According to the Political Year, Online Media Coverage is Discriminatory Against LGBT Individuals


Jakarta- Reports from a number of online media tend to be discriminatory towards Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender groups ahead of the 2024 National Election. This news has the potential to escalate persecution and violence against LGBT individuals.


The Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) Indonesia, the Union of Journalists for Diversity (SEJUK), and the non-governmental organization that promotes the rights of LGBT groups, Arus Pelangi, monitored the mainstream media. In January and February of 2023, the three of them gathered online media articles that revealed the majority of them lacked a gender perspective and did not defend the rights of the LGBT minority.


Local and national online media are dominated by anti-LGBT statements from politicians and government officials, which has the potential to exacerbate antagonism, intolerance, discrimination, and persecution towards this community. For instance, the anti-LGBT statement made by the mayor of Medan, Bobby Nasution.


Following the lead of the son-in-law of President Joko Widodo, public officials in Makassar, Bandung, Garut, North Kalimantan, and Sampang campaigned for the development of an anti-LGBT Regional Regulation Draft. "The media amplifies and promotes discriminatory policies more through statements by politicians and officials," said Secretary General of AJI Indonesia, Ika Ningtyas, Monday, March 6, 2023.


In Makassar, the anti-LGBT regional regulation has risen to the top of the regional law discussion agenda. The Regional People's Legislative Assembly in Garut, West Java, received anti-LGBT draft proposals from a community organization. Arus Pelangi feels that the proposed regional regulation will contribute to the extensive list of anti-LGBT regulations.


There are 48 anti-LGBT regulations in Indonesia. The district government of Cianjur, West Java, has a circular on prevention of LGBT, Bogor issued a local regulation on the prevention and management of sexually deviant behavior, and the government of Kota Pariaman, West Sumatra, has a local regulation that regulates LGBT. A total of 1,840 LGBT people were victims of persecution from 2006 to 2018.


Using the phrase LGBT, these journalist groups and non-profit organizations obtained quantitative data by reviewing internet media reports one by one. During two months, they examined 113 local and national media reports.


The data is identified based on the categorization of news with a gender perspective, neutral and non-gender perspective. Apart from that, this monitoring also identified the identities and statements of sources, news titles, angles or viewpoints, media identities, diction or choice of words, region, date of publication of news, and frequency of diction used in news.


As a result, as many as 100 news shows no gender perspective, five are neutral, and only eight have a gender perspective. The media often quoted discriminatory statements such as from mass organization figures 35 times, 31 DPRD members, 25 times the mayor, regent and deputy regent, and 16 times the heads of departments and heads of departments. Meanwhile, the voice of the LGBT group were only five.


Also, the media employs a great deal of stigmatizing language, such as LGBT deviant behavior 29 times, LGBT prohibited by religion 28 times, and LGBT breaking moral or cultural values 13 times. "Discriminatory language contributes to the stigma and perpetuates discrimination against the LGBT minority," stated Tantowi Anwari, manager of advocacy at SEJUK.


Eleven regions, including DKI Jakarta, West Java, East Java, North Kalimantan, West Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan, Bangka Belitung, West Sumatra, North Sumatra, South Sulawesi, and Riau, practice LGBT-discriminatory reporting. Analyzing LGBT-related news coverage reveals an increasing tendency to politicize identity as the 2024 election approaches. Political parties encourage candidates to fight for voter support through the use of the most approachable issue, namely LGBT.


With these findings, AJI Indonesia, SEJUK, and Arus Pelangi urged the media to produce stories that were inclusive of the LGBT minority group, appreciated diversity, and utilized a human rights perspective in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.


The coverage of LGBT individuals in the mass media should not promote discrimination, provocation, and hatred, which can lead to discrimination, persecution, and violence. Each journalist is bound by law to the Journalistic Code of Ethics and the Press Law. "Before to 2024, the media must be extremely vigilant regarding identity politics user behavior," stated Ika.


In addition, encourage the Press Council to actively socialize the Press Council Regulations regarding Guidelines for Reporting on Diversity Issues to the press community. The guidelines are an important reference for the press in reporting on issues of diversity so that the news full of respect as well as protect human rights, instead of does not contain discrimination, hatred, inflame conflicts.


Jakarta, Monday, March 6 2023

Secretary General of AJI Indonesia, Ika Ningtyas

SEJUK Advocacy Manager, Tantowi Anwari


contact person:

Shinta Maharani

Gender, Children and Marginal Groups AJI Indonesia.

Hotline: +62 811-1137-820

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