A Nielsen study shows that Republicans signifigantly outnumber Democrats in online readership of news and opinion sites:
NEW YORK, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- November 01, 2006 -- Nielsen//NetRatings (NASDAQ: NTRT), a global leader in Internet media and market research, announced today that 36.6 percent of U.S. adults online are Republicans, 30.8 percent are Democrats and 17.3 percent are Independents. With campaign Web sites becoming increasingly important to reaching the electorate, candidates need to keep their fingers on the political pulse of the Internet.
The Web site with the highest concentration of Republicans was RushLimbaugh.com, with an 84.8 percent Republican audience (see Table 1). NewsMax.com and Bill O'Reilly.com ranked No. 2 and 3, with audiences that were 65.4 percent Republican. The Drudge Report and Salt Lake Tribune rounded out the top five Republican sites with 59.0 and 57.9 composition percent.
Among Democrats, the top three sites were BlackAmericaWeb.com, AOL BlackVoices and BET.com with audiences that were 79.9 percent, 64.8 percent and 58.6 percent Democratic, respectively. Salon.com and Village Voice ranked fourth and fifth among Democrats, with 55.3 and 55.2 composition percent.
The difference is that of print culture vs. the sound-bite culture of television. (Read Neil Postman's Amusing Ourselves to Death for an extensive discussion of the distinction.) A Print culture is a culture which aquires knowledge through reading, an exercise which actively engages the intellect. A soundbite culture is a culture which aquires its knowledge, or information-bites, through the passive process of watching television.
Democrats need not worry that Republicans dominate them in the online print culture medium of political news and opinion internet discussion, because the Democrats still dominate Republicans in such areas as MTV, Hollywood movies, sitcoms, daytime television, and news magazine shows. UPDATE: 9 hours later and Instapundit posts on this- with less analysis.