Digital Divide Diaries

Closing the digital divide is about more than policymaking—it’s about storytelling. The soul of the digital divide is not zeros and ones; it has a human face.

These multimedia narratives shed light on the everyday experiences of those grappling with digital inequity—be it access to broadband networks, digital literacy, or affordable internet-connected devices.

 

 

 

The Wires that Bind

How one neighborhood in Detroit grapples with the high cost of internet

Imprisoned by the Digital Divide: A Podcast from Unincarcerated Productions

The last time Eugene Youngblood was free, CDs had just surpassed vinyl, and the first website was being made. Thirty years later, in 2021, he was released from prison in the state of Washington. He walked free into a world where online job applications, Zoom meetings, and telehealth appointments are a given. It's a world that prison didn't prepare him for.

In this two-part podcast series, Benton Institute for Broadband & Society Fellow Adam Echelman brings voices from across Washington to share how the digital divide affects incarcerated people. These podcasts are the result of a partnership with Alyssa Knight and Unincarcerated Productions. Both Knight and the staff at Unincarcerated Productions are themselves formerly incarcerated.

Unincarcerated Special Report: The Digital Divide Part One

Unincarcerated Special Report: The Digital Divide Part Two

 

 

Adam Echelman is a journalist and long-time practitioner of digital equity. He is the former Executive Director of Libraries Without Borders US and the founder of Baltimore's Digital Equity Coalition. At Libraries Without Borders US, Echelman advocated for dynamic programs that increase access to information by meeting people where they are—whether through digital literacy classes in laundromats or health workshops in churches. During his tenure, he tripled the size and scope of the organization as libraries shut down during the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, he works in Central California, covering issues of equity for the Modesto Bee. He is a graduate of Yale University and is fluent in French, Spanish, and Chinese.