The Zimbabwe Herald is the leading state newspaper in the Southern African state. The headline reveals its anti-imperialist political character., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
The Herald most complete, balanced newspaper — Survey
Wednesday, 26 September 2012 00:06
Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter
The Herald has maintained its position as Zimbabwe’s most widely read daily newspaper despite further decline in readership across all stables.
According to the latest Zimbabwe All Media Products Survey (Zamps) for the third quarter of the year, The Herald maintained its pole position with a readership of 31 percent.
The Herald’s readership stood at 799 950 while that of the Daily News and NewsDay stood at 571 581 and 558 678 respectively.
The Daily News and NewsDay were tied at 22 percent.
H-Metro’s readership stood at 542 211 (21 percent), while that of B-Metro was 227 273 (9 percent).
A total of 301 392 people tune in to Star FM with Power FM still on top with 829 455 while ZiFM has 85 331 listeners.
At least 1 053 805 people now have access to Internet.
Newspaper readership, however, declined to 59 percent in the quarter under review.
The survey was carried out between July and September, focusing on urban dwellers aged over 15 years.
Surveys for this year’s first and second quarters were, however, not held due to financial constraints.
The readership for The Herald declined from 35 percent recorded in last year’s third quarter.
The NewsDay readership dropped from 26 percent recorded during the same period to 22 percent.
The Herald’s sister newspaper in the southern region, Chronicle, and the Daily News were the only newspapers that recorded marginal increases.
Chronicle’s readership increased from 12 percent to 13 percent, while the Daily News improved from 21 percent to 22 percent respectively.
Online readership of The Herald increased from 1 percent to 3 percent.
The survey revealed that the general daily newspaper readership declined from 64 percent recorded in the third quarter of 2011 to the current 59 percent Readership for H-Metro declined from 23 percent to 21 percent while that of B-Metro stayed at 9 percent.
Zamps said The Herald is a complete and balanced paper that attracts all adult age groups from 15 years to over 65 years.
However, its core market is the 20-24 age group. The paper is read by more men (63 percent) than women (37 percent). The bulk of its readers (32 percent) are in formal employment while 20 percent are self-employed. At least 17 percent are students and 45 percent of its readers have at least acquired an Ordinary Level education.
The Sunday Mail still remains the most-sought-after weekly paper. It attracts 658 166 urban adult readers. Sunday News is a distant second with 198 039 readers, followed by The Standard on 168 261. Kwayedza continues to do well. It is read by 99 607 people, better than the Financial Gazette’s 92 215, Zimbabwe Independent’s 72 833 and the Manica Post’s 78 623.
In the radio category, the recently launched Zimbabwe Newspapers Group (1980) Private Limited radio station, Star FM, started strongly. The station is being listened to by 371 352 or 12 percent of urban people. ZiFM is on 3 percent (101 879). Power FM is on 33 percent (960 882), Radio Zimbabwe 22 percent (685 453), National FM on 6 percent (173 871) and SFM (171 984) or 6 percent.
ZTV2 showed the biggest growth from 8 percent to 18 percent and Zamps said this could be due to the Bulawayo transmission. ZTV1 lost ground from 51 percent to 43 percent.
Star FM recorded phenomenal growth capturing 12 percent of listeners in its first four months of operations.
The listenership for Star FM competitors, ZBC’s Power FM, declined from 36 percent to 33 percent with ZiFM, another new radio station, capturing 3 percent of the listenership.
The survey also revealed that Internet access had increased from 34 percent to 41 percent while cellphone density increased to 92 percent.
Six percent of Internet users said they used it to access both local and foreign news.
Presenting the results, Research International Bureau managing director Mr Ellington Kamba said the rise in Internet access could explain the drop in newspaper readership.
Herald Editor Innocent Gore welcomed the results of the survey and thanked readers who have stood by the brand while others closed down or are failing to get off the ground.
He, however, expressed concern at the decline in newspaper readership as a result of competition from new media platforms.
The fact that more readers were migrating to the Internet for news, he said, called for innovativeness and continuous improvement in the packaging and presentation of news.
Gore said The Herald is a super brand and would therefore not be found wanting in the face of competition. The paper will continue to be sensitive to readers’ requirements and remain the country’s most influential and informative paper.
“We are happy that we continue to lead the way while others follow. We will, however, not rest on our laurels and we will continue giving our readers value for money and meet their requirements.
“That is why we recently introduced mobile news so that our readers can access quality news from wherever they are on their mobile phones, as long as there is network coverage,” he said.
Research Bureau International carried out the survey on behalf of the Zimbabwe Advertising Research Foundation.
ZARF, whose board includes representatives from the media and advertising industries, is funded by a 1,5 percent surcharge on all advertising and is independent of control by any media house or agency.
The foundation then hires an independent market research company to do the actual survey.
Major advertising agencies set up the system to find out how many people read each newspaper, watch television, listen to radio or access the internet.
The 2012 Zimbabwe All Media Products and Services Survey is the fifteenth such study under the jurisdiction of ZARF. It was conducted by Research Bureau International.
ZARF chairman Mr Major Tikiwa said this survey introduced the latest and more efficient smart phone android-based method of data collection.
“Responsibility for the management of the Zimbabwe Advertising Research Foundation’s affairs rests with the board of directors representing the members of the foundation,” he said. The board consists of Advertising Media Association (ADMA), the Association of Zimbabwe Advertisers (AZA), and the Zimbabwe Association of Accredited Practitioners in Advertising (ZAAPA) and the Communication Industry Association (CIA)
The Herald has consistently come out tops in the survey carried by various organisations.
Another recent survey by the Mass Public Opinion Institute commissioned by Freedom House also confirmed The Herald as the leading newspaper in Zimbabwe.
The survey also noted that despite financial constraints hampering accessibility to newspapers, The Herald led the way with 23 percent, followed by the Daily News with 7 percent, NewsDay and Chronicle with 5 percent each and The Sunday Mail with 4 percent.