Journal for the Academic Study of Religion, Vol 25, No 3 (2012)

New Religious Movements in Vietnamese Media Discourse since 1986: A Critical Approach

Chung Hoang
Issued Date: 24 May 2013


Since they appeared, ‘New Religious Movements’ (NRMs) have not only been controversial in the academic realm but also negatively reported by mass media around the world. Journalists’ attitudes towards NRMs have been reflected in the language they use to report on them: stereotyping, bias, sensationalised and unbalanced descriptions and even misinformation feature in media coverage of these movements in Europe, the United States, Australia and China. Interestingly, these problems are also found in the Vietnamese media’s reporting of NRMs as the country’s economy, culture and politics have begun to be globalised. Using Norman Fairclough’s techniques in media critical discourse analysis, and following Sean McCloud’s theses for understanding media presentations of new religions, this article examines Vietnamese journalists’ approaches to and coverage of NRMs. Because NRMs still exist at least for the foreseeable future, I would argue that the Vietnamese media should change its attitudes towards them so that the audience will be effectively informed.

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DOI: 10.1558/arsr.v25i3.293


Journal articles

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Edited books

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Chapter in edited books

A. Beckford, James
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Dinh, Thi Thuy Hang
2002 Between economic reform and political control: Educational and Training strategies to enhance the quality journalism in Vietnam. Ph.D. diss., University of Technology, Sydney.
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2005 A Comparative View of How Mainstream Journalism in Australia and Vietnam Reports on “New forms of Religion”. MA thesis, University of South Australia, Adelaide.
Pham, Quynh Phuong
2005 Hero and Deity : Empowerment and Contestation in the Veneration of Tran Hung Dao in contemporary Vietnam. Ph.D. diss., La Trobe University, Melbourne.


Công Xi
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Online material

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Dang, Thi Thu Huong
2006 The changes in the Vietnamese Government’s policies and Laws of Journalism and their affects to Journalism after the Economic Renovation 1986. Paper presented at the Conference of “Media: Policies, cultures and futures in the Asia Pacific region”, Curtin University, Australia. Online: (asscessed 1 August 2010)
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Other materials

Vietnamese Government Decree No. 5: Detailed rules on executing Media Law in The Amendment of the Media Law, 2001.


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