In dialogue with Africa : A quantitative study on students at Linnaeus University from the perspective of the Digital Divide

University essay from Linnéuniversitetet/Institutionen för medier och journalistik (MJ); Linnéuniversitetet/Institutionen för medier och journalistik (MJ)

Abstract: The aim of this study is to determine whether the targeted university students have a more equal picture regarding Africa than what the Swedish society in general has, which by Sida’s researches has shown to be an oldfangled picture. The research is based on a quantitative method in terms of a survey that in total reached out to 286 responding students at the Linnaeus University in Växjö. The theoretical framework is based on the Digital Divide, Diffusion of Innovation and The model of Newsworthiness. The research discusses the oldfangled picture of Africa that remains within the Swedish society, why it remains and what different characters that is to be blamed for the formation, as well as it presents optional efforts that could be used to update the picture of Africa. The result from the survey shows that neither do Swedish students at the Linnaeus University possesses a more updated picture, even though they are said to belong to a privileged group in the society, in the manner of access to information from both media, education, Internet and other diverse sources. We conclude that there is a gap in the information distribution regarding Africa, what information that is available for the Swedish society is mostly negative and oldfangled. What can be argued to be an optional solution to this remaining problem is a closure of the digital divide, which would provide an important interpersonal communication channel that is missing today. This is further explained in the thesis with support of earlier researches together with theories and result. 

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