Kong's Wah Kiu Yat Po failed to find a market for a North American edition launched in New York in 1976. In 1980 Taiwan Times established the Far East Times in San Francisco, only to close down in 1982.
Publishing a Chinese newspaper never was, nor is it now, a lucrative business. Most organs spoke for the interests of specific political groups or factions. In the 1980s the great majority of the newspapers lean to the right of center. Many support the Taiwan regime, reflecting the hold which the Kuomintang still have on important segments of the Chinese--American community. However, in recent years, since the improvement in relations between the United States and the People's Republic of China, a growing number of newspapers have tried to be more even-handed in their reporting on Taiwan and on the PRC. Increasing attention is also being given to Chinese--American issues.
Until recently the reporting style in most Chinese--American newspapers was stereotyped, production methods were archaic, and because of the low circulation, capital was usually unavailable for expansion. A few years ago, with the passing of the older immigrant generation and the declining use of Chinese by the American-born generation, which was rapidly being acculturated into American society, Chinese--language newspapers seemed doomed to extinction. This is illustrated by the example of Hawaii, where the once flourishing Chinese press is moribund. The increased Chinese immigration to the U.S. mainland since the mid--1960s, however, has given the Chinese--American press a new lease on life. The newer newspapers have also brought in a higher, more professional standard of journalism.
During the early 1980s, there were some fifteen dailies (each nationally distributed newspaper is considered to be a single entity regardless of the number of local editions) which included local news items, and seven foreign journals which were reprints of the home editions. There was also an ever changing number of semiweeklies, weeklies, biweeklies, and monthlies, with more than thirty-five at the last count. These phenomena reflect the fact that the Chinese-- American community is very complex and consists of a number of diverse components. As a result, it is doubtful whether any other ethnic community of comparable size (about 1 million) in the United States has more varied fare for its reading public.