The Chosun Ilbo (literally "Korea Daily") is one of the major newspapers in South Korea. With a daily circulation of over 2,200,000, the Chosun Ilbo has undertaken annual inspections since the Audit Bureau of Circulations was established in 1993. The name of newspaper is bestowed from the former dynasty of Chosun a.k.a Joseon (1392~1910; from King Taejo Yi Seong-gye to Emperor Sunjong-Yunghui of Korean Empire) and current name of North Korea (DPRK).
Chosun Ilbo and its subsidiary company, Digital Chosun operates the Chosun.com news website, which also publishes web versions of the newspaper in English, Chinese, and Japanese. The Chosun Ilbo Main Office is located at Taepyeongno 1-ga 61-beonji, Seoul Jung-gu with its postal code: 100-756.
Chosun.com is ranked as the No.1 Korean news website by the Internet survey company Rankey.com. Besides the daily newspaper, the company also publishes the weekly Jugan Chosun, the monthly Wolgan San (lit. Monthly Mountain), and other newspapers and magazines. Subsidiaries include Digital Chosun, Wolgan Chosun, Edu-Chosun, ChosunBiz and TV Chosun.
The Chosun Ilbo Establishment Union was created in September 1919, and the Chosun Ilbo company was founded on March 5th, 1920. The newspaper was critical of, and sometimes directly opposed to, the actions of the Japanese government during Japanese colonial rule (1910–1945).
On August 27, 1920, the Chosun Ilbo was suspended after it published an editorial heavily criticizing the use of excessive force by the Japanese police against Korean citizens. This was the first in a string of suspensions. On September 5th 1920, three days after the first suspension was lifted, the newspaper published an editorial entitled "Did the Japanese central governing body shut down our newspaper?" For this the Chosun Ilbo was given an indefinite suspension.
In June 1923, Chosun Ilbo celebrated its one-thousandth issue. It had achieved many milestones including being the first newspaper in Korea to publish both morning and evening editions, send international correspondents to Russia, and publish cartoons. However, in that same month, it was given its third, indefinite suspension by the Japanese government for printing an editorial opposing Japanese rule of Korea.
In 1927, the Chosun Ilbo's editor and publisher were arrested. The editor was also the chief staff writer. The offense in this case was an editorial describing the mistreatment of prisoners by the colonial government. In May of the same year, in response to an editorial criticizing the deployment of troops into Shandong, the Chosun Ilbo was suspended for a fourth time for 133 days. The publisher and chief staff writer, An Jae-hong, were once again imprisoned.
After these events, the Chosun Ilbo remained at the forefront of events, trying to improve general public life and sponsoring collaborative events. This was a turbulent period; within the space of three years, the president was replaced three times. On December 21st 1935, in opposition to compulsory Japanese education and plans to assimilate the Korean people and language, the Chosun Ilbo published 100,000 Korean-language textbooks nationwide.
Over the years, the Chosun Ilbo also started to publish many side publications. One of these was a monthly publication of current events called Youth Chosun, the first of its kind in Korea. Others included its sister publication, Jogwang.
In the summer of 1940, after issue number 6923, the paper was declared officially discontinued by the Japanese ruling government. In the twenty years since its founding, the paper had been suspended by the Japanese government four times, and its issues confiscated over five hundred times before 1932. Because of bankruptcy, ownership changed hands, and the news organization fell under tighter control of the Japanese to become one of the most influential organizations to collaborate with the colonial government. When Korea gained independence in Augsut 15th 1945 (Gwangbokjeol), the Chosun Ilbo came back into publication after a five year, three month hiatus.