Far Eastern Economic Review

Far Eastern Economic Review

The Far Eastern Economic Review (zh-t|1=遠東經濟評論, Pinyin: Yuǎndōng Jīngjì Pínglùn; also referred to as FEER) is an English language Asian news magazine. The Hong Kong-based business magazine was originally published weekly on every Thursday. Due to financial difficulties, the magazine converted to a monthly publication in December 2004, and simultaneously switched to an arrangement whereby most articles are contributed by non-staff writers who have expertise in a given field, such as economists, business-community figures, government policymakers, social scientists and others. The magazine now publishes on the first Friday of each month, except in February and August.

FEER covers a variety of topics including politics, business, economics, technology, social and cultural issues throughout Asia, focusing on Southeast Asia and Greater China. The FEER primarily offers analysis and interpretation of financial, commercial and industrial developments. It also collects economic news and presents views and opinions in an attempt to improve the existing conditions in Asia. It has a reputation for emphasizing on local perspectives.


The magazine is now owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation who took over its previous owners, the US-based business publisher Dow Jones & Company, in 2007.


FEER mainly targets markets in Hong Kong, Malaysia, and nearby regions in Southeast Asia. It reaches an elite group of readers from the government, the business world and the academic sector.Fact|date=February 2007 According to the magazine circulation figures provided by [http://www.feer.com/new_adv/introduction.html FEER] on its official website, roughly 20,000 subscription copies are distributed in Southeast Asia, North America and Europe.The magazine has a circulation of 93,055 (according to HKABC July-December 2003), although those figures do not reflect a probable drop in circulation since the magazine's format change. From 28 September 2006, the magazine was banned in Singapore for failing to comply with conditions imposed under the amended Newspaper and Printing Presses Act [http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporelocalnews/view/233023/1/.html] .


Far Eastern Economic Review was started by Eric Halpern, an immigrant from Vienna, who initially settled in Shanghai and published Finance and Commerce, a biweekly business magazine. Later on, when China was in the midst of the Chinese Civil War, he decamped to Hong Kong and founded the weekly publication, FEER.

(modified and simplified from [http://www.feer.com/new_about/history.html original articles "Telling Asia’s Story" By L. Gordon Crovitz] , senior vice president at Dow Jones, editor and publisher of the REVIEW from 1992 to 1996.)

On 16 October 1946, FAR EASTERN ECONOMIC REVIEW was first issued as an Asian news magazine, based in Hong Kong. FEER set off its journalistic devotion by explaining how Asia grew into an economic powerhouse through day-to-day efforts and built a better life for themselves and the future generation.

The magazine roots to pre-war Shanghai. At the time, the city’s only English-language publication was “Finance and Commerce” whose senior editor was Eric Halpern. Although the civil war was still in full swing, Shanghai was liberated from Japanese occupation and Halpern decided that Hong Kong was the ideal location for setting up a new business magazine which focused on finance, commerce and industry.

After Halpern's retirement in 1958, Dick Wilson became chief editor and publisher. He operated an office in a colonial building along the waterfront where the Mandarin Hotel now stands. During Wilson’s tenure, coverage of the magazine extended from China and Hong Kong into other regions around the world, from Japan to Australia to India and to the Philippines. The magazine was brimming with professional articles and reports supplied by cross-border top journalists and scholars.

In 1964, Wilson passed the editorial reins to Derek Davies, a Welsh journalist, who had served in the British Foreign Office. Under Davies, the magazine continued to attract contributions from many of the region’s leading journalists and developed a worldwide reputation as the leading source of news about Asia. After serving 25 years as senior editor, Davies’pose was succeeded by Philip Bowring, whose reports on business and economics set the standard for reporting complex dealings in Asia’s markets.

Independent journalistic establishments

Besides qualified business reports, FEER was also the pioneer of independent journalistic establishments throughout Asia. Many of the articles from the first few decades were exclusive sources of information on the development of China, such as the report on Chairman Mao, the Cultural Revolution and the economic opening initiated by Deng Xiaoping. Despite the fact that journalists were not permitted to enter China during this period due to the era of authoritarian regimes, these covered events were still the core themes of the magazine.

These sample articles on the historical value and social interest of the development of Asian community show where the magazine's concern lies.

1)“Construction of tunnel connecting Hong Kong Island to Kowloon” by Sir Lawrence Kadoorie (Lord Kadoorie) in a 1955 article

2)“1965 separation of Singapore and Malaysia” by Novelist [http://www.notsorry.com/hansuyin.asp Han Suyin] .

3)“Philippine youth in revolt and Sir Y.K. Pao (Chinese :包玉剛) on fleet-building in Asia” by Benigno Aquino

The magazine continued to survive after the ownership was passed to the publishing company [http://www.dowjones.com Dow Jones & Co] in 1973.


Editorial statement

For the first issue, the inaugurator, Mr Halpern, declared a brief but enduring [http://www.feer.com/new_about/introduction.html Editorial Statement] :

"The purpose of this weekly economic publication is to analyze and interpret financial, commercial and industrial developments; to collect economic news; and to present views and opinions with the intent to improve existing conditions. Politics and economics being connatural, it will be inevitable that this publication may at times appear to transgress its primary objective by reporting on, and dealing with, political affairs. At any time and in every case unbiased and dispassionate, factual and balanced reporting will be our aim and policy."


"Review's content page for September issue in 2005"

Editorial stance

The Review aims to report and analyze financial, commercial and industrial developments in the Southeast Asia and Pacific regions with specific emphasis on Hong Kong and China. It seeks to gather the most incisive and provocative commentary in Asia through leaders from every ideological stripe, background and profession. Articles were selected in accordance to their potential progress toward prosperity, security and well-being for all Asians. Besides free-lance contributions and viewpoints from professionals, FEER's journalists also travel around the region reporting from their own perspective with the intention to improve the local economic zone.

With reference to the article “ [http://www.feer.com/articles1/2005/0509/free/p003.html "From the Editor"] ” on the official website of Far Eastern Economic Review (FEER), chief editor Hugo Restall discusses four reports by FEER including “North Korean nuclear weapon program”, “Purchase of China Construction Bank by Bank of America”, “Fall of Indonesian rupiah” and “Japanese election”. By the detailed discussion of the four reports, Mr. Restall explains as being involved in journalism, one should have a skeptical stance. As it is written:

“"But as Ko Mishima and Robert Ward write in separate essays, despite the celebrations of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s new style of politics, there is reason to doubt how much substantive change lies ahead. ……it’s probably best to remain skeptical."”

Editorial team

Hugo Restall -- Chief Editor

Hugo Restall, has served as the editor of FEER since "October 2004".

Previously he functioned as an editorial page writer on the editorial board of "The Asian Wall Street Journal" in April 1994, focusing on economic topics such as fiscal and monetary policies as well as market regulations. He graduated from Dartmouth College as a major in Asian Studies and during his time at Dartmouth, he was the editor-in-chief of "The Dartmouth Review". He also studied at Yunnan University, and thus is fluent in Chinese Mandarin . In "1998", he became the deputy editorial page editor of AWSJ and later in 1999 was promoted as the editorial page editor.

Mr Restall served as a member of the Abraham Lincoln Fellows organized by [http://www.claremont.org/writings/precepts/040628lincoln.html The Claremont Institute] at 2004 in which seeking to promote an understanding of the moral basis of law, exemplified in the speeches and deeds of Abraham Lincoln. In "2001" and "2003", Mr. Restall was awarded by the [http://www.sopasia.com Society of Publishers in Asia (SOPA) award] twice for "Best Opinion Piece"

Colum Murphy -- Deputy Editor Colum Murphy became deputy editor of the FEER in "March 2005".

Previously he was a reporter at "The Hong Kong Standard", covering daily news to broaden public policy issues in Hong Kong. He also conducted researches and reports for various publications such as "The Asian Wall Street Journal", "International Herald Tribune", "Newsweek", "Bangkok Post" and "Nihon Keizai Shimbun".

He graduated from [http://www.dcu.ie/ Dublin City University] majoring in International Marketing and Japanese. He also holds a Masters in International Affairs from [http://www.columbia.edu/ Columbia University's] School of International and Public Affairs and a Masters of Commerce from [http://www.meiji.ac.jp/cip/english/ Tokyo's Meiji University] .

Other Directors

Administrative Assistant: Florence Lau

Managing Director: Winnie Wong

Finance Director: Patrick Wong

Operations Director: Terence Ho

Advertising Director: Douglas Mulcock

Circulation Director: Zheng Yin

Circulation Marketing Director: Veronique Cornu

Circulation Operations Director: Lily Tong

Editorial section titles

( [http://www.dowjones.com/FactSheets/FEERFactSheet.htm FEER Fact Sheet] , retrieved 9 October 2005)

*Messages from the Editor
*Letters and Responses
*From the Archives (An article from the weekly REVIEW concerning the current issues)
*The Gimlet Eye (A Political Satire Cartoon concerning the current issues)
* [http://www.feer.com/tales/ Travelers'Tales] (essay about visiting a specific location)

Reports by FEER

FEER regularly publishes reports that cover key topics in Asia. These reports are informative and important to the marketers, businessmen and also academics.

"China's Elite"( [http://feer.ecnext.com/coms2/summary_0234-450_ITM 2003 Issue] ) is a yearly side-publication by the FEER. Focusing on China's leading executives and their way of business, "China's Elite" is often praised as a valuable source of information on statistics, expectations and objective analysis obtained through in-depth interviews with leading businessmen in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.

The "Review 200" ( [http://feer.ecnext.com/coms2/summary_0234-337_ITM 2003 Issue] ) is a tied publication by the Far Eastern Economic Review which ranks the top 200 leading businesses across Asia on an annual basis. This publication is particularly useful for companies to see their own performance in the market, as well as keeping track of competition.

Respondents were asked to rank companies using a scale of one to seven on their overall leadership performance. Those who did not recognize a company’s name gave that company a score of zero. They were also asked to indicate which of the following criteria applied to listed companies:

"high quality services or products, management with a long-term vision, innovative in responding to customers' needs, financially sound, a company that others try to emulate"

Published every two years since 1989 by FEER, "Managing in Asia" ( [http://feer.ecnext.com/coms2/summary_0234-106_ITM 2003 Issue] ) provides entrepreneurs with a clear description and explanation of Asia's business position. The report offers valuable information in the aspects of economic outlook, business challenges and economic issues, personal investment, technology/office automation, brand perception, ownership of products, travel habits,etc.

The "Asia Lifestyles" ( [http://feer.ecnext.com/coms2/summary_0234-104_ITM 2002 Issue] ) is published in alternating years. It conducts surveys on business executives and questions their lifestyles, habits and aspirations. A written report concerning customer's behaviours and attitudes towards the various products and services are also published in accordance to the information obtained from surveys. It is especially informative and useful to the marketing field because the relevant parties gain a better understanding towards their products and services based on customer's opinions. As a result, companies have the advantage to prepare and accommodate with the rapid or unpredictable changes in the Asian market.

FEER regularly publishes special reports focused on topics which are relevant and significant to Asia.For example, a special report on [http://www.thebody.com/kaiser/2004/jul9_04/aids_report.html HIV/AIDS epidemic] was published in its issue on July 15.

FEER regularly interviews government officials and other important people who have an impact in the region and the business world. In the past, FEER has interviewed Colin Powell, the US former Secretary of State (issue date: 28 October 2004), Kofi Annan, the Secretary-General of United Nations (issue date: 22 July 2004), Chen Shui-bian, the Taiwanese President (issue date: 24 July 2003), Bill Gates, Chairman and co-founder of Microsoft (issue date: 14 March 2002), and many more influential people. For details, you can refer to [http://www.feer.com/indexes/top.html Top Interviews] .

In 2002 and 2003, FEER was awarded the "Excellence in Specialized Reporting" by [http://www.sopasia.com/ Society of Publishers in Asia (SOPA)] . In 2004, it was awarded the "Honourable Mention for Magazine Front Cover Design" by SOPA.In 2005, it was awarded the "Excellence in Magazines" and "Honorable Mention for Reporting on the Environment" by the SOPA.

Censorship of the FEER

In late 1970s, Ho Kwon Ping, the Review's Singapore correspondent, was accused of endangering national security and fined $3,000. Lee Kuan Yew later charged FEER editor, Mr. Derek Davies, of participating in "a diabolical international Communist plot" to poison relations between Singapore and neighbouring Malaysia.

In the 1980s Lee banned the Review in Singapore after it published an article about the detention of Roman Catholic church workers.

In China the Review's correspondent, Serge Ivanovitch Kost, was arrested during the Cultural Revolution and sentenced to 15 years' imprisonment. He later emigrated to Australia.

In 2006, after the publication of an [http://www.feer.com/articles1/2006/0607/free/p024.html article] on Dr. Chee Soon Juan, an opposition politician and member of the Singapore Democratic Party, Singapore's prime minister Lee Hsien Loong and his father and minister mentor, Lee Kuan Yew, sued the publication for defamation alleging the magazine had suggested they were corrupt. The Financial Times urged the publication to fight the libel suit. [ cite news | first = John |last = Burton | title =FEER urged to fight libel suit in S'pore |url = http://www.singapore-window.org/sw06/060915FT.HTM |publisher = Financial Times |date = 2006-09-15 ] Since the journal does not have assets in Singapore, the government subsequently demanded that the FEER and "Newsweek", "Time", the "Financial Times" and the "International Herald Tribune" to appoint a legal representative and pay a S$200,000 (US$126,000) security bond. [ cite news | first = Gillian |last = Wong | title =Singapore bans economic magazine |url = http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/1104AP_Singapore_Magazine_Banned.html |publisher = AP |date = 2006-09-28 ] After FEER failed to comply with government regulations, the Singapore government banned the sale and distribution of the journal and even having a subscription to the journal was made illegal. The ban does not extend to restricting access to the publication's website contents from Singapore, however. In July, 2007, the Court of Appeals rejected an application by the FEER to have a Queen's Counsel for representation. [ [http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporelocalnews/view/287085/1/.html Channelnewsasia.com ] ] [ [http://www.forbes.com/business/feeds/afx/2007/06/04/afx3783828.html Singapore court rejects Far Eastern Economic Review request for British counsel - Forbes.com ] ] A Queen's Counsel would be a special British lawyer who would be granted temporary privileges to appear before the court even though they are not members of the Singapore Bar.

In the October edition, FEER published a special edition on Singapore. Referring to the recent ban, the journal's editor Hugo Restall asked: "So why is it still using repressive measures against a monthly magazine that employs a total of three full-time journalists and has 1,000 subscribers in the country?" [cite news | first = Hugo |last = Restall | title =From the editor |url = http://www.feer.com/articles1/2006/0610/free/p006.html |publisher = Feer |date = 2006-10-01 ] Since FEER does not have any employee in Singapore, any legal action against the journal could be challenged in Hong Kong. The journal furthermore has published all its correspondence with the legal council of Lee Kuan Yew and Lee Hsien Loong as well as the Singapore government on its website. At a news conference in Hong Kong, Hugo Restall said: "We are planning to defend the defamation lawsuits vigorously and look forward to having our day in court in Singapore” [http://www.thepeninsulaqatar.com/Displaynews.asp?section=WorldNews&subsection=Rest+of+the+World&month=October2006&file=WorldNews2006100782147.xml] and attempted to have the libel suit nullified [http://www.todayonline.com/articles/147263.asp] .

In response to the FEER editorial on the ban, Singapore's Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts advised the magazine to seek legal redress [http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporelocalnews/view/234343/1/.html] if it felt the Singaporean government has acted against the law. Just a day earlier, PM Lee had called for "responsible journalism" in his speech at the 7th Asian-European Editors' Forum [http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporelocalnews/view/234261/1/.html] . While he did not name any publication, its timing appeared to be aimed at FEER and other publications who had previous clashes with the Singapore government.

Defamation judgment

On September 24, 2008, High Court, in a summary judgement by Justice Woo Bih Li, ruled that the Far Eastern Economic Review (FEER) magazine-Hugo Restall, editor, defamed Lee Kuan Yew and his son, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. The court found the 2006 article "Singapore's 'Martyr': Chee Soon Juan" meant that Lee Kuan Yew "has been running and continues to run Singapore in the same corrupt manner as Durai operated NKF and he has been using libel actions to suppress those who would question to avoid exposure of his corruption." FEER has 30 days to appeal. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7632830.stm news.bbc.co.uk, Editor 'defamed' Singapore leader] ] The court sentenced FEER publisher and editor, owned by Dow Jones & Company (in turn owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp), to pay damages to complainants. [ [http://www.reuters.com/article/marketsNews/idUSSP35267420080924 reuters.com, Singapore court rules FEER magazine defamed leaders] ]

Awards presented by FEER

left|thumb|300px|"Image of 5th YIA 2004 from http://www.feer.com/yia/YIA_main.html"

The Young Inventors Awards (YIA) began in "2000", it was organized by Far Eastern Economic Review (FEER) in association with Hewlett-Packard (HP). The purpose of the Awards program is to foster a spirit of scientific invention and innovation among students in the Asia-Pacific regions, including China, Philippines, Singapore, India and Australia. Students who win the award are socially recognized and financially supported for their outstanding efforts and projects.FEER's annual Asian Innovation Awards is associated with Global Entrepolise @ Singapore, which honors Asia's emerging Technopreneur. Candidates for this award are judged against their innovative proposal as well as technological and commercial potential.

ee also

*Newspapers in Hong Kong
*Media of Hong Kong

External links

* [http://www.feer.com Far Eastern Economic Review (FEER)]
* [http://www.dj.com Dow Jones & Company]
* [http://www.sopasia.com Society of Publishers in Asia (SOPA)]
* [http://www.saliltripathi.com Salil Tripathi's website - a long-time writer for FEER from Singapore]


* [http://cjr.org// Columbia Journalism Review]
* [http://www.feer.com/new_about/history.html Telling Asia's Story By L. Gordon Crovitz]

Other Economic and Financial Magazines :
* [http://www.economist.com/ The Economist] (經濟學人)
* [http://www.capital-hk.com/ Capital ] (資本雜誌)
* [http://www.businessweek.com/ Business Week] (商業周刊)
* [http://www.barronsmag.com/ Barron's Magazine] Translation:
* Pinyin translation by [http://www.cozychinese.com/convert/ CozyChinese.COM]

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