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    Friday, 1 September 2017

    Mirror tops national papers in readership survey

    •    Is the 6th most read weekly newspaper in the country
    •    The only newspaper that increased readership in the last 6 months


    HARARE – The Mirror, the biggest privately-owned regional paper in the country has come to the party.
    It is official! The newspaper is now the country's 6th most widely read weekly newspaper in Zimbabwe.
    It is also official; The Mirror is the most widely read newspaper by the people of Masvingo Province and this is according to the latest survey by the Zimbabwe All Media Products Survey released at the Rainbow Towers Hotel on Wednesday 23 August, 2017. The Mirror is now firmly entrenched in the national grid of newspapers.
    The Mirror also set the record as the only newspaper in Zimbabwe that enjoyed an increase in readership in the last three months. All weekly newspapers including the leading weekly, The Sunday Mail suffered a knock in their readership.
    According to ZAMPS, 4% of the people who participated in the survey read The Mirror in the second quarter of 2017.The Mirror took a good position amongst respected national newspapers like Standard and the Daily News on Sunday. While The Mirror's readership stood at 4%, The Standard played second fiddle as its readership stood at 2%. The Daily News also experienced lower readership than The Mirror with a market share of 2%.

    The Mirror enjoyed even wider readership than The Financial Gazette and The Independent as the both papers had readership of 1% each.
    The Sunday News narrowly beat The Mirror on readership with the Bulawayo-based regional newspaper enjoying 5% market share.
    The Mirror is also the only newspaper that increased its readership as readership rose from 3% in 2016 to 4% in 2017. The Sunday Mail which tops weekly newspapers in terms of readership saw its readership dropping by 6% from 27 to 21%; B Metro dropped by 4%; Sunday News by 2%; The Standard by 3% and Daily News on Sunday by 1%.

    The survey established that The Mirror's strength is on local news where its rating is 97%; which again is the best for any news category by any newspaper. The Mirror's moto is the regional paper with the local story. The Mirror entered the national grid in 2016 when 3% of the total number of people under the ZAMPS survey said they had read the newspaper in three months.
    The survey concluded that although The Mirror and The Sunday Mail were neck to neck in terms of readership in Masvingo, The Mirror enjoyed more influence and was therefore the most respected in the province. The conclusion was that Masvingo is a Mirror territory.
    The survey also established that there were nearly 300 000 people who read The Mirror every week and this is more than a quarter of a million readers.
    Making the presentation on the survey, a ZAMPS representative noted the sterling performance of The Mirror before a packed house at the Rainbow Towers Hotel. The paper came up for mention several times during the presentations because of its remarkable rise.
    The Mirror had up to 2016 been a provincial newspaper for Masvingo. Riding on its success as a provincial newspaper the paper was launched as a regional newspaper in June 2016. It extended its coverage to four other southern region provinces namely; Midlands, Mat South, Manicaland and Mash East.
    Since its launch as a southern region newspaper, The Mirror enjoyed phenomenal rise in circulation in Chivhu, Mvuma, Buhera, Gweru, Zvishavane and Beitbridge.
    Commenting on the results, Mirror consultant and veteran journalist Matthew Takaona said it has been a long journey to get into the national grid. He said the newspaper used a number of strategies including creating its own niche markets. He complemented the hard working and resilient staff who persisted through thick and thin. He also attributed the success to friendly corporates and advertisers who had faith in The Mirror from its days as a community newspaper.
    He said that the paper's staff holds strategic meetings in which they come up with their own approach. He said in particular, the newspaper walked into new niche markets like churches, schools, trade unions and they launches a swops page for teachers etc.

    "We don't copy any newspaper, big or small; we develop our own strategies.  We create our own template and we change it from time to time to keep abreast of the market. I am proud that even national newspapers are openly using our template as they try to address the challenges of their falling circulation.
    "I want to thank our staff for soldiering on despite the very difficult circumstances that we operate under. We are a newspaper that has no donor or deep pocket shareholder to fall back on and we are very clear of our situation which is swim or sink. I want to thank companies that have supported us in terms of advertising and those that have given us immense moral support. I want to thank advertising agents that have had confidence on us, a number of lawyers and their law firms, churches and schools throughout Masvingo, Midlands and Mash East that have been very supportive.
    "I also want to thank our readers who whom we have struck a chord with," said Takaona.

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