Inter-organizational digital divide: Civic groups’ media strategies in the Trinity River Corridor Project

Gabe Ignatow, Jessica Lynn Schuett

Abstract


This study’s goals are 1) to investigate how leaders of civic groups make decisions about using new and social media versus older media forms of media, and 2) to reexamine major theses on the social effects of new media equipped with a better understanding of civic groups’ internal decision-making. To explore these issues, we conducted interviews with leaders of eight civic groups involved in the Trinity River Corridor development project in Dallas, TX. We also interviewed local journalists, and analyzed the eight civic groups’ web sites, social media sites, and blogs, as well as blogs that linked to the groups’ sites. We find that new and social media were used mainly by organizations that were not directly involved in major political actions, and that for the two groups most directly involved in political actions, the wealthier and more powerful group was better connected to other organizations that did use new and social media. The findings reveal a sharp digital divide between networks of civic organizations.

Keywords


civil society, civic groups, new media, social media, digital divide

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5210/fm.v16i11.3696



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