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JustHere | December 6, 2016

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[SURVEY] Over 70% pan-Arab residents prefer greater regulation of romantic and violent content

A still from the movie 'Noah' that was banned in Qatar and other GCC countries. Other films like 'The Wolf of Wall Street' was heavily censored.

A still from the movie ‘Noah’ that was banned in Qatar and other GCC countries. Other films like ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ was heavily censored.

Though 66% residents of Arab countries think watching content from different parts of the world as beneficial, yet 65% from the region prefer more content based on their own culture and history. Qatar has the highest percentage of nationals (94%) who believed more should be done to preserve cultural traditions.

These findings are from a pan-Arab study conducted by Northwestern University in Qatar in partnership with Doha Film Institute, covering 6,035 individuals from six countries: Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia and the UAE.

The study titled ‘Entertainment Media Use in the Middle East’ was carried out to understand cultural attitudes around entertainment in the region. About 71% of Arabs feel Arab films and television are good for mortality, while only 15% felt the same about Hollywood films.  About 69% believed entertainment content should be more regulated for romance, while 74% said the same for violence. Also, 68% believed entertainment programmes should be banned if they were found offensive.

Media habits among Qatari nationals

As compared to other countries, Qatar had the lowest percentage of nationals who watched films (15%) or online content (29%) from their own country. Interestingly, Qatar has the highest percentage of nationals who want to see more entertainment based on their culture and history (83%).
A majority of residents in Qatar also supported government regulation and censorship to produce quality entertainment (81%), second after Saudi Arabia (88%).
Qatari residents were also positive about the impact entertainment has on children. About 73% residents feel entertainment helps children become tolerant towards other cultures.

The interactive survey can be viewed here.

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