Fw: Racial divide exists re: Internet (fwd)

H. C. Covington (ach1@sprynet.com)
Sat, 18 Apr 1998 16:15:21 -0500

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 17 Apr 1998 12:19:17 EDT
From: Curt Priest <cpriest@juno.com>

Title:  Internet Contains a Racial Divide On Access and Use, Study Shows
Source: Wall Street Journal (B10)   <http://wsj.com/>
Author: Rebecca Quik
Issue:  Internet

Description: An article published in Science today quantifies what has
long been suspected: there's a racial divide on the Internet.  Among
high-school and college students, 73% of white students interviewed in a
new study had a computer at home -- just 32% of black students had one. 
Even when just looking at households with incomes below $40,000/yr,
whites are still twice as likely as blacks to own a computer.  Nielsen
Media Research interviewed 5,813 randomly selected people from December
1996 through January 1997.  White students are six times as likely to
find alternative ways to access the Internet if they do not own a
computer.  "That's astonishing," said co-author Prof Donna Hoffman of
Vanderbilt University.  "This shows that not only do we have a problem
with the status of technology in schools, but it's also a problem in our

Title:  Racial Divide Found on Information Highway
Source: New York Times (A1,A22)
Author: Amy Harmon
Issue:  Internet/Minorities
Description: A study to be published today in the journal Science has
found that black Americans are less likely to use the Internet than
white Americans.  The "sharp" racial divide is particularly evident
"among households below the median income." The study, authored by Donna
L. Hoffman, a professor of management at the Vanderbilt Univ., and
Thomas P. Novak, found that "in households with annual incomes below
$40,000, whites were six times as likely as blacks to have used the
World Wide Web in the past week.  Lower-income white households were
also twice as likely to own a home computer as were black households."
The study is "significant" because it documents concerns that the recent
growth of the Internet "might further exacerbate the gap between the
nation's rich and poor.  And while it is no surprise that Americans with
lower incomes are less likely to own a computer, the study highlights
for the first time what may be the more disturbing role of race in
determining who has access to digital technology." "As we move into the
information age, you need more than reading, writing and arithmetic to
participate in our society.  You need information literacy, and if
African-Americans don't have it, that's a serious problem," said B. 
Keith Fulton, director of programs and policy for the National Urban
League.  "One of the things it looks like we have here are some solid,
up-to-date statistics that paint a more comprehensive picture than we've
understood in the past," said Andrew Blau, director of communications
policy at the Benton Foundation which studies the impact of technology
and signs my paycheck.  "It's not one that offers anybody easy relief,
but having a better understanding of the nature of the problem is the
first step toward devising a solution." The study's results were based
on data collected in a telephone survey conducted by Nielsen Media
Research from Dec 1996 through Jan 1997. 

H. C. Sonny Covington  @  I CAN! America
Community Based Management Consultants
427 St. John Street - Lafayette, LA  70501
(318) 235-7005  Fax 318-234-0953