Toward Reducing Institutional Digital Divides in the Media Industry: Examining Social Media Use in Ethnic Media Organizations

Xin Zhou, Matthew Matsaganis


Ethnic media serve critical information needs of ethnic and immigrant communities, thereby facilitating social integration and reduction of social inequalities. Social media may extend the capacity of ethnic media to deliver information to such communities. Despite research on social media use by mainstream media, little is known about social media use among ethnic media. We investigate determinants of social media use by 100 ethnic media organizations in New York City using the unified theory of acceptance and use of technology (UTAUT). We extend UTAUT by examining the roles of (1) interorganizational competition on technology adoption, (2) organizational culture, (3) communication about technology in the workplace and. Findings indicate that strengthening employees’ beliefs in the usefulness of social media and nurturing conversations about technology at the workplace are key factors in social media adoption. We conclude with recommendations for integrating social media into ethnic media producers’ professional practices.


ethnic media, social media, digital divides, communication inequalities, unified theory of acceptance and use of technology

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