Virtually all of the bad press about the New Kadampa Tradition (NKT) originates from the late 1990’s and is based on false information spread by the Dalai Lama or his followers because of the NKT’s continued practice of Dorje Shugden and its courage to stand up for Tibetan Dorje Shugden practitioners in opposition to the Dalai Lama’s ban of this practice. This bad press caused serious damage to the NKT’s reputation.
The articles that appeared at that time were answered point-for-point. However, these replies, refutations, and letters to the editor appear only rarely on the Internet, whereas the original articles have been continually repeated by NKT critics, sometimes given the cloak of respectability by the good name of these publications.
Much of the Western media in the past have shown themselves inclined to believe what the Dalai Lama says without doing much research. This may be because he is part of the establishment and he has a famous brand name, giant PR machine, celebrity status, and great deal of money. He is also mistakenly believed by some Westerners to be the Pope of Buddhism, even though Buddhism has never had the equivalent of Popes. One Guardian journalist who knew and was sympathetic to the NKT nevertheless said he did not feel able to write an article because it would be seen to be “shooting Bambi”. Whatever the reasons, it was very difficult back in the day for the NKT’s side of the story to receive a fair hearing. Luckily, attitudes have changed since then, both toward the 14th Dalai Lama and the NKT, and there have been vanishingly few bad articles in the last decade or more.
The NKT has also received very good press over the years. Here’s one random example. Articles in recent years have all been hugely more favorable than in the 1990s.