THE Herald easily retains its 122-year dominance of Zimbabwe’s daily newspaper market, according to the latest independent survey, being read by close on double the numbers who read its nearest rival. The Zamps survey, published by the Zimbabwe Advertising Research Foundation, found The Herald has 266 884 daily readers, just over three quarters of them urban and just under a quarter rural. In second place, leading a tight pack of four newspapers, comes NewsDay with 146 807 readers.
This tight pack has Daily News in third place, H-Metro in fourth place and Chronicle in fifth place.
Another step down in sixth place is NewsDay’s western stablemate, Southern Eye. Three of the six dailies — The Herald, H-Metro and Chronicle — are owned by Zimbabwe Newspapers, with a combined readership of around 465 000.
The three competitors have a combined readership of around 287 500.
Zarf stresses that these figures are the readership figures from its questioning in its major survey of many Zimbabwean products.
The figures have nothing to do with print orders, circulation or any other data of physical copies or claims or figures from publishers. In fact, there is no input whatsoever from publishers.
Zarf retains total independence and manages to produce a totally independent survey four times a year through a careful system that prevents anyone from influencing results.
The foundation is funded through a levy on advertising and its board encompasses the full range of interests in the advertising and publishing industries to ensure that no one can have any dominance.
Independently funded and run, it then hires, through tender, a professional survey firm to do the actual surveys.
This two-step separation of survey results from funders is deliberately designed to produce the best possible data for the advertising industry.