Three in four daily paper readers rely on NewsDay to keep up with local news while 70% believe the paper is modern and progressive, a survey has revealed.
The survey — carried out by Probe Market Research (PMR), a leading Zimbabwean market research firm — compared the country’s four daily papers — NewsDay, The Herald, Chronicle and Daily News — in a sample of 1 100 respondents in five major cities.
The respondents from Harare, Masvingo, Gweru, Bulawayo and Mutare represented all income groups and genders.
Asked what drove them to buy daily newspapers, 75% of the respondents said they bought NewsDay to keep up with local news, the highest figure in the sample, which was followed by Daily News at 53%, The Herald (53%) and Chronicle (26%).
The research also shows NewsDay’s pre-eminence in hard copy readership stakes where it scored 65% against 50% for The Herald and 42% for the Daily News.
The survey also revealed that NewsDay is the most preferred daily paper in the country and readers who responded to the survey believe that it is the most professional and objective daily in the country.
The respondents also said they bought the paper for its editorials, which they considered to be better than those of the three other publications.
A small number (11%) said they bought the paper as a habit compared to 26% who find buying The Herald a routine.
Readers also believe NewsDay is informative with 49% of them rating its articles higher compared to 35% for Daily News, The Herald at 30% and Chronicle (31%).
The survey, coming a few months ahead of NewsDay’s second anniversary, is another ringing endorsement of the country’s leading daily paper.
Published by Alpha Media Holdings (AMH), the paper first hit the streets in June 2010 after it was granted a licence by the Zimbabwe Media Commission.
Independent surveys last year showed that NewsDay had in a short space of time risen to be the country’s most-read daily paper overtaking The Herald, which has been in the business for more than 100 years.
According to the latest PMR survey, readers also found NewsDay to be ahead of its competitors in terms of professionalism, being balanced and reliability.
AHM Chairman Trevor Ncube said: “The results confirm what our readers and advertisers are telling us.
“NewsDay has fast become a household name in Zimbabwe in a very short space of time and we are grateful to the advertisers and readers for their support.”
Ncube said NewsDay had become AMH’s flagship and the group would be investing more to ensure professional, candid and reliable journalism.
“Our focus is now on consolidating our number one position in the daily market through reliable, credible and independent journalism,” he said.