The development of new information and communications technologies such as mobile phones, personal computers and the internet has the potential to improve the lives of millions of people. But issues around access, ownership of the technology and how much it costs may mean that relatively few individuals benefit to the exclusion of everyone else.
Furthermore, when communications infrastructure is inadequate, more people may be excluded from the information that technological advances can bring. A liberalised, rather than state-owned, telecommunications sector is also important in meeting ordinary peoples' information needs.
This briefing for journalists sets out the main issues around this topic and shows how journalists can use academic research as both a starting point and a reference in their reporting.
Panos media toolkit on communicating research, No. 5, Panos London, London, UK, 6 pp.