Ethnic Minorities at Forefront of Digital Communications; E-BUSINESS

The Birmingham Post (England), September 16, 2008 | Go to article overview

Ethnic Minorities at Forefront of Digital Communications; E-BUSINESS


Byline: By Steve Pain Technology Editor

Ethnic minority groups are at the forefront of digital communications in the UK, with high levels of mobile phone, internet and multichannel television take-up. But, despite this new research from Ofcom reveals many people from ethnic minority groups lack confidence finding content online and are concerned about content delivered on digital communications.

Ofcom's media literacy audit of UK adults from ethnic minority groups draws on quantitative research from the four largest ethnic minority groups in the UK: Indians, Pakistanis, Black Caribbeans and Black Africans.

The audit provides a rich picture of the different elements of media literacy across television, radio, the internet and mobile phones amongst ethnic minority groups.

The document is part of Ofcom's wider programme of research into media literacy in the UK. Earlier this year, Ofcom published separate research documents focusing on the media literacy of adults and children.

The research found that under-45s tend to be more engaged with digital media.

Ofcom says that the age profile of the ethnic minority groups is significantly younger than the UK population overall, which is a key factor contributing to higher take-up among them.

However, take-up of services by ethnic minority groups in this age group is also significantly different to that of the under 45s across the UK as a whole. Ethnic minorities in the under-45 age group are more likely to own a mobile phone and access digital TV and the internet (ranging from 64 to 73 per cent across the groups) than the average person under 45 in the UK (67 per cent).

Take-up, interest in, volume of use and confidence with digital media is higher among ethnic minority households compared with households in the UK generally.

Mobile phone take up is higher amongst adults from Indian, Pakistani, Black Caribbean and Black African groups (88 to 95 per cent, compared to 85 per cent of the UK population as a whole) and Indian, Pakistani and Black African adults are far more likely to live in households with multiple device access (digital TV, mobile phone and internet) than the UK population as a whole (ranging from 62 to 65 per cent, compared to 53 per cent of the UK population).

According to Ofcom, adults from ethnic minority groups are more likely to be interested in and confident about using specific interactive functions on digital devices than the general UK population. …

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