Most of the respondents are found to possess at least a little knowledge about the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) group as it has been found in the survey questionnaire data that most respondents heard and are aware of existence of LGBT.
Majority of the respondents approach and expose to media daily, according to the data collected from the survey questionnaires. This means that they have a better understanding of what is the content of media better than those who expose less to media. If there is any information or news about the LGBT group, this group of people will be the first to know and the group who will discuss the most as they approach to the media daily. This made the credibility of respondents and the data collected from them are higher because they understands and approach more to the media, as this research study about the perception gained from media.
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Among the many kinds of media, a greater number of respondents approach more to the new media. As the internet is not fully controlled by the government unlike other media, the information gained from internet is different from local media. LGBT related information and news can be found more on the internet, as individuals can access to various LGBT related web sites. If the individuals want to know more about the LGBT group, the internet is definitely a better choice compare to the local media. A large part of respondents are aware of the LGBT portrayal are also believed to obtain related information more from the new media, as it can be seen rarely on the local media.
Most respondents think that the media in Malaysia does not portray and expose the LGBT group sufficiently as they might not see the related information and article on the local media often. The LGBT related news can still be seen from time to time, but rarely. When there are news about the group, most respondents thinks that it is negative portrayal towards the LGBT group. It might be caused by the news shown are usually not happy news, like they are attacked, robbed or failed a law case.
Although most of the time LGBT are being portrayed not positively by the media, more than half respondents still feels neutral about LGBT group after the exposure of media. It is believed that the respondents already possess some information about the LGBT even before exposure of media, and have their own impression and impression towards the group. Their perceptions are still not changed by the media even after negative portrayal of LGBT group in media.
A majority number of total respondents find that the portrayal of LGBT group in media is not similar to the reality. One of the reasons might be the respondents already have friends or know someone from the LGBT group in real life, when they starts to understand about them, they find the media portrayal is different to reality.
Throughout the research data collection process, it has been found that the data collected from respondents are not quite similar to the articles and information collected in literature review. Although the articles collected so far discusses about the discrimination issues of LGBT in Malaysia, it has been found that the information are different from information gained from respondents who answers the questionnaires. From the articles that have been collected, it can be seen that LGBT suffers from attacks and robbery due to the discrimination issue. However from the data collected from survey, it can be seen that the most of respondents do not view the LGBT group negatively. In fact, they view the group as neutral and view them equally.
Other than that, the data collected in the survey questionnaires are seen to be similar with the articles that were discussed. In the local Malaysian media, the media portrayal is not much enough, resulting in the audienceâ€™s lack of knowledge about LGBT related information, and often causes misunderstanding towards the group. The respondents who participate in the data collection also, agree about this. Most of the respondents thinks that media does not expose the LGBT group sufficiently.
In the previous articles, it is also found that the media portrays the LGBT group differently. It is seen to be more negative as all the news is being attacked, robbed or law suits. Positive news about the LGBT related matter can hardly be seen on the media, causing most of the public perception to be more negative towards the group. In the data collection survey, the results are also similar. Large numbers of respondents agree that the media portrayal is negative towards the LGBT related information, and it is different compare to the reality.
As conclusion, although the LGBT news can rarely be seen in the local media, the public seems to possess some knowledge about the group. It could be someone they know in real life, their peer group or colleague. Which is why, what and how the media portray does not affect much about the respondents because they already have their own perception about the term LGBT.
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The media, although did not portray the group in a very negative way, did not portray the group in positive manner either. The news and articles that can be seen on the media are usually robbed, attacked and other similar news. The news about positive LGBT attitude is not seen in the media, causing the information about LGBT to be a little bit stereotypes on the mainstream media. Many respondents also agrees the fact that what are the media portraying about the LGBT group are not similar to the reality, as they are not like what are being portrayed and said on the media.
A very high percentage of respondents generally feel neutral to the LGBT matters before and after exposure of media. Some agree that it is human rights that should be respected, and some state that they should be accepted as they are, because they are also human being.
One of the limitation is the matter discussed is still a very sensitive issue all over the world, not to mention that Malaysia is an Islamic country that does not approve gay rights. The matter, if discussed in public, will surely stir up a big commotion among the society.
Some respondents also did not answers the question open mindedly because of their religious view. Some are extremely bias towards the LGBT group and does not like the idea of the group exposing themselves in the public, and thinks that it is not moral.
Although most of the respondents think neutrally about the matter, there are still a small group of respondents who carry bias and think that the matter is an issue that should not be discussed in public.
5.5 Suggestion for future research
It is suggested that for future research, the scope may be narrowed down to different types of media (eg. Printed media, broadcast media). Although it is more difficult in data collecting process and looking for subjects, it will enable the data collected to be more precise and detailed.
The research can also be done to a specific group of respondents, for example only target on homosexuals, and to see if the research carry what result compare to general audience.