In 1999, the term “digital divide” was coined. Although it was largely created to outline the racial disparities with how users connected to the Internet which at the time was largely dial-up. Since African Americans had trouble keeping their home phones on and since the Internet costs money each month, many Blacks fell behind on the developments created by the Internet.
Fast forward to 2012. Nearly all job applications are online, education is overwhelming web-based and yet African Americans still face connection problems. In fact, most Blacks access their Facebook pages through the public library or their cell phones because of a lack of computers and Internet service in the home. The term most often used today is “Net Literacy” and it affects older people as well as racial groups.
With the rise of Black bloggers, much of the news that is passed over by mainstream media is suddenly getting to its intended audiences. Clearly put, Black bloggers are changing the media game. Black newspaper and magazine readership is significantly down, though experts like the Historical Black Press Foundation point out that is mostly because the Black-owned media industry failed to adequately market its audience.
But no one can deny the growing importance of Black blogs, podcasts and digital media offerings. That’s why the Black Blog Awards were created to foster competition, improve the quality of content and crown annual leaders chosen by the industry itself.