The Effect of the Transformation in Digital Media on the Digital Divide

Amit Schejter, Orit Ben-Harush, Noam Tirosh

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The digital divide policy conversation focuses on connectivity and access to information and communication technologies as well as on the ability to use them in pre-prescribed ways and on the utility that their usage provides according to preset categories.However, the dynamics offered by van Dijk (2005) demonstrate that categorical inequalities permeate over time and lead to an ongoing divide that never closes. A shift in policy thinking is needed. Applying a philosophy rooted in the writings of John Rawls to replace the current utilitarian framework, we suggest to focus remedial policies on the least advantaged members of society, those whose positional categorization led to the lowest levels of digital participation. We then propose to measure success of the policy by its responsiveness to the needs of the excluded citizens as they themselves define them. Adopting Amartya Sen's “capabilities approach,” we posit that an effective policy should focus on a person’s actual capability to make use of the goods, services and opportunities available to them, rather than on the mere access to or ownership of those goods.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDigital Transformation in Journalism and News Media
Editors Mike Friedrichsen, Yahya Kamalipour
Number of pages12
StatePublished - 4 May 2017


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