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Beyond Access: Digital divide, Internet Use and Gratifications Gained
Unformatted Document Text:  R ETHINKING THE D IGITAL D IVIDE 6 dimensions of satisfaction of the audiences, particularly on radio. Following this inquiry, mass communication scholars studied these effects on other media such as newspapers, television, VCRs, and electronic bulletin boards (Cohen et al., 1988; Eighmey & McCord, 1998, Elliott and Rosenberg, 1987; Rubin, 1994, for a comprehensive summary of the literature see Rubin 2002). When a new medium is used for the same purpose as an older medium, the new medium is a functional alternative to the older one; audiences should choose between them by determining which one better satisfies particular needs (Rosengren & Windahl, 1972; Williams, Rice, & Rogers, 1988; Wright, 1960; see also McCombs, 1972). Thus, we must identify the social and psychological needs of the Web user, and whether or not the Web can satisfy those needs. Katz, Gurevitch, and Haas (1973) offer a typology of needs for all media users that can be expressed as: Cognitive Needs - For information, knowledge, and understanding of our environment. Affective Needs - For aesthetic, pleasurable, and emotional experiences. Personal Integrative Needs - For credibility, confidence, stability, and personal status. Social Integrative Needs - To contact with family, friends, and the world. Escapist Needs – To provide escape, diversion, and tension release. It would seem that the Web is an excellent example of a medium that people actively use to satisfy these needs. After all, navigating the Web involves pointing and clicking on the hypertext links that appear on most pages. This seemingly insignificant act is in actuality a powerful example of how active the Web user really is. Unlike channel surfing, where the media consumer could be perceived as indiscriminately looking for appealing images, Web surfing is characterized by more active processing and choice. Most hypertext links are just that, text, and as a result the Web surfer has to engage the information contained in the link so that he will know where he is going next.

Authors: Cho, Jaeho., Zuniga, Homero Gil de., Nah, Seungahn., Humane, Abhiyan., Hwang, Hyunseo., Rojas, Hernando. and Shah, Dhavan.
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background image
R
ETHINKING THE
D
IGITAL
D
IVIDE
6
dimensions of satisfaction of the audiences, particularly on radio. Following this inquiry, mass
communication scholars studied these effects on other media such as newspapers, television,
VCRs, and electronic bulletin boards (Cohen et al., 1988; Eighmey & McCord, 1998, Elliott and
Rosenberg, 1987; Rubin, 1994, for a comprehensive summary of the literature see Rubin 2002).
When a new medium is used for the same purpose as an older medium, the new medium is
a functional alternative to the older one; audiences should choose between them by determining
which one better satisfies particular needs (Rosengren & Windahl, 1972; Williams, Rice, &
Rogers, 1988; Wright, 1960; see also McCombs, 1972). Thus, we must identify the social and
psychological needs of the Web user, and whether or not the Web can satisfy those needs. Katz,
Gurevitch, and Haas (1973) offer a typology of needs for all media users that can be expressed as:
Cognitive Needs - For information, knowledge, and understanding of our environment.
Affective Needs - For aesthetic, pleasurable, and emotional experiences.
Personal Integrative Needs - For credibility, confidence, stability, and personal status.
Social Integrative Needs - To contact with family, friends, and the world.
Escapist Needs – To provide escape, diversion, and tension release.
It would seem that the Web is an excellent example of a medium that people actively use to
satisfy these needs. After all, navigating the Web involves pointing and clicking on the hypertext
links that appear on most pages. This seemingly insignificant act is in actuality a powerful example
of how active the Web user really is. Unlike channel surfing, where the media consumer could be
perceived as indiscriminately looking for appealing images, Web surfing is characterized by more
active processing and choice. Most hypertext links are just that, text, and as a result the Web surfer
has to engage the information contained in the link so that he will know where he is going next.


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