The Dong-a Ilbo

Dong-A Ilbo

First issue on April 1st, 1920
Type Daily newspaper
Format Broadsheet
Owner(s) Dong-A Ilbo, Co.
Publisher Kim Jae-Ho (CEA)
Founded 1920
Political alignment Conservative
Headquarters Dong-a Media Centre
139-110/715 Sejong-ro Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Circulation over 1.2 million
Korean name
Hangul 동아일보
Hanja 東亞日報
Revised Romanization Dong-A Ilbo
McCune–Reischauer Tong-A Ilbo

The Dong-A Ilbo (Hangul: 동아일보; 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 December 1, 2011. It covers variety of areas including news, drama, entertainment, sports, education, and movies 24 hours a day.

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, Beijing, Tokyo and Paris. It also publishes global editions in 90 cities worldwide including New York, London, Paris and Frankfurt.


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.

Ilmin Museum of Art (five-story brown stone building at the front); and the Dong-a Media Center building (behind on the right) at Gwanghwamun Plaza on Sejong-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul in 2012

Feminist movement

By creating “Women’s Section” in its regular production of the paper, Dong-A 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, Dong-A Ilbo created the very first women’s magazine called The New Women (later to become Dong-A 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. 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 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 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 recognition


Dong-a Media Center, streetview, November 2014


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 global editions in 90 cities such as Washington DC, London, Paris, Frankfurt, etc., and has 22 branches world-wide 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.

New and multi-media services

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 service

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.


Main article: Chojoongdong

See also


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