• United States
News Editor

Disappearing digital divide

Mar 31, 20061 min
Data Center

Can you stand some good news this morning?

According to this report in The New York Times, the so-called digital divide between whites and African Americans has closed dramatically in recent years.

“What digital divide?” was the rhetorical question from Magic Johnson, the basketball star turned successful businessman. He’s not alone in asking.

A Pew survey cited in the story shows 74 percent of whites go online while 61 percent of African Americans do so. In 1998, those numbers were 42 and 23 percent, respectively.

While such studies and anecdotal evidence give reason for optimism, some experts caution that there remains a significant gap in the depth and quality of the online experience afforded African Americans and whites – particularly among young people.

And there’s another risk such advocates will now need to contend with: Good news of this sort can have a perverse effect. This country’s media and political institutions are crisis-driven by nature. Declaring the crisis over can make finishing the job much more difficult.

News Editor

In addition to my editing duties, I have written Buzzblog since January, 2006 and wrote the 'Net Buzz column in Network World's dearly departed print edition for 13 years. Feel free to e-mail me at