The Epoch Times is an international, multi-language news media company in print and online. The Epoch Times first published in New York in April 2000 (in Chinese only) and the online edition in August 2000. In 2003, The Epoch Times launched an online edition in English, which began printing as a newspaper in New York in 2004. The Epoch Times is founded by John Tang and a group of Chinese-American Falun Gong practitioners. The Epoch Times publishes in 21 languages in 35 countries across five continents. Their focus topics includes sections for world and national news, op-eds, sports, entertainment, business, arts and culture, travel and health.
On December 20, 2019 it was reported that Facebook took down more than 600 accounts connected to the Epoch Times. According to an NBC News report “The network was called ‘The BL’ and was run by Vietnamese users posing as Americans, using fake photos generated by algorithms to simulate real identities. The Epoch Media group, which pushes a variety of pro-Trump conspiracy theories, spent $9.5 million on ads to spread content through the now-suspended pages and groups.”
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Funded by / Ownership
The Epoch Times is owned by the Epoch Media Group, which also owns NTD. The Epoch Times is funded through a subscription, advertising and donation model. According to their about page they are an 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
Analysis / Bias
In review, The Epoch Times covers straight news reporting through the use of journalists and syndication through the Associated Press and Reuters. Typically, these stories are well sourced and reasonably low biased. However, when reporting on China they do reflect a strong anti-communism bias. The Epoch Times also uses loaded language that usually favors the right such as this: Why Media Organizations Can’t Let Go of the Fake Russia-Collusion Narrative.
Editorially, there is a very strong Pro-Trump bias, with almost all articles praising Trump and denigrating the left such as these Democratic Party: A Broken Kaleidoscope? and Five Reasons Trump’s Celebration of America Was Epic Display of Patriotism. According to an NBC News report the “outlet has spent more than $1.5 million on about 11,000 pro-Trump advertisements in the last six months, according to data from Facebook’s advertising archive — more than any organization outside of the Trump campaign itself, and more than most Democratic presidential candidates have spent on their own campaigns.” In general, straight news reporting is sourced and mostly low biased, however op-eds 100% favor the right with some promoting conspiracy theories.
A factual search shows that they have failed several fact checks.
Further, the Epoch Times has a section called Beyond Science that publishes pseudoscience news, such as Supernormal Abilities Developed Through Meditation: Dr. Dean Radin Discusses. Finally, the above referenced NBC News report states “In addition to claims that alien abductions are real and the drug epidemic was engineered by the “deep state,” the channel pushes the QAnon conspiracy theory, which falsely posits that the same “Spygate” cabal is a front for a global pedophile ring being taken down by Trump.”
Overall, we rate The Epoch Times borderline Questionable and Right Biased based on editorial positions that consistently favor the right. We also rate them factually Mixed due to the publication of pseudoscience and the promotion of pro-Trump propaganda and conspiracy theories as well as failed fact checks. (M. Huitsing 8/21/2017) (Updated 2/10/2020)