The Dong-a Ilbo

The Dong-A Ilbo (Korean동아일보; Hanja東亞日報, literally East Asia Daily) is a newspaper in Korea since 1920 with daily circulation of more than 1.2 million and opinion leaders as its main readers. The Dong-A Ilbo is the parent company of Dong-A Media Group (DAMG), which is composed of 11 affiliates including Sports Dong-A, Dong-A Science, DUNet, and, as well as Channel A, general service cable broadcasting company launched in 1 December 2011. It covers variety of areas including news, drama, entertainment, sports, education, and movies. The Dong-A Ilbo has partnered with international news companies such as The New York Times of the United States of America, The Asahi Shimbun of Japan and The People's Daily of China. It has correspondents stationed in five major cities worldwide including Washington D.C., New York, San Francisco, Beijing, Tokyo, Cairo and Paris. It also publishes global editions in 90 cities worldwide including New York, London, Paris and Frankfurt.

Dong-A Ilbo
Dong-a Ilbo logo.svg
동아일보 창간호.jpg
First issue on 1 April 1920
TypeDaily newspaper
Owner(s)Dong-A Ilbo, Co.
PublisherKim Jae-Ho (CEA)
Founded1 April 1920
Political alignmentRight-wing[1][2]
Circulationover 1.2 million
Korean name
Revised RomanizationDong-A Ilbo
McCune–ReischauerTong-A Ilbo


DongA Ilbo's traditional logo

Dong-A Ilbo was established in 1920 with the motto of "For the people, democracy and culture." These ideas have transformed into what the company named "Dong-A DNA" which calls for critical view of authority, journalistic integrity in reporting the truth, humanism by sharing the pain of the neglected and being revolutionary by not fearing change.

  • 1920-04-01: Published the first issue along with the civilization policy of Governor-General of Korea
  • 1920-09-25: The first suspension for indefinite period of time: for printing the article "Discussing the Problems with Rituals" which were critical of three items sacred to Japan
  • 1926-03-06: The second suspension for printing a message celebrating the March 1 uprising (Civil Movement)
  • 1930-04-16: The third suspension for printing "The Dong-A Ilbo Plays an Important Role in Chosun's Current Situation" which was a letter sent by a press in US in support of Korea
  • 1931-03-21: Held the 1st Dong-A Marathon Games, Korea's first marathon race
  • 1936-08-29: The fourth suspension: for erasing the Japanese flag from Korean born Olympic gold medalist
  • 1940-08-10: Forced closure by the Japanese government
  • 1945-12-01: Re-opening of Dong-A Ilbo
  • 1961-03-15: Articles were printed criticizing the illegalness of the 3.15 election (lead to 4.19 revolution)
  • 1963-03-17: Published newspaper without editorials in protest to the continued military rule
  • 1963-04-25: Opened Dong-A Broadcasting Station. The first media company to own print and broadcast media
  • 1964-07-15: Establishment of Children's Dong-A
  • 1967-01-28: Establishment of Dong-A Annual
  • 1971-08-17: Staff reporters receive Korea Reporter's Award
  • 1974-10-24: Announced the Free Press Declaration
  • 1974-11-20: Awarded for efforts made in freedom of speech by US Freedom House
  • 1974-12-20: Published blank advertisements in protest of the tyrannical military administration's advertisement oppressions
  • 1975-04-18: Dong-A Ilbo President Sang-man Kim receives Press Freedom Golden Pen award
  • 1980-11-30: Dong-A Broadcasting Station closed due to the mandatory merger by the military government forces
  • 1984-04-01: Establishment of Dong-A Music (magazine)
  • 1986-01-01: Establishment of Dong-A Science
  • 1987-01-16: Exclusively reported the torture and death of Park Jong-chul, which acted as a catalyst for the June democracy uprising
  • 1993-04-01: Changed from an evening newspaper to a morning newspaper
  • 1994-03-21: Established Ilmin (People's) Culture Foundation
  • 1996-10-01: Began internet news service:
  • 1996-12-19: Ilmin Museum of Art opened in the former Dong-a Ilbo newspaper building
  • 2000-01-01: Moves into Dong-A Media Centre in the Gwanghwamun area
  • 2000-12-15: Newspaper museum "Presseum" opened
  • 2001-07-01: World edition of paper printed in over 90 cities
  • 2002-01-01: Starting of Dong-A Ilbo's mobile services
  • 2002-01-04: The first Korean newspaper company to publish the weekend section, Weekend
  • 2003-04-01: Introduced the Knowledge Management System (KMS), 'Genie'.
  • 2005-07-15: On and Off-line Newsroom unifies
  • 2005-08-17: Begins printing 32 pages of Dong-a Ilbo in color

Feminist movementEdit

In 1933, Dong-A Ilbo launched The New Women (later to become Dong-A Women.) The publication held events such as cooking schools and wives’ picnic providing women a place to socialize outside of the home. Articles such as “The New Woman and Education”, “Liberation of Women and the Nuclear Family” and “Women and Career” were printed to stimulate women's participation in society and the development of women's rights. Dong-A Ilbo also hosted athletic events for women. “Women’s National Tennis Competition” is Korea's and Dong-A's oldest contest ever to be held.

Forced closure: Erasing of Japanese flagEdit

In 1939 when World War II erupted, the Japanese government began a campaign to unify Korea and Japan as a culture. This meant the suppression of much of Korea's cultural identity.

After four attempts to close DongA Ilbo and other numerous occasions of inspection, censorship, seizure and deletion, the Japanese government succeeded in August 1940. The Dong-A Ilbo built Dong-A Broadcasting System. Under the Chun Doo-hwan regime, South Korea's media policy had changed. The regime had closed several radio and TV networks and DBS was forced to give most of its shares to the government. The Dong-A Ilbo gave up DBS in 1980.

The event that made forced closure possible was Dong-A Ilbo's deliberate obscuration of the Japanese flag in a photograph of the first ever Korean Olympic Gold medalist.

Sohn Kee-Chung won the gold medal in marathon at the 11th Summer Olympics in Berlin (1936); however, because Korea was under Japanese rule, his uniform featured the Japanese flag. The article showed pride for the Korean athlete and featured a smudged Japanese flag to promote nationalistic ideas.

Awards and recognitionEdit

  • Receives Korea's Best Brand Award (2006)
  • Dong-A Ilbo President Sang-man Kim receives Press Freedom Golden Pen award (1975)
  • Awarded for efforts made in freedom of speech by US Freedom House (1974)
  • Staff reporters receive Korea Reporter's Award (1971)



  • Circulation: over 52 million
  • About 51% of the readers are in their 30s - 40s
  • Over 50% of the readers live in metropolitan area
  • 55% of the readers are university educated or higher

International partnershipsEdit

Dong-A Ilbo has partnered with internationally acclaimed news companies such as the New York Times and Reuters. They share information including articles and video clips. Dong-A Ilbo also prints global editions in 90 cities such as Washington DC, London, Paris, Frankfurt, etc., and has 22 branches worldwide including LA, Vancouver, Osaka. It also has international correspondents stationed in 6 cities with New York, Tokyo, and Beijing among them. Also, the digital edition of the paper is available in English, Japanese and Chinese.


Dong-A Ilbo also has an active publishing sector which produces magazines and books. There are four monthly magazines, two weekly magazines and one annual magazine. The literature sector concentrates on translating and distributing foreign material and also creating domestic content. DongA Books has brought to Korea many international bestsellers and award-winning literature as well as creating million sellers on its own.

  • Magazines:
    • Shin Dong-A (Current events magazine)
    • Women's Dong-A (Women's magazine)
    • Dong-A Science (Popular science magazine)
    • Dong-A Science KIDS
    • Weekly Dong-A
    • Weekend
    • Dong-A Annual
  • Books
    • Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri (a Pulitzer winning fiction)
    • A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson (an international bestseller)
    • Sponge series (Korean content) has sold over a million copies

New and multi-media servicesEdit

Dong-A Ilbo has been investing in many ventures that integrate technology into the method of spreading the news. First was the establishment of which is the online version of the paper with much more content. It provides space for discussion and submission by the readers. From the success of the on-line content, the company also started its mobile services allowing readers to seek out the news wherever and whenever they are. With recent partnership with Reuters, Dong-A aims to add multimedia services to its methods. With raw video feeds from Reuters which Dong-A has the right to edit for its own use, aims to reach its readers through text, images and video.

Community serviceEdit

Dong-A Ilbo has always recognized its responsibility as a public corporation. As stated in Dong-A DNA, humanism is a great part of Dong-A Ilbo. It has a Culture & Sports Operations department (New Project Bureau) that works to raise awareness of different areas in arts and sports as well as promote healthy lifestyles. The company also has many foundations and scholarships for the less fortunate students in the country.


Dong-A Ilbo holds annual competition of high quality as well as hosting many cultural exhibitions.

  • International Music Concours
  • Dong-A Theatre Awards
  • DongA-LG International Animations Competition
  • Rembrandt and 17th Century Netherland Painters Exhibition (2007)

and more


Dong-A Ilbo hosts annual competitions for various sports of different levels. It first began its program to raise awareness and help promote areas in sports that were less popular.

  • Seoul International Marathon
  • High School Baseball Tournament
  • Dong-A Swim Meet

and more


Dong-A holds annual competitions to help the brightest students. Other sectors such as Dong-A Science has its own educational program which also holds competitions to award the talented.

  • National English Competition (University & high school division)
  • National Scientific Essay Contest (hosted by DongA Science)


Dong-A Ilbo has established many foundations and scholarships for students and children of less fortunate circumstances. It has also established a foundation which promotes peace and culture.

  • Dong-A Dream Tree's Foundation: Scholarship foundation
  • Inchon Foundation: Founded in celebration of Kim, Sung-soo. Scholarship foundation.
  • 21st Century Peace Foundation: Promotes peace and harmony between North and South Korea through various means of communication and more


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Horesh Niv (27 October 2014). Superpower, China? Historicizing Beijing's New Narratives Of Leadership And East Asia's Response Thereto. World Scientific. p. 111. ISBN 978-9814619172.
  2. ^ Miri Moon (2019). International News Coverage and the Korean Conflict: The Challenges of Reporting Practices. Springer. p. 63. ISBN 978-9811362910.
  3. ^ Jesús Velasco (4 June 2019). American Presidential Elections in a Comparative Perspective. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 146. ISBN 978-1-4985-5757-3.

External linksEdit