Dong-a Ilbo

Dong-a Ilbo

Infobox Newspaper
name =
caption = A Girl Reading DongA Ilbo
type = Daily newspaper
format = Broadsheet
foundation = 1920
owners = DongA Ilbo Co.
publisher = CEO Kim, Jae-Ho
political position =
headquarters = DongA Media Centre
139-110/715 Se-jongro Jongno-gu, Seoul
flagicon|South Korea South Korea
editor =
employees = over 1,000
circulation = over 2 million
website = []
Infobox Korean name
hangul = 동아일보
hanja = 東亞日報
rr = Dong-A Ilbo
mr = Tong-A Ilbo
website = []
The "Dong-a Ilbo" (literally "East Asia Daily") was founded in 1920 by Kim Sung-soo who also founded Korea University during the Japanese occupation of Korea. Later, Kim also served as the second vice-president of South Korea in 1951. DongA Ilbo started as a nationalist paper but today it avows in its company motto to be critical and honest in reporting the news. It is also one of the three major newspapers in South Korea with a daily circulation of more than 2 million. It has partnership with 6 foreign newspapers such as The New York Times of USA, Asahi Shimbun of Japan and The Times of United Kingdom. It also publishes global editions in 90 cities worldwide including New York, London, Paris and Frankfurt.

Company spirit

DongA Ilbo was established in 1920 with the motto of "For the people,democracy and culture." These ideas have transformed into what the company named "DongA 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 DongA 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 DongA
*1967-01-28 : Establishment of DongA 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 : DongA 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 DongA Music (mag)
*1986-01-01 : Establishment of DongA 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
*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 movement

By creating “Women’s Section” in its regular production of the paper, DongA Ilbo worked to liberate women who had long been forced to stay at home and abide by traditional rules of obedience from the very beginning. 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.

In 1933, DongA Ilbo created the very first women’s magazine called “The New Women” (later to become “DongA Women”) For the female readers at the time could only read Korean characters (not Chinese characters), all the articles were written purely in Korean. The publication held events such as cooking schools and wives’ picnic providing women a place to socialize and a reason to get out of the house.DongA Ilbo also hosted athletic events for women. “Women’s National Tennis Competition” is Korea's and DongA’s oldest contest ever to be held.

Forced closure: Erasing of Japanese flag

In 1939 when World War II erupted, the Japanese government began a campaign to unify Korea and Japan as a culture. This meant the effacement of much of Korea's local colour. In effort to erase the 'Koreaness' of the colonized Korea, a policy was erected to take out establishments that perpetuated 'Koreaness'.

After 4 attempts in closing DongA Ilbo and other numerous occasions of inspection, censorship, seizure and deletion, in August 1940 the Japanese government succeeded in making the closure happen.

The event that made this forced closure possible was DongA Ilbo's deliberate obscuration of the Japanese flag in the photograph which was 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.

And in the article that showed pride for the Korean athlete the Japanese flag was smudged to promote Korean and nationalistic ideas.

Awards and recognition

* Receives Korea's Best Brand Award (2006)
* DongA 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 2 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 partnerships

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 over 90 global editions itself and has 22 branches world-wide. It also has international correspondents stationed in 6 cities. Also, the digital edition of the paper is available in English, Japanese and Chinese.
* Partnership:
** New York Times
** The Times (UK)
** Asahi Shimbun (Japan)
** People's Daily (China)
** Izvestia (Russia)
** Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)
* Global Edition: (among 90 cities)
** Washington DC
** London
** Paris
** Frankfurt
* International Branches: (among 22 cities)
** LA
** Vancouver
** Osaka
* Foreign Correspondents: (in 6 cities)
** New York
** Tokyo
** Beijing


DongA Ilbo also has an active publishing sector which produces magazines and books. There are 4 monthly magazines, 2 weekly magazines and 1 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 creatingmillion sellers on its own.

* Magazines:
** Shin DongA (The original and #1 current events magazine)
** Women's DongA (The original and #1 women's magazine)
** DongA Science (The first magazine of its kind: most trusted science periodical)
** DongA Science KIDS
** Weekly DongA
** Weekend
** DongA Annual
*DongA Books: (examples)
** "Interpreter of Maladies" by Jhumpa Lahjri (a Paultizer 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 services

DongA 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 readersto seek out the news wherever and whenever they are. With recent partnership with Reuters, DongA aims to add multimedia services to its methods. With raw video feeds from Reuters which DongA has the right to edit for its own use, aims to reach its readers through text, images and video.

Community service

DongA Ilbo has always recognized its responsibility as a public corporation. As stated in DongA DNA, humanism is a great part of DongA 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.


DongA Ilbo holds annual competition of high quality as well as hosting many cultural exhibitions.

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


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

* Seoul International Marathon
* Highschool Baseball Tournament
* DongA Swim Meetand more


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

* National English Competition (University & Highschool division)
* National Scientific Essay Contest (hosted by DongA Science)and more


DongA 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.
* DongA 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 communicationand more


cite web
title = New Digital Leader: The DongA Ilbo
work =
publisher = DongA Ilbo
date = 2006
url = | format =
doi =
accessdate = 2007-08-09

cite web
title = Top 100 US Daily Newspapers
work =
publisher = Burrelles Luce
date = 2007
url =
format = pdf
doi =
accessdate = 2007-08-11

ee also

*Ilmin Museum of Art
*List of newspapers in South Korea
*Communications in South Korea
*List of Korea-related topics

External links

* [ DongA Ilbo Company Site]
* [ DongA Ilbo Online]
* [ Dong-A Children's daily Site]
* [ Women's Dong-A Site]
* [ Weekly Dong-A Site]
* [ Shin Dong-A Site]
* [ Dong-A Science Site]
* [ DUNET Site]
* [ Presseum Site]

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