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Leading Asian magazine to close

By Vaudine England
BBC News, Hong Kong

The monthly Far Eastern Economic Review
The monthly Far Eastern Economic Review will be closed in December

One of Asia's leading print publications, the Far Eastern Economic Review, is to be closed in December.

Dow Jones, now owned by News Corporation, had made the once cult-like news weekly into a monthly opinion magazine.

But the company said the continued loss of readers and advertising revenues made its existence unsustainable.

The closure of the magazine, founded in 1946, marks the end of an era for challenging journalism in Asia.

The Far Eastern Economic Review grew from a few black and white pages in the 1940s, into a bulky, weekly, must-read across Asia by the 1980s.

The region's many authoritarian governments took to blacking out pages or banning the magazine outright.

Last weekly FEER 24 Oct 04
This last edition of the weekly went on sale on 28 October 2004

But the Review insisted on independent reporting and chose content over revenue on many occasions.

It prided itself on original journalism, challenging the powers that be, asking the questions many living in Asia either would not or could not ask, and had correspondents in almost every Asian capital.
But by the 1990s it faced new competition, and when Dow Jones took control of the magazine, efforts to introduce more lifestyle features sparked protests from Review loyalists - as did its decision to make it into a monthly rather than a weekly title.

Now the company says it will close completely so it can focus on core markets, expand online content in several languages and strengthen the Wall Street Journal in Asia.

Many of the region's greatest names in reporting made their mark in the pages of the Review - from the legendary Richard Hughes of Korean War fame, to Nate Thayer, the journalist who found Cambodia's Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot.



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