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 include sections for world and national news, op-eds, sports, entertainment, business, arts and culture, travel, and health.
On December 20, 2019, 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 receives funding through a subscription, advertising, and donation model. According to their about page, they are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
Analysis / Bias
In review, The Epoch Times covers straight news reporting through journalists and low-biased syndication through the Associated Press and Reuters. 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 Why Media Organizations Can’t Let Go of the Fake Russia-Collusion Narrative.
Editorially, there is an extreme Pro-Trump bias. 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. During the 2020 Coronavirus outbreak and the 2020 Presidential election, they have promoted misinformation. See failed fact checks below.
Failed Fact Checks
- Jack Andraka, 15, came up with a “100 percent accurate” cancer-detection method that was “168 times faster, 26,000 times less expensive, and 400 times more sensitive” than current methods. – False
- Dubious Posts Tie Political Families to Ukraine Work – False
- No, Yellowstone volcano’s eruption threat level did not increase in 2018 – False (Corrected)
- Concerned artificial intelligence researchers hurriedly abandoned an experimental chatbot program after realizing that the bots were inventing their own language. – False
- Did China’s Communist government create the novel coronavirus in a laboratory and release it into the world as a deadly bioweapon? – False
- President Donald Trump has 232 electoral votes; Joe Biden has 212, 226, or 227. – False
Further, the Epoch Times has a Beyond Science section 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 “deep state engineered the drug epidemic,” 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 Right Biased and Questionable based on the publication of pseudoscience and the promotion of propaganda and conspiracy theories, as well as numerous failed fact checks. (M. Huitsing 8/21/2017) (Updated 03/10/2021)