Researchers: Media prefer own info

2013-06-12 22:46


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Johannesburg - The instances of media outlets quoting other media sources in stories has dropped drastically, according to media research institute Media Tenor.

In 2011, there were 5 397 quotes from other outlets in South African media, and by December last year that number had dropped to 2 422, according to "An analysis of most quoted media" report released on Wednesday.

"There could be various reasons. A lot of people tend to write internally. Internal trust is a trend, there is a lot more reliance on journalists than external sources," the institute's senior researcher Stephano Radaelli said.

In 2012, City Press newspaper surpassed The Sunday Times as the most quoted paper countrywide, with almost 300 quotes.

In 2011 The Sunday Times was top of the list, having been quoted 400 times by other media.

Last year, Afrikaans daily, Beeld, jumped 11 spots to join the two weekly papers in the list of the top three most quoted media sources.

"It's a huge jump for them. It is definitely linked to them addressing a wider range of political, economic, and social issues. They seem to be doing really well and are being trusted more," Radaelli said.

Beeld was becoming pro-active in finding its own stories.

City Press and The Sunday Times topped the list when it came to being quoted about politics and business.

The Mail & Guardian dropped from third to fourth place in the political and business quotes. The weekly was quoted 36% less last year. The decline could be linked to writing content that attracted less attention from readers, Radaelli said.

"There is a lot of competition [with weekly newspapers]... But [the Mail & Guardian] still holds an influential spot in the industry."

The Sunday Times led in the number of quotes about political and business controversies.

The coverage of The Spear painting, the Marikana shooting, developments around the Protection of Information Bill, and MTN's alleged bribery in Iran were some of the newspaper's largest focus areas, the report stated.

In 2012, Beeld's coverage of women was the highest at almost 25%, compared to The Sunday Times at 20% and City Press at slightly less than 20%.

The African National Congress topped the political agenda list last year for all three publications.

Twitter was increasingly becoming the preferred social media source globally for political commentary.

Read more on:    sunday times  |  city press  |  beeld  |  media

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