Public Knowledge and Digital Divide: The Role and Impact of China’s Media

The M in CITAMS@30

ISBN: 978-1-78769-670-9, eISBN: 978-1-78769-669-3

ISSN: 2050-2060

Publication date: 30 November 2018


This study investigated four different economic level areas of China (Shanghai, Shandong, Shaanxi, and Guizhou) to analyze the eastern and western urban and rural media service status at different development stages. This set of data comes from the comparison of regional urban and rural areas and indicates the various aspects of differences in the survey area, including the media use habits, media resources, media consumer demand, evaluation of media services, the role of media in public life, public knowledge level, and so on. On analyzing data comprehensively, one thing can be found that there is a positive correlation between the public media contact degree and the public knowledge level. The media plays an extremely important role in public life and regional public knowledge gap between urban and rural areas exists. Furthermore, this gap is positively correlated to the media resources and media exposure. The trend of media using on mobile phone and computer in urban areas increases significantly greater than in rural areas. Then, how to narrow the urban–rural and regional public knowledge gap and reduce the negative impact of the digital divide will be an important urgent task.



Mei, M., Zhao, R. and Zhu, M. (2018), "Public Knowledge and Digital Divide: The Role and Impact of China’s Media", The M in CITAMS@30 (Studies in Media and Communications, Vol. 18), Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 37-57.

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