All Articles Tagged "digital divide"

Report: District’s Blacks, Hispanics Lack Internet Services

December 10th, 2010 - By TheEditor
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(Afro) — Survey findings by the Washington, D.C. –based Public Media Corps reveal that when it comes to accessing the Internet to secure products and services as well as for use in honing skills, Blacks and Latinos in the District tend to be at a disadvantage. As a result, the digital divide widens, leading some to ponder if the lack of broadband services in underserved households will become the next civil rights issue.  “Oh, absolutely, because so much of our society is accessed online now,” said Hilary Shelton, Washington Bureau NAACP director of advocacy. “So for [there] to be equality, people have to have equal access to the information.”

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The Future of the Internet: What Artists, Entrepreneurs, Communities Could Lose

December 1st, 2010 - By TheEditor
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(New American Media) — Within 24 hours of the shooting of Oscar Grant – an unarmed, 22-year-old African American killed by a white BART police officer on New Year’s Day 2009 – Oakland rap artist Mistah F.A.B. recorded a poignant, heartfelt tribute titled, “My Life.”  F.A.B. recorded the song to “enlighten people to what’s going on.” But given the highly controversial, racially charged subject matter, he said, “I knew that the local radio station wasn’t gonna play it. I knew the clubs weren’t going to play it.”  “My Life” was too hot for mainstream outlets to touch. But thanks to the Internet, F.A.B. could bypass those venues and post a video of the song on YouTube. It quickly received more than 15,000 views. “My Life” was also noted on numerous sites around cyberspace, from San Francisco’s Indybay.org to Philadelphia’s OkayPlayer.com to Helsinki’s Multitunes.com. The song appeared as a link more than 45,000 times between January and April 2009.

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African-American Group Asks Pelosi to Oppose Bobby Rush

November 19th, 2010 - By TheEditor
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(Wired News) — The founder of an influential, left-leaning web-based organization that advocates on African-American issues is asking House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to oppose the candidacy of Bobby Rush (D-Illinois, pictured at left), who is African-American, to become the ranking member on the House Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet.  The reason?  “Congressman Rush has repeatedly supported the interests of the telecommunications industry over the interests of regular people, and has been a fierce opponent of network neutrality,” James Rucker, executive director of Color of Change, which has 800,000 online members, wrote in a letter to Pelosi Thursday.

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Internet Access as the Next Civil Rights Battle?

November 15th, 2010 - By TheEditor
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(New American Media) — The ongoing, often arcane, battle over whether telecommunications companies may slow certain online services and charge fees to speed up others has morphed into a civil rights controversy.  Many of the country’s leading civil rights organizations are siding with the phone and cable companies in their bid to prevent federal regulations over their broadband, or high-speed, Internet services. At stake: whether to preserve “network neutrality” — the longstanding principle that all consumers can access whatever websites or applications they want on the Internet, at the same speed and without limitations imposed by Internet service providers.

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Why Digital Expansion Could Save Black America

November 12th, 2010 - By TheEditor
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(The Grio) — The votes are in. The message is clear. Jobs and economic recovery are of primary concern to voters, and those are the issues that should be front and center to elected leaders. The voters in campaigns across the country focused their discussion on how government and business could restore health to the nation’s economy and how elected officials can set policy to create jobs for 15 million unemployed men and women. Voters made clear in the town hall meetings and in rallies that they are most concerned about getting back to work and job security. Voters made it clear that supporting their families and creating opportunities for their children and grandchildren are their top priorities. As a former mayor, these are the concerns I have heard in my conversations with other elected officials and neighbors in my hometown.
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Racial Inequalities Persist Online

November 9th, 2010 - By TheEditor
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(CNN International) — Despite widespread increases in use of broadband internet, the Web today still doesn’t accurately represent the racial demographics of America.  That’s the take-away from a report on U.S. broadband adoption, published Monday by the Department of Commerce.  “An African-American household at the same income level and with the same education level as a white household is still less likely to have broadband access and use the internet,” said Rebecca Blank, one of the report’s authors and the undersecretary for economic affairs at the Department of Commerce.

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Broadband Usage Growing Even as Gaps Persist

November 8th, 2010 - By TheEditor
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(AP) — dThe U.S. still faces a significant gap in residential broadband use that breaks down along incomes, education levels and other socio-economic factors, even as subscriptions among American households overall grew sevenfold between 2001 and 2009.  What’s more, even when controlling for key socio-economic characteristics, the U.S. continues to confront a racial gap in residential broadband use, with non-Hispanic white Americans and Asian-Americans more likely to go online using a high-speed connection than African-Americans and Hispanics.  Those are some of the key conclusions of a new analysis of Census data being released Monday by the Commerce Department. It found that the percentage of households that connect to the Internet using broadband grew to 63.5 percent in 2009 from 9.2 percent in 2001, reflecting increases across nearly all demographics.

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African Americans Outpace Whites in Mobile Phone, App Usage

September 24th, 2010 - By TheEditor
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(Black Web 2.0) — As the discussion on net neutrality and equal access to high-speed Internet continues, minorities continue to make strides in closing the digital divide.  According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project  minorities are not only gaining access to the Web, we’re doing it without necessarily having to access a desktop or a laptop. When it comes to social media, we’re not only using it at a higher rate, but we also have a different perspective on how we engage with the technology.

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An Unlikely Source of Web 2.0 Contributors: The US Prison System

September 20th, 2010 - By TheEditor
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(Black Web 2.0) – When thinking about those who use new media, we often bring to mind images of relatively young and well off people who access social media using trendy laptops or stylish smartphones.  However, there is a group that is slowly gaining access to blogs and sites like Facebook and Twitter that don’t fit these images.  This group is made up of people who are incarcerated in the US prison system. You may be surprised to learn that prisoners have ways to create the user generated content that makes up Web 2.0.

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Lessons in Broadband Literacy from the Barbershop

September 16th, 2010 - By TheEditor
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(Black Web 2.0) — I’ve been going to the same barber for about 12 years now. He’s aware that I work in the tech industry so we always have discussions about gadgets mixed in with the usual sports trash talk and banter about current events that you can only hear at the “shop”.

Recently, I visited the shop with my sons to get a fresh cut.  There was a little wait till it was our turn. During the downtime, I decided to whip out my iPhone (like I do at pretty much any idle moment) and finished watching “Iron Man” on Netflix. When it was my turn in the chair, my barber asked me what I was doing and I proceeded to explain. The more I gave him details about Netflix and it streaming capabilities, the more I could see I was getting the attention of the rest of the shop.

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