Kurdistan poll ... hate speech competes with the professional coverage

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Kurdistan poll ... hate speech competes with the professional coverage


Iraqi Media House

Kurdistan poll ... hate speech competes with the professional coverage




At the 31th monitoring report, the Iraqi Media House monitored a local media coverage and officials' statements which was not free from the hate speech of the political crisis between Baghdad and Erbil, which occurred after the referendum of the region. This monitoring was from August 2017 to 15th of September, 2017. The monitoring sample included comments from TV channels, news agencies and newspapers.


The authorities in the Kurdistan region announced their intention to hold a referendum on the independence of the Kurdistan region from Iraq on 25th of September, which caused the latest political crisis between Baghdad and Erbil, where most of the forces, parties and political figures were involved in statements including an exchange of accusations and tense positions, and the media shared them without taking into account the professional side.


IMH's monitors depended on the websites, news agencies, and newspapers archives and the videos that published on YouTube and other social media to complete their monitoring sample.


The monitoring report takes into consideration different media orientations according to the nature of funding, whether from the state, the private sector, parties, forces and political figures, through monitoring the media coverage of the referendum, which included news, visual and written reports, and opinion articles.


The monitoring reached to the following results:


1-   The bias of some media to the referendum and the political crisis between Baghdad and Erbil that accompanied it, Where the media focused on unilateral attitudes through the use of deputies and politicians from one of the parties to the Kurdish and Arab crisis in covering the crisis without the presence of representatives of the other party, which resulting in biased media coverage based on political and non-professional criteria.


2-   The media, especially television channels based on the politicians' statements, deputies and Iraqi officials, including speech and expressions of hatred and threats of direct and indirect and personal to the crisis, for example "conspiracy" and "reckless" and "rebellion", "bullying" and "Barzani referendum" , And "referendum will be the day of the fall of the Erbil's dictator ," and "dwarf",  and "referendum a new kind of terrorism," 3 It was noted that the indulgence of academics, experts, analysts and lawyers in that are supposed to be unbiased to regional positions of a political nature. This phenomenon has already been warned by the "Iraqi Media House" in the "The Dictionary of Hate" monitoring report.


3-   Another media has maintained a "acceptable level" in the professional coverage of the crisis through the positions of representatives of the parties to the crisis and try to focus on the legal and administrative points instead of the convulsive views, through news bulletins and talk programs contributed by the authors of these programs in order to prevent escalating statements between the guests of programs and newsletters.


4-   The media exploited the political crisis to target local political forces, parties and personalities through analytical reports and special statements based on prominent religious, social and political figures.


5-   Media allowed officials to express statements and positions that included explicit accusations of specific issues without providing evidence and facts, and reached them to the social media, which led to the entry of Iraqis in heated discussions and reached the exchange of threats and insults in a sign to endanger the peace and security of the community.


6-   The media used news and publications on unknown social networking sites, for example rumors about the threat of Arab residents in the Kurdistan region and vice versa threat Kurdish citizens in Baghdad and the southern provinces, in addition to the publication of pictures as the military forces launched from Baghdad to the Kurdistan region to prevent the referendum, The Peshmerga is moving towards Kirkuk, showing that the pictures are old and go back to previous years, and the media did not hesitate to publish such news without verifying its credibility, and the officials forced to go through the news by denying and refuting rumors, or building attitudes on which sparked controversy among Iraqis.


7-   Media allowed the publication of opinion articles on their websites and newspapers included a hate speech not free of insults and threats and accusations contributed to the spread of these articles and access to the public and led to a hassle between users of social media.




  1.    The Iraqi Media House stresses the need for the media to give the media a high priority in covering major crises, especially those related to the fate of individuals, groups, institutions and social groups, by obtaining sources of information from concerned political parties and politicians, and by adopting attitudes, opinions and information without allowing the use of hate speech and threats. , And should refrain from obtaining statements that indicate that those who are out of jurisdiction contribute to exacerbate the crisis and deepen the social divide.
  2.    The journalist and media person responsible for covering the crises should provide a wide database that includes the official and non-official positions that preceded the crisis and during which they were confirmed on the official websites and then compared to the current positions, and asking the officials to einclude their statements by evidence.


  1.    Avoid the media use of news and publications on social networking sites, especially with the spread of what has become popularly and officially known as "electronic armies" based on news and fabricated stories spread among a wide range of the public through the "funded advertisement" "There is a need to promote a culture of professional interaction with digital content by providing expertise to the public in how to deal with news, photos and videos circulating, and to identify the dangers of false publications on Security and peace meeting.
  • International media development organisations express their grave concern that press freedom is increasingly under threat in the Kurdish Region of Iraq

    The Court ruling of the 16 February 2021 sentencing journalists and civil society activists to six years in prison for undermining national security, has led to grave concerns regarding the room for open public debate in the Kurdish Region of Iraq.

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