Pew: Digital Divide Persists, Is More Inconsistent – Stats and Studies, 1/13/2014

Media and Technology Institute Stats and Studies – January 13, 2014

The digital divide between Blacks and whites continues to exist, but is not consistent among demographic groups or technological platforms, according to the Pew Research Center’s new study on African Americans and Technology Use. While African Americans still trail white Americans overall in Internet use (80 percent to 87 percent) and home broadband adoption (62 percent to 74 percent), Blacks between the ages of 18 and 29 were as likely to use the Internet (98 percent) and have home broadband (86 percent) as their white counterparts. Cell phone ownership, smartphone adoption and social media use were equally popular among both racial groups overall.

The United States is tops in broadband subscribers but seriously lagging in fiber connections, according to the latest data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. While the U.S. is home to 93 million broadband subscribers and trails only Japan in wireless penetration, it ranks 14th in overall fiber connections and below OECD average in fiber growth.

After a visit to Silicon Valley to discuss spectrum auctions and the open Internet, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler attended a town hall meeting in Oakland sponsored by Voices for Internet Freedom. There, he answered questions on concerns to communities of color, such as lack of high-speed broadband, minority access to the media, access to broadband by the poor and minorities and media consolidation.

After facing criticism for lack of diversity, Saturday Night Live has added two black women to its writing staff, as well as a black female cast member.

A study from technology company Ericsson, in cooperation with Arthur D. Little and Chalmers University of Technology, found that broadband speed may increase household income. This analysis of select OECD countries, along with Brazil, India and China, found that average broadband speed positively correlates with household income, with income leaps showing up at 2 Mbps for OECD countries and .5 Mbps for BIC countries. Potential reasons for this correlation include gaining technological services that allow for more productive work and exposure to the wealth of information that the Internet provides.

CBS News scores highest in journalistic quality and lack of bias according to a poll of news directors given by TVNewsCheck. CBS scored 3.16 on a four-point scale of overall quality and was considered to have “no bias” by 47.4 percent of directors surveyed. With the exception of CBS, all news networks declined in quality since the 2011 news directors poll. Meanwhile, Pew finds that Americans are less likely to recognize a top news anchor today than they were in 1985.

Forty-four percent of Americans use another electronic device while watching television, typically a smartphone, according to a report by the Consumer Electronics Association and the National Association of Television Program Executives. Of those using a second screen, 67 percent are searching for program-related content. Only 13 percent of second screen users report that using another device makes watching TV “much more enjoyable,” while 67 percent find it makes their viewing experience “somewhat more enjoyable.”

Digital media sales have doubled in the past year, becoming the fastest-growing source of home entertainment revenue. Despite remaining a fraction of total home entertainment spending, digital sales surpassed $1 billion in 2013 and are seen as part of an offset for slumping DVD sales.

December 2013 broadcast station numbers from the Federal Communications Commission listed 776 low-power radio stations, 15,358 full-power radio stations and 1,784 full-power television stations in the US. These numbers are up slightly for full-power radio and television and down slightly for low-power radio from September 2013 totals.

A bill on telehealth modernization aims to standardize the definition of telehealth and promote its use. Meanwhile, a report from the Office of the Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services warns of flaws in the push for electronic health records adoption, mainly surrounding fraud.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s