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date: 11 April 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter opens with an examination of the journalism issues surrounding the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) assault on the Branch Davidian community outside of Waco, Texas, in 1993. The discussion of news media coverage of New Religions then moves on to James A. Beckford’s analysis of such journalistic treatments, and examines several studies that place NRM journalism in a diachronic perspective. This will be followed by a short discussion of the relationship between New Religion journalism and fictional treatments of alternative religions. Finally, we examine the news media’s role in the moral panic about NRMs in the latter half of the twentieth century.

Keywords: Religion journalism, Branch Davidians, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Unification Church, Moral Panic

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