Beeld has emerged as South Africa’s most quoted daily newspaper, according to new research by Media Tenor. The company’s quarterly ‘Most Quoted Media’ (MQM) analysis shows Sunday newspapers still taking pole position when it comes to being quoted by other media organisations. The Sunday Times remains the most quoted newspaper, followed by City Press and then the Mail & Guardian, which has made a return to the top three agenda-setting titles.
The prominence of the Sunday papers in breaking political stories is highlighted by the number of times they are cited by other newspapers, the report says. The Sunday Independent has made a significant move upwards since the second quarter.
“Our MQM reports provide insight into the newspapers who set the news agenda in South Africa; it’s a valuable tool for anyone interested in understanding how the news cycle works. It’s also interesting to see the extent to which our majors stories are told on a Sunday and carried over throughout the week,” says research manager Matthew Wate.
Interestingly, City Press is quoted most often in terms of political reporting “indicating its role as a breaker of political news over the past quarter”, the report says, adding that City Press is “particularly prominent in politicians and government officials related stories”. The Sunday Times is the second most cited newspaper in this sector.
The report says the prominence of the Beeld in setting the media agenda is good for Afrikaans journalism and speaks to the strength on cross language pollination in the South African media. The Beeld is cited most prominently in reports about crime, which remains a prominent topic in South African news.
Not surprisingly, analysis on how President Jacob Zuma is covered shows he is not seen in a positive light by any of the top three newspapers. “It is clear that these media have developed intense scepticism towards the President and the topic structure reveals particular scrutiny towards Zuma’s accountability, driven by media furore following the release of the Public Protector’s report on the Nkandla security upgrade,” says the report.
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