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Mar31
The New Digital Divide: Upcoming TV Move From Analog Could Leave Many In The Dark

In February, traditional analog television signals will cease to exist.  Whiletv-static.jpg Americans with cable or satellite television will be unaffected, those who receive their television signals via old-fashioned rabbit-ears will be out of luck.  To continue watching television, they will have to purchase a converter box at their local electronics retailer or subscribe to a more expensive cable or satellite service.

This move threatens to ignite a new digital divide.  Already, the elderly and low-income Americans are less connected to the Internet.  These same individuals are least likely to be aware of the upcoming digital transition or have the resources to become educated about it.  According to the Washington Post:

“The digital conversion presents a huge logistical and technical hurdle for the communities whose dependence on rabbit-ear-style analog TVs are high, but whose understanding of how to manage the change is low.

Many of the older TVs belong to seniors and low-income individuals.  [People in these groups] are also [the ones who rely most] on their TVs for critical information such as news reports and public-service alerts. In nursing homes and retirement communities, where many sets need antennas to pick up signals, TVs could flicker out.”

For decades, health communicators have relied on television to reach all segments of American society – especially the elderly or those with low incomes.  Now, the upcoming transition threatens to reduce the effectiveness of this tried and true communications channel. 

Of course, there other means of reaching these groups.  For example, posting health messages on bus shelters is always an excellent strategy, as many depend on public transportation.  However, the upcoming digital transition will make it a bit harder to reach all Americans via television.  Health communicators and promotions experts will have to account for these shifts in technology and figure out how to adjust to them.  

 

Mar19
Hard Numbers Quantify iPhone’s Impact On Mobile Web
Last week, I wrote a post focusing on how the iPhone will help to jump-start the anemic mobile Web market and its implications for health.  Yesterday, mobile media analytics company, M:Metrics released a report showing how iPhone users are much... Continue Reading
Mar17
Can Social Media Help Clarify The Debate Over Generic Medications? Help Me Find Out
This morning, the Los Angles Times published a story focusing on the ongoing debate over whether generic medications are really “just as good” as their branded counterparts. For many years, arguments that generics are not appropriate substitutes for expensive branded... Continue Reading
Mar13
How The iPhone Will Make Mobile Health Communications Richer & More Effective
This is not an advertisement for the iPhone.  Although I am a fan of Apple’s products and own an iPhone, I’ve tried to be relatively objective about its potential impact on the mobile market.  However, it must be said: by... Continue Reading
Mar11
Messages That Work: “Real Age” Lung Test Prompts People To Quit Smoking
A few weeks ago I wrote a post focusing on whether scare tactics prompt people to stop smoking.  Today, I’d like to highlight a study published recently in the British Medical Journal illustrating why fact-based messages can be very effective.... Continue Reading
Mar 6
Cymfony Says Agencies “Don’t Get” Social Media, Urges Them To “Walk The Walk”
This morning I came across a blog post published on Social Media Insider that caused me to sit up and pay attention.  It focused on a study published late last month by my friends at Cymfony (Disclosure: My firm, Envision... Continue Reading

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