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New Study Suggests Digital Divide is Evening OutAired October 25, 2000 - 2:37 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: A new study aims to assess the impact of the Internet revolution.
Researchers have just released the results of the ambitious project called "Surveying the Digital Future," and CNN's Jennifer Auther has our report.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Press the down arrow key.
JENNIFER AUTHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The study found growing numbers of seniors are learning to use the Internet as a way to close the digital generation gap.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I felt left out of the world. Everybody was on it and doing things.
AUTHER: A new study from the University of California-Los Angeles reinforces earlier research, indicating privacy tops the list of concerns of both Internet users and non-users in the United States; surpassing concerns over inappropriate material on the Internet.
JEFFREY COLE, DIRECTOR, UCLA CENTER FOR COMMUNICATION POLICY: Privacy cuts across a whole level of fears; fears of being tracked, fears of people planting cookies or information on your computer. Fears that everything you buy is being recorded.
AUTHER: UCLA researchers surveyed 2,096 households over a nine- month period. They found more than 2/3 of people living in the United States have some type of access to the Internet.
The most popular Internet activities include:
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I get the health addresses.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Checking my e-mail.
AUTHER: The survey found at least 72 percent of e-mail users check their e-mail at least once a day. Just over 48 percent believe their e-mail is monitored by employers.
PROFESSOR BILL DUTTON, UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: Underneath some of the responses that I've read is an emerging issue over managing access. It's not only evident in the percentage of people who think there's a lot of inappropriate material on-line, but in the amount of e-mail.
AUTHER: Professor Bill Dutton has published several books on the impact of new technology on U.S. society. He says the UCLA study will generate debate over its finding that there's little evidence to support the notion that the Internet contributes to social isolation and that the so-called digital divide between information haves and have-nots is evening out.
DUTTON: Income is a major discrimination factor in terms of who is on-line.
AUTHER (on camera): The UCLA Internet study found, among all mass-media sources, both print and electronic, Internet users found books to be their most important source of information; newspapers came in second, followed by the Internet, then television and radio.
(voice-over): 41 percent of non-users say they are likely to access the Internet in the next year.
Jennifer Auther, CNN, Los Angeles.
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