2010
- http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/other-languages.html. Missing or empty
- "Global/Language print editions".
- Eugenia Chien, "Falun Gong-Linked Media Venture Makes Waves, Raises Questions", New America Media, News Analysis, May 16, 2006
- Hua, Vanessa (December 18, 2005). "Dissident media linked to Falun Gong / Chinese-language print, broadcast outlets in U.S. are making waves". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved December 9, 2006.
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- "Quitting the CCP". The Epoch Times.
- "Reporters sans frontières – China". Rsf.org. Retrieved December 18, 2009.
- David Ownby, Falun Gong and the Future of China (2008) Oxford University Press, p. 221
- The Epoch Times Print Archives - New York Edition Retrieved 30 Apr 2013
- The Epoch Times Print Archives Retrieved 30 Apr 2013
- The Epoch Times: Other Languages Retrieved 28 Apr 2013
- [epaper.epochtimes.com|The Epoch Times E-Paper] Retrieved 30 Apr 2013
- CCAB. Canadian Circulations Audit Board http://www.cardonline.ca/listings/18480.jsf
- The Epoch Times. Epoch Times Canada's First Audited Daily Chinese Newspaper Retrieved 30 Apr 2013
- "Chinese Communist Party Subverts Democracies and Rights Abroad". Epoch Times. September 10, 2009. Retrieved December 18, 2009.
- "Editor's Note on Coverage of John Liu: Uncovering a hidden threat". September 10, 2009.
- "John Liu and the United Front". Epoch Times. Retrieved December 18, 2009.
- Susan Delacourt, "Harper helps Hu keep critics away", Fri Jun 25, 2010
- "Rob Anders News on SPEED.com". News.speedtv.com. Retrieved 2012-05-25.[specify]
- Greenaway, Norma (August 3, 2010). "Liberals decry secrecy around CSIS report". Vancouver Sun. Archived from the original on 2010-08—05. Retrieved 2012-05-25.
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- "Global Coalition to Bring Jiang to Justice". Grandtrial.org. Retrieved December 18, 2009.
- Nahal Toosi, Paper denies representing Falun Gong Associted Press. Feb 5, 2007.
- The Epoch Times Dec 26, 2004 (December 26, 2004). "Part 8: On How the Chinese Communist Party Is an Evil Cult". En.epochtimes.com. Retrieved December 18, 2009.
- "Programs : Awards : AAJA NATIONAL AWARDS 1989 – 2006". AAJA. Retrieved December 18, 2009.[dead link]
- "The Epoch Times | "Nine Commentaries" Wins National Journalism Award in U.S". En.epochtimes.com. August 19, 2005. Retrieved December 18, 2009.
- "Translations of the Nine Commentaries". Epochtimes.com. December 13, 2004. Retrieved December 18, 2009.
- "E-Paper Archives | 20111010_565A | 1 of 16 | djycaneast_565A_20111010_01.jpg". E-paper.epochtimes.com. Retrieved 2012-05-25.
- Worse Than Any Nightmare—Journalist Quits China to Expose Concentration Camp Horrors and Bird Flu Coverup, Epoch Times, March 10, 2006
- Wu, Harry (8 June 2006). "Statement of Harry Wu about Sujiatun issue". Archived from the original on 17 July 2011. Text " Observechina.net " ignored (help)
- Frank Stirk, Canadians probe Chinese organ harvesting claims, Canadian Christianity. Retrieved September 24, 2010
- Glen McGregor, "Inside China's 'crematorium'", The Ottawa Citizen, November 24, 2007
- Kathy Chen (November 15, 2007). "Chinese Dissidents Take On Beijing Via Media Empire". The Wall Street Journal.
- "Bush presses China over currency". BBC News. April 21, 2006. Retrieved May 20, 2006.
- Karlyn Barker and Lena H. Sun (April 22, 2006). "Falun Gong Activist Defiant After Arrest". Washington Post. Retrieved May 20, 2006.
- "The Epoch Times." Epoch Times Wins National Award in Canada Retrieved 28 Apr 2013
- The Free Library. AAJA Recognizes Excellence in News Coverage Retrieved 28 Apr 2013
- "The Epoch Times Wins Prize for Human Rights Reporting". En.epochtimes.com. May 10, 2006. Retrieved December 18, 2009.
- The Governor General of Canada: Diamond Jubilee Medal Retrieved 28 Apr 2013
- Shopper Marketing Forum.  Retrieved 28 Apr 2013
- The Epoch Times.Epoch Times Publisher Awarded Diamond Jubilee Medal
- The Epoch Times. Epoch Times Wins Ethnic Press Media Award Retrieved 28 Apr 2013
- Free-i-News. Epoch Times Wins Newspaper Excellence Award Retrieved 28 Apr 2013
- The Epoch Times. Epoch Times Reporter Wins Prestigious Journalism Award Retrieved 28 Apr 2013
- Facts.org, quoting from Xinhua, March 23, 2006 (Retrieved July 23, 2011)
- Miller, John Gordon. (Note: site available to paid subscribers only.) "Judge rules that Falun Gong newspaper acted in the public interest". Straight Goods, Monday, May 31, 2010
- Thornton, Patricia M. Manufacturing Dissent in Transnational China pp. 179–204 in "Popular Protest in China," Kevin J. O'Brien (ed.), Harvard University Press 2008
- The Epoch Times Website (English)
- Text and Video Documentary of the "Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party"