The explosion of digital media has created new ways to distribute news and information with global audiences. Events in almost any location can be shared immediately with citizens in the remote corners of the developing world. Although this digital revolution holds promise for organizations that support freedom of expression and balanced news coverage, it also presents challenges, such as bridging the digital divide between prosperous and impoverished communities.
The Center for International Media Assistance (CIMA) at the National Endowment for Democracy partnered with Blue Raster to develop an interactive map featuring 10 digital media indicators from Open Society Foundations‘ Mapping Digital Media project. The project examines the global opportunities and risks created by the transition from traditional to digital media. Covering 60 countries, the project includes data on how these changes affect news about political, economic, and social affairs.
Using this interactive web map, visitors can view indicators of digital media penetration and usage by country. Selected indicators include television consumption, digital broadcasting, internet penetration, broadband, mobile phone and social media usage. The indicator data is drawn from the Mapping Digital Media project reports, which were researched and written by teams of in-country academics and journalists. Users can quickly view all 10 indicators from these reports or compare specific indicators across countries of interest. The tool also encourages users to share new information via social media. By making the Mapping Digital Media tool available to the public, CIMA hopes to expand the conversation about its mission to strengthen the support, raise the visibility, and improve the effectiveness of independent media development throughout the world.