July 27, 2000

A Question of Character

The Internet

While the Internet universe consisted only of Salon and Slate and made up just 10% of the total assertions studied, a strong pattern emerged. Six-in-ten Internet statements came from journalists, slightly higher than the norm. But more interestingly, the Internet statements were almost twice as likely as the average to be pure opinion, 19% versus 10% overall. (Only 8% of newspapers statements were pure opinion.) This medium was also less likely to carry statements made by one of the candidates, 16% versus 25% overall, or by a campaign surrogate, 6% versus 12% overall. Even though the Internet by its nature has unlimited space, it was the least likely of the mediums to find room to offer evidence with the statements. A full 28% offered no evidence compared to 19% overall.