NewsDay rules the roost

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Two out of three readers of daily newspapers in Zimbabwe, wake up to NewsDay, a report by Probe Market Research has revealed.

According to the research, NewsDay was also adjudged to be the most objective and professional paper with 41% of readers believing the paper is objective and 39% saying it was professional. The Herald is a distant second with 19% of respondents saying it was objective and 28% saying it was professional.

NewsDay’s dominant position in the market is also confirmed by findings of a circulation audit by Baker Tilly Gwatidzo which put the paper’s average daily print run at 50 564 copies.

The research, commissioned by Alpha Media Holdings (AMH), reveals that NewsDay has become the largest and most popular daily newspaper in the country, with more than a million readers daily.

According to the Probe survey, an average of 1 090 391 people read NewsDay daily, representing 65% of readers, while The Herald is the second most popular paper with 851 098 readers (51% of the total readership) followed by the Daily News with 551 999 (33%) and the Chronicle is last with
296 102 readers (18%).

The survey also revealed NewsDay was the most preferred paper by 45% of readers.

The Herald was again in second position as it was rated the most preferred daily paper by 25% of the readers and the least preferred by 1% of readers. At least 13% of the readers revealed the Daily News was their most preferred paper with 1% saying it was their least preferred.

Eight percent of readers prefer the Chronicle while 4% said it was their least preferred paper.
Readers also adjudged NewsDay to be the most political neutral daily with 41% saying the paper was not politically affiliated while 13% said they did not know. Forty-six percent said NewsDay was politically affiliated.

Forty-eight percent of readers believe the Chronicle is politically affiliated, while 32% said the paper was not affiliated to any party and 20% said they were unaware if it had a political affiliation.

Fifty-nine percent of readers believe the Daily News is politically affiliated while 31% believe it is not and 10% were unaware.

Seventy-two percent of readers believe The Herald is politically affiliated although 17% said the paper was not affiliated to any party while 11% said they did not know the affiliation of the paper.

NewsDay was adjudged to be the least expensive and offering the most in terms of value for money with 71% saying the paper offered good value.

Twenty-seven percent believe the Daily News offers value for money, 25% believe The Herald offers value while 10% believe the Chronicle offered value.

The research also revealed that 67% of respondents would not stop buying NewsDay if the cover price was increased from the current 50c to $1.

The respondents also revealed that good advertising content in NewsDay was also a key factor in driving circulation as 87% of them said advertising mattered in determining which paper to buy.

In terms of online readers, the research said The Herald had the largest hits with 196 273 people reading the paper daily compared to NewsDay’s 163 722. The Daily News was a distant third with 47 724 online readers while the Chronicle had an online readership of 11 236.