[The following is an exact transcript of this podcast.]
Ever increasing numbers of people are consuming news via the internet and cell phones. In London last week at the World Conference of Science Journalists, Philip Hilts, the director of the Knight Science Journalism Program at M.I.T., reviewed the worldwide state of Internet and cell phone use:
“Internet use, it’s about 1.5 to two billion internet users, subscribers. And so there’s this discussion about, well, we have it in North America but Africa’s not got it, so we’re on two different planets and so on. That’s true, 5.6 percent in Africa now, 17 percent in Asia, but this is moving very rapidly. In Africa it’s growing 12 times right now. In Asia it’s growing almost six times right now. So the greatest growth is where we’re short in penetration.
“Cell phone use where news will be also as the smart phones get around the world and as Africa gets wired up, the cables are now going in that will be useful in Africa, they haven’t been there. 1980, we had 11,200,000 cell phone subscribers which was zero penetration. And we’re looking at 60 percent penetration now, 4.1 billion subscribers. China and India is the core of cell phone usage on Earth, and then it goes on down from there, U.S., Brazil, Japan, U.K.”
—Reported by Steve Mirsky