Nyasa Times, Nation, Banda top in Malawi media survey

You may loathe or adore it. Online publication Nyasa Times has done it with flying colours. It is the number one online ‘Newspaper of the Year’, courtesy of a survey.

The Malawi Media 2011 survey was undertaken by Malawi2014 between November 24 and December 4 2011 where respondents gave 77.2 per cent to Nyasa Times online journalism known for its fearless and scathing coverage on plunderers, hypocrites and perverts.

In this ‘Online Newspaper of the Year’ category, Nyasa Times was followed by the Malawi Voice which had 17.5 per cent.

Commenting on the development, Nyasa TimesEditor Thom Chiumia said management of his media firm was humbled with the findings of the survey.

Brian Banda: Straight Talk host, Media Personality of the Year

“This is an inspiration to us because it shows that we are doing a good job to our readers who are Malawians and those interested with Malawi issues . We have also grown in ranking in other countries,” he said, adding “Nyasa Times is of the people, for the people, by the people.”

Malawi has experienced unprecedented boom in social networks such as the Facebook or the Twitter with unprecedented readership in online newspapers. Nyasa Times is a strong user of social Twitter and Facebook where its stories are fed to readers instantly.

The survey also puts Capital Radio presenter Brian Banda as ‘Media Personality of the Year 2011.’

In the ‘News of the Year’ category, the July 20 demonstrations got the most votes (46 per cent) followed by the murder of the Malawi Polytechnic engineering student Robert Chasowa (with 10 per cent).

The respondents also voted for the forex/fuel shortages, President Mutharika’s unexplained holiday, expulsion of the British Envoy and the scuffle in the National Assembly involving MP Anita Kalinde and Cabinet Minister Aaron Sangala as other next best news items.

The Nation daily newspaper scooped 31.7 per cent to win the ‘Newspaper of the Year’ category and was followed by its sister weekly paper the Weekend Nation which had 21.7 per cent. On third position were the Daily Times and the Malawi News, published by the Times Group (Blantyre Newspapers Limited), which got 15 per cent apiece.

In the year 2011, radio listeners thought the Malawi hit station, Capital Radio, did a commendable job and gave it 57.4 per cent while Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS) of the ‘Zikachitika Mumvera kwa ife’ slogan came second with 29.6 per cent.

Position number one in the Social Network Forum of the Year went to Malawi Fuel Watch, seconded by Capital Radio Online while the Nyasa Times came third.

Brian Banda who scooped the Media Personality of the Year 2011 was also voted Radio Presenter of the year after he amassed 54 per cent of the votes while Head of Political Desk at Zodiak Pilirani Phiri came second with 26 per cent.

In the final category of the Newspaper Reporter/Analyst of the Year, local BBC News Correspondent and columnist Raphael Tenthani came top with 50 per cent while Nation Publications Limited’s Kondwani Munthali was second with 30 per cent.

From the released results, Nyasa Times got overwhelming percentage (77.2 per cent) which was the highest compared to any institution or individual in all the seven categories. The second most votes went to Capital Radio Malawi (57.4 per cent).

Responding to a questionnaire about the survey, Malawi 2014 administrator, Matamando Manda said : “I am ICT enthusiast and working on a personal project that aims at enhancing Malawi’s democracy from an ICT platform as Malawi progresses towards Elections 2014.

“I run the Malawi2014 project (non-partisan and non-funded project) which has its ICT platforms on the following: www.facebook.com/MalawiElections2014; twitter.com/Malawi2014 and www.flickr.com/photos/malawi2014.

Manda is based in Mzuzu “but with weekly traveling across the country where I report/tweet on current events affecting Malawians as they move towards 2014.”

The survey attracted 610 respondents of which 20.3 per cent were females while males accounted for 79.7 per cent.

“When tabulated by location, Malawi residents accounted for 91.5 per cent and 8.5 per cent voted from abroad,” it says.

During the exercise, most respondents were in the age category of 20-35 making up 61.7 per cent whilst those below 20 years constituted only 5.0 per cent and the rest were above 35 years translating to 33.3 per cent.

The  survey show that 340 respondents representing 56.7 per cent indicated to have Social Networks (Facebook and Twitter) as their most preferred source of information on Malawi.

The respondents also revealed that newspapers were the other most important tool of getting information while the radio came last.

The survey had seven categories which included News of the Year, Newspaper of the Year, Online Newspaper of the Year, Radio of the Year, Newspaper Reporter/Analyst of the Year, Radio Presenter of the Year and Social Network Forum of the Year.

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