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Hangul 조중동
Hanja 朝中東
Revised Romanization Jojungdong
McCune–Reischauer Chojungdong

Chojoongdong (Korean: 조중동, CJD) is a coined term which refers to three highly circulated conservative newspapers in South Korea. The word is an acronym of the Chosun, Joong-ang and Dong-a Ilbo daily news, and was used by a Hankyoreh editor Jung Yeonju (Korean: 정연주) as early as October 2000.[1] Korean liberals criticize Chojoongdong primarily because of their conservative-biased editorial stances and doing business in a collusive and surreptitious manner.[citation needed] Since 2008, some critics of CJD have claimed that there is a close relationship between CJD and the Lee Myung-bak government.[2]

As of July 2008, the market share of Chosun, Joong-ang and Dong-a Ilbo is 25.6%, 19.7%, and 14.3% respectively; nearly 58% of printed newspaper subscribers in South Korea read one of the three daily news.[3][4] In December 2011, Chosun Ilbo opened their own cable news network.[5]


Opponents of the three major newspapers credit them with a disproportionate degree of influence and power, to the extent that they believe that simply abolishing them would unleash major positive changes (one of the most prominent anti-newspaper organizations is called "Beautiful World Without Chojoongdong").[6] Although the major newspapers are private organisations, and are competitors with each other, they are nevertheless considered by their opponents to be a monolithic, quasi-governmental organization. Criticism stems from their previous history of collaboration with Japan in the Japanese occupation of 1910–1945. (the Joongang Ilbo, however did not exist during the Japanese occupation),[7] as well as their collaboration with domestic authoritarian rule before the democratic transition in 1987.


Some critics say CJD newspapers have conservative tendencies of censoring news unfavorable to the conservative Lee Myung-bak government. Jung Woon-hyun accused the three newspapers of censoring Wikileaks-related articles that is alleged to have exposed negative issues under President Lee Myung-bak's administrative influence.[8] It has also broadcast the court decisions that acquitted MBC's PD Note and its episode on 2008 Beef protests, but agreed that false information was in the episode.[9][10]

Accusation of strategic marriages[edit]

Opponents believe that CJD have joined with the business world through strategic marriages,[11][12] making their articles biased towards capital.

Pro Korea-U.S. Free Trade agreement[edit]

There was some criticism that three CJD newspapers simultaneously presented articles about the danger of negative Free Trade Agreement rumors on the South Korea–United States Free Trade Agreement among South Korean social network service users, particularly on Twitter.[13]

Anti-CJD movements[edit]

"Anti-CJD sentiment" has existed in the past. However, in 2008, during the mad cow protests over US beef imports, the major newspapers showed a favourable attitude towards market opening and reported negatively on the candle lit demonstrations. This opposition temporarily stimulated a boycott movement.[14]

During the 2008 mad cow protests, protesters attacked and vandalised the buildings of the three major newspapers, and CJD newspapers claim that some of their employees were harassed.[15][16]

Boycott movement[edit]

During the mad cow protests, Internet activists launched a movement to boycott advertisers who put advertisements in those newspapers. They shared a list of advertisers on the Internet, and then pressured advertisers by launching a harassment campaign via telephone or mail.[17]

On February 19, 2009, the court found guilty some activists who organised and ran the boycott, sentencing them to 10 months in jail (on a two-year suspended sentence) or fines. The defendants have indicated that they will launch an appeal.[18]

In popular culture[edit]

The South Korean television comedy program, Gag Concert, lampooned the CJD media establishments as turfs by gangsters who comply with the regulations of the Korea Communications Commission in the skit, War On Television (방송과의 전쟁).[19]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kim Sang-chul(김상철) (December 10, 2003). 조중동서 중앙 분리 글쎄요. The Kyunghyang shinmun (in Korean). Retrieved April 11, 2012. 
  2. ^ Editorial (January 7, 2009). "Media war". The Korea Herald. Retrieved April 11, 2012. Supporters of the opposition claim there is an "evil" collusion between the government and major newspapers under the guise of adapting to new communications technology. 
  3. ^ Jang Woo-sung(장우성) (July 2, 2008). 조중동 구독점유율 58%. 한국기자협회 (in Korean). Retrieved April 11, 2012. 
  4. ^ Son Bong-seok(손봉석) (June 30, 2008). 조·중·동 신문시장 점유율 50%대로 떨어져. The Kyunghyang shinmun (in Korean). Retrieved April 11, 2012. 
  5. ^ English (November 30, 2011). "TV Chosun to Start Broadcasting Thursday". The Chosun ilbo. Retrieved April 11, 2012. 
  6. ^ Beautiful World Without Chosun Ilbo"
  7. ^
  8. ^ Jung (정), Un-hyeong (운형) (2011-09-19). 위키리크스가 폭로한 '친미 관료·기자들' 한나라당·조중동은 왜 이 사건 침묵하나. OhMyNews (in Korean). Retrieved 2011-10-14. 
  9. ^ Kwon (권), Sun-taek (순택) (2011-09-04). "법원은 ‘PD수첩’ 무죄라는데, 조중동은?". Medius (in Korean). Retrieved 2011-10-17. 
  10. ^ Park (박), Sang-hui (상희) (2010-12-18). "평범하게 살려고 했는데, MB와 조중동이 안 도와주대요". 민중의 소리 (in Korean). Retrieved 2011-10-17. 
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ Cho (조), Su-gyeong (수경) (2011-11-14). "트위터는 괴담 진원지" 조중동 공격 이유 있었네. Media Today (in Korean). Retrieved 2011-11-19. 
  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-23. Retrieved 2009-04-24. 
  15. ^ English (June 27, 2008). "Chosun Ilbo Attacked as Street Violence Escalates". Retrieved April 11, 2012. 
  16. ^ "South Korea: Journalist Assaulted in Demonstration". Archived from the original on 2011-07-27. 
  17. ^ dailyseop
  18. ^**http%3A//
  19. ^ Koh (고), Min-seo (민서) (2012-03-26). 개콘 '방송과의 전쟁', 깨알풍자로 인기 예감. OBS News (in Korean). Retrieved 2012-04-04. 

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