Access to Information - The Widening Gap

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Access to Information - The Widening Gap

The “Digital Divide” is a buzz phrase heard today in North America. It refers to the growing divide between people who have and do not have access to information specifically via the internet. There are various forms of digital divides but the one that is the most despair is the global digital divide between industrialized countries and developing nations. Optimists feel that the internet and information it carries brings potential to societies of developing nations but pessimists feel that the internet offers no new potential for developing nations but rather it reinforces existing divisions of inequality. Various positive and negative outlooks will be delved into in this essay to give a broader perspective of the scenario of the global digital divide. One could also very well argue that information technology will not stop spreading around the globe and in fact there are many projects and policies being put up to expand information and communication technologies (ICT’s) all around the world. By identifying this, working on bridging the global digital divide and trying to utilize information communication technologies to their full potential is what should be done because it will be a very complex procedure do to the inherit original problems developing countries already are dealing with. This essay will also explore efficient ways of bridging this immense gap.

There are many plausible reasons why the internet age may reinforce disparities between postindustrial economies at the core of the network and developing societies at the periphery. (Pippa, p5) It will be hard for developing nation to get on the internet bandwagon because of plagues such as burdens of debt, dieses, fami...

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...vember 3/03. Online at:

Norris, Pippa. Digital Divide, Civic Engagement, Information Poverty, and the

Internet World Wide. Cambridge University press, 2001.

Servon, Lisa. Bridging the Digital Divide. Technology, Community, and Public

Policy. The Information Age Series. Oxford: Blackwell publishing, 2002.

United Nations Activities Addressing the Digital Divide: Building "Digital Bridges"

for The 21st Century. Prepared by the Centre for Global Studies at the University of Victoria with the assistance of the International Development Research Centre. August 2000.

Referenced on November 11/03. Online at:

Warchauer, Mark. Technology and Social Inclusion Rethinking the Digital Divide.

Cambridge: Massachusetts institute of technology, 2003.

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