Foreign Policy Blogs

Remembering FEER

Those interested in East Asian economic and political issues have just lost one of their greatest resources: The Feer Eastern Economic Review (FEER).

December brought the terminal edition of FEER, a once flagship journal on East Asian economics and politics that, according to its 1946 mission statement, sought to

analyze and interpret financial, commercial and industrial developments; to collect economic news; and to present views and opinions with the intent to improve existing conditions. Politics and economics being connatural, it will be inevitable that this publication may at times appear to transgress its primary objective by reporting on, and dealing with, political affairs. At any time and in every case unbiased and dispassionate, factual and balanced reporting will be our aim and policy.”


According to Dow Jones, the owner of FEER, the decision to close the journal was the unfortunate result of “continued losses in advertising revenue and readers.”

To be sure, FEER’s final issue didn’t come as a total surprise. The magazine was significantly downsized five years ealier – switching from a weekly to a monthly – and has been beset with financial difficulties since. Interestingly, some FEER ex-staffers reckon that its termination was in the works the moment it was taken over by Dow Jones and the Rupert Murdoch news group, the result of bad blood between the management and staff. According to one anonymous employee commenting at The Economist’s website, “Every ex-Review staffer knows that its days were numbered the day Dow Jones bought it. The Asian Wall Street Journal never enjoyed the kind of readership and readers’ loyalty as that of the Review. And it wasn’t a secret that the Americans wanted the AWSJ to supplant the Review.”

Whatever the cause of its demise, it will be sorely missed. FEER’s termination is disheartening news to many journalists and analysts who had come to rely on it as a reliable, balanced take on a wide array of topics: international relations, science, technology, climate change, to name but a few. Indeed, what separated FEER from its competition, at least in my opinion, was its vibrant community of local, boots-on-the ground contributors that filed thoughtful dispatches from across the region.

For anyone interested, L. Gordon Crovitz has a brief history of the the publication here.

It’s not all bad news, though: Hugo Restall, the current editor in chief, and his team of six employess have been asked to stay on with WSJ Asia. As a result it is likely that much of this analysis will be redirected into other news outlets maintained by WSJ. What’s more, the website’s archives – including interviews, op-eds, videos, and troves of analysis – have been transferred to and will be maintained at

Still, it will be missed. (This fledgling journalist will particularly miss the trivialities and musings offered at FEER’s Traveller’s Tales.)



David Fedman

David Fedman is a PhD student in the History Department of Stanford University where he focuses on modern Japanese and Korean history. He lives in San Francisco, California.