The Sunday Times is the most quoted traditional medium over other media in South Africa – for the sixth year in a row. City Press moved up one place, becoming the second most influential medium with the Mail & Guardian dropping to third.
According to research carried out by Media Tenor, unsolicited recognition remains particularly important in a world of declining circulation figures and a squeeze on advertising revenues.
“Media all over the world are reluctant to acknowledge when another medium has come up with a scoop or a particularly interesting part to an existing story – so referring to a peer is a valuable recognition that has to be earned,” says Marrianne Nebbe, a senior researcher at Media Tenor.
She said the increased prominence of social media such as Facebook and Twitter as sources of information for traditional media was of particular interest. Just two years ago, social media were rarely cited by media. They are now prominently positioned as references.
Nebbe says City Press received increased interest from its peers due to its extensive focus on Julius Malema. The weekly also stimulated general media debate as a result of opinions carried in its ‘Voices’ section, including reportage on Eric Miyeni as well as presidential spokesperson, Mac Maharaj.
“It is clear that the appointment of Ferial Haffajee as editor in chief in 2009 has significantly changed the direction of the publication compared to when it was positioned sixth in Media Tenors ‘Most quoted media’ ranking,” says Nebbe.
Forward-looking analysis of SA’s political landscape combined with critical reviews of business news and the media landscape resulted in the Business Day being the most quoted daily financial publication; the medium is also frequently cited in other African media markets, most noticeably the Namibian press. Being most quoted by peers, says Nebbe is also an indication of the status a particular medium has amongst its colleagues.
Although Radio 702 ranked lower than the Business Day as an influential business medium, discussion on the show stimulated public debate of corporates to a great extent, subsequently resulting in increased general media interest.
Whereas most Afrikaans media lost prominence, Beeld became increasingly influential during 2011. Beeld roused awareness after suspended African National Congress Youth League spokesperson, Floyd Shivambu, swore at journalist, Jaques Dommisse.
“Beeld also led reporting on certain crime stories such as the murder of Anika Smit. The publication’s coverage on the ‘Modimolle Monster’ signals that the medium will continue to influence reportage on crime during 2012,” says Nebbe.
Media Tenor will make the findings on the impact of social media on traditional media coverage public during the first of a series of quarterly round table discussions on media topics, in April. For those interested in participating at the closed roundtable, please contact Media Tenor below. The key findings of the ‘Most Quoted Media 2011’ research can be downloaded from www.slideshare.net/mediatenorsa