The award for Truth in Journalism went to The Epoch Times, a New York-based media network that covers 21 languages and 33 countries, and is driven by a stated dedication to bringing “uncensored and truthful information” to the world.
“Our paper was born out of a need to respond to a human rights catastrophe in China,” said Stephen Gregory, publisher of The Epoch Times.
“It was enabled by the communist Party’s vicious and dishonest propaganda,” Gregory added, referring to malign efforts by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to cast the Falun Gong spiritual movement in a negative light to provide cover for the regime’s brutal and relentless persecution of Falun Gong practitioners.
One of the most dramatic examples of the CCP’s anti-Falun Gong propaganda was the so-called “Tiananmen Square Self-Immolation” incident in 2001, a sordid and staged affair that involved regime officials arranging for complicit individuals to be set on fire in Tiananmen Square, while falsely claiming that they were Falun Gong practitioners and broadcasting the horrific footage to the world.
The Epoch Times investigated the incident and found dozens upon dozens of facts that exposed the so-called self-immolation as a false flag hoax. Yet, around the time of the incident, many media outlets essentially copied the CCP’s talking points, inadvertently serving to reinforce the regime’s brutal persecution campaign.
“The Epoch Times’ truthful reporting exposed the communist Party’s lies for the Chinese people but it also helped protect our Western audience,” Gregory said. “It disabused for them the lies in this propaganda.”
At the same time, The Epoch Times’ reporting has also helped uncover how communist ideas are taking root in the United States, Gregory added.
Founded in 2000 in Atlanta, Georgia, by Chinese-Americans who had fled communist China, The Epoch Times has grown to become a household name in the highly competitive U.S. media landscape. The outlet’s success has come at a price, however, with some of its China-based reporters arrested, tortured, and jailed—some for as long as ten years.
The CONTENT2021 award for Best Video Magazine went to Joshua Philipps and his “Crossroads” program.
Philipp, an investigative reporter and host of EpochTV’s “Crossroads” program, told The Epoch Times in an interview that winning the award is “an honor.”
“The channel is still fairly new, but has been able to have a significant impact in its investigations into the origins of the CCP virus, and in its ongoing interviews and news analysis,” Philipp said.
Philipp last year led the production of a documentary called “Tracking Down the Origin of Wuhan Coronavirus,” an investigative piece that raised important questions about the source of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, the pathogen that causes the disease COVID-19. His documentary faced pushback from legacy media outlets and was censored on social media platforms because it gives serious consideration to the theory that the virus did not make a natural jump from animals to humans but may have arisen due to a lab leak.
Yet the lab leak theory has gained traction in recent weeks, with current mainstream reporting now widely acknowledging it as a real possibility and the Biden administration calling for a probe into it as an equally plausible hypothesis to the notion that the virus may have naturally jumped from bats to humans.
Philipp said that his program’s success came in spite of Big Tech’s efforts at suppressing his content.
“All of this is despite the many attempts that have been made to censor the show by big tech platforms, including YouTube having totally demonetized it,” he said.
“Despite these attacks, nothing will stop us from speaking the truth, and there’s more great content soon to come,” he added.
Conservatives and their Republican allies in Congress have long held that platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube have been engaging in concerted efforts to suppress conservative voices, allegations the companies have denied.
The CONTENT2021 summit is scheduled to take place on Sept. 6-9 at Capernaum Studios in the Dallas, Texas area.