A bit of shocking news came out today regarding a study that suggests African-Americans are more apt to blog than their White and Hispanic counterparts. The study was conducted by researchers from the University of California in Berkeley, and their stunning findings may spark off a number of debates for years to come.
“Blacks consume less online content, but once online, are more likely to produce it,” says the study's author Jen Schradie, a white doctoral candidate in sociology at UC Berkeley. Schradie works as a researcher at the school's Berkeley Center for New Media. Between 2002 and 2008, Schradie and her team surveyed over 40,000 African-Americans for the Pew Internet and American Life Project. This latest study comes after a 2011 study in which Schradie saw a chasm between online content producers based on education and socio-economic status.
Schradie warns that this doesn't mean that huge strides in closing the gap exist, but does support the idea that the Internet-savvy are typically college-educated and aware of technology's many advances. “While blacks are more likely to blog than whites, it doesn't mean the digital divide is over. People with more income and education are still more likely to blog than those with just a high school education and Internet access,” said Schradie.
The study found 10 percent of Black people were more likely to blog than 6 percent of Whites. The study didn't exactly reveal why the numbers tilt in favor of African-Americans, but Schradie did say it may have to do with the fact that blogging may afford Black people media access in a way that mainstream media doesn't.
So does this mean Black folk can go back to chanting “Give us free” on these here Internets?
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