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Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review

Volume 8, Issue 2, 2017

Special Issue on Falun Gong and the Media

Wang Songmao, Liu Weizhen
Pages 189-202
DOI: 10.5840/asrr201783036

Falun Gong and Cross-cultural Image Building in the New York Times

In this paper, 222 news reports about Falun Gong found in the New York Times from 2008 to 2016 are scrutinized via the theory of image building. An analysis is offered of images of the movement presented in the New York Times, in which location, disorder, and superstition are presented as key themes. The newspaper’s level of objectivity is considered, as are its reflections on the anti-cult movement. The context of cross-cultural communication is examined, with a focus on the lack of cultural understanding that is evident as well as the writers’ uncertainty about the definition of Falun Gong.