This chapter compares and contrasts the two traditional media sites with each other and the two online-only sites with each other, and then compares and contrasts the traditional versus online-only media sites, in order to explore common challenges and benefits of incorporating new technologies. Such a holistic analysis allows insight into the context that influences the possibilities and limitations of using digital tools for social change in El Salvador. Generally, this chapter shows that the four sites incorporated digital tools into their daily processes to various degrees, and their incorporation of ICTs affected citizen participation. Who participated, how they participated, and what they participated in varied among the projects, and this variance can be linked to professional identity, mission, and digital inequalities.
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In 2011, the Legislative Assembly’s decree limiting the authority of the Constitutional Court promoted massive protests in San Salvador.
Results of an ANOVA test showed that the kind of text (i.e., headline, pulled quote, or commentary) written to accompany posted links was significantly related to levels of interactivity. Results showed significant differences regarding the number of “likes” per post F(3, 273) = 27.644, p < 0.001; number of comments per post F(3, 273) = 26.894, p < 0.001; and number of times users shared the post F(3, 273) = 13.509, p < 0.001. Post-hoc Tukey’s tests indicated that posting commentary to accompany a link generated significantly more likes (M = 25, S.D. = 43.746), comments (M = 17.67, S.D. = 31.803), and shares (M = 9.571, S.D. = 24.338) than simply either posting a headline or a pulled quote.
Results of an independent sample t-test showed that the number of comments a post generated was significantly related to whether the site responded to users’ comments on that post (F = 22.821, t = –1.331, p < 0.001). The mean number of comments when a site posted a response to users’ comments was 27.13, compared with a mean of 12.04 comments if the site posted no response at all.
It should be noted that the digital divide factors into this failure to take full advantage of Facebook as a form of liberation technology. This is discussed further in Chapter 8.
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Harlow, S. (2017). Common Threads: A Comparative Analysis. In: Liberation Technology in El Salvador. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-48039-8_7
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