A new report confirms that Arabic media is spreading homophobia & transphobia in the region.

OutRight Action International has launched a new report titled, ‘Arab Mass Media: A Monitoring Report Looking at Sexuality & Gender Identity in Arabic Media from 2014 to 2017.’

The report monitors widespread local & national newspapers in 14 countries in the Arab region, radio, TV channels & social media platforms to assess the current language journalists use to talk about LGBTQ people & if the coverage is positive, negative, or neutral.

The report found that currently journalists in the region often use derogatory terms that perpetuate homophobia & transphobia & highlights evidence of hate speech inspired by religious doctrine, medical misinformation & legal fallacies being used to describe our LGBTQ community.

Jessica Stern, Executive Director of OutRight Action International stated,

“All around the world, the use of homophobic & transphobic language in the media has perpetuated prejudice & lies about the LGBTIQ community. We must work to sensitize the media & journalists in order to change negative public opinions about LGBTIQ issues & move towards respect, equality & acceptance for all.”

Nazeeha Saeed, OutRight’s Arabic Media Coordinator, noted that not all of the coverage was negative adding,

“While most of the reporting is very negative & even derogatory, there are a few noteworthy exceptions. For example, when media reported on singer Ricky Martin’s engagement to a Syrian boyfriend, the language was surprisingly neutral. I think the reason is that foreign musicians & artists are given more leeway in society & so the reporting also becomes more accepting.”