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Where Internet Grows Fast

Fast growth in connectivity and use of the internet in nations such as Myanmar, Malaysia and Algeria is all good news for independent journalism; and bad news for autocratic, corrupt governments.
 
St Kitts and Nevis is a small duo of islands in the Caribbean with a population of a mite under 55,000. That doesn’t include tourists, whose number is always higher than the local populace. The country rarely features in international news. When it does, it’s mostly the topic of travel articles and tourism fairs. The local bromide is “Rush Slowly.” That’s what visitors are advised at all times during their holiday in the islands.
 
But life on the islands is not that slack. Political brawls and politicians evicted from parliament, suspicious deals with money from the local treasury and the role of the country in a controversial citizen-by-investment program were just a few of the peppery stories that made it into the local media this year.
 

The Most and Least Affordable Internet: From the U.K. to the Central African Republic

Journalists are now able to reach billions of people all over the world. But for many people in the global south, consuming their products is an extremely costly venture.
 
There has been no major journalism or media event in recent years without the word “digital” on the agenda. Digital gurus evangelize journalists about how easily they now can reach people anywhere in the world.
 
There is no doubt that journalistic content, bad or good, in today's age makes it to unknown corners of the world and reaches larger swathes of readership than ever before. And there is no doubt that the internet has hobbled vast parts of media industries.
 
But how many people can, in fact, surf the internet ad infinitum is a different story. The most connected people today are in places where journalism is facing the fewest problems (although it still goes through painful changes), and, ironically, they pay the least for their internet connection.
 
Elsewhere, the internet remains a significant cost for its users and in many countries in the global south it’s a luxury.
 

Millennials Are Shaping the Future Latin American Media

Millennials, as today’s youth are known, are the dominant audience of Latin America. They increasingly consume media on mobile devices. These two trends are telling for where Latin American media will be in a decade or so.
 
Latin America accounts for 10% of all internet users worldwide, which is more or less what the region represents in terms of global population as 8.6% of the globe’s inhabitants are located there, according to the latest report from Comscore. However, this proportion varies significantly. Europe, where over 10% of the globe’s population is located, accounts for some 27% of the total online population worldwide. In contrast, Asia, where some two-thirds of all the people in the world live, is home to only 40% of all internet users today. Comscore’s study brings together Africa and the Middle East in a single region that hosts 9% of all internet users.
 
The obvious conclusion is that although it seems that today everything is literally online, people, relationships, trade, politics, you name it, the reality is different. The digital divide, which is a hot topic in Latin America, is also significant in the global context.
 

Ranking Telcos: Name and Shame Them and They Will Improve

There are several initiatives out there that measure and rank companies. Pharmaceutical manufacturers are ranked according to how they ensure access to medicines and major foodstuffs producers are ranked according to their impact on communities. Now, we have the Corporate Accountability Index that measures how internet companies and telcos fare in their general commitment to digital rights and practices related to freedom of expression and privacy.
 
However, is this merely a game of name and shame?
 

Though it seems like one, the ultimate goal is to actually improve companies. Rebecca MacKinnon, the director of the Corporate Accountability Index, an initiative supported by a dozen of funders and several research centers, says that the main goal of this initiative and the kind of impact the index is craving is to force companies to improve their policies, because that will ultimately have positive repercussions on consumers.

Only 5% of the World’s Languages Are on the Internet

Many laud the internet for opening up the space for everybody to communicate. But how linguistically diverse is this space? A new report shows it’s not at all: only a sprinkling of languages are present online.

The internet looks to many to be the answer to everything. You instantly find all you need by just browsing through sites and networks online. But is this space equally friendly to anybody?

The answer is not at all.

Concentration of Media Ownership Increases Worldwide: Where Is the Limit?

A new study from Columbia University Business School unveils worrying trends. Some say the answer to growing media concentration is protecting quality journalism.

A landmark study by researchers covering 30 countries has found that concentration of media ownership is growing around the world and that the internet seems to be part of the problem. The results were made public at the Columbia Institute for Tele-Information at Columbia University Business School on 20 October 2015. The project was led by Professor Eli M. Noam, who is head of the institute.

 

 

Following four years of research, the institute has produced the most detailed analysis to date of global media ownership. The results are gathered in a book to be published by Oxford University Press, Who Owns the World’s Media?

Digital Amnesiacs or What Smart Gadgets Are Doing to Us

Many people are aware that they depend heavily on gadgets and the internet. But a new survey shows that an increasing number of people blindly rely on machines to remember for them. And they like it.

In almost in every discussion we have with friends, relatives or colleagues someone pulls out a mobile phone or a tablet every minute (or second) to check a name or somebody’s date of birth or to see how a weasel (or rabbit or whatever) looks like. “I just saw Nicole Kidman in this play in London. She looks like 45, but I think she’s older,” somebody said the other day during a chat with friends. Somebody else immediately pulled out an iPhone and in less than five seconds blurted out: “She is 48.”