Unsolicited recognition remains particularly important, when circulation figures for print media are dropping and advertising revenues are declining. "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, senior researcher at Media Tenor.
The City Press reportedly 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 6th in the ranking," says Nebbe.
South Africa's political landscape
Forward-looking analysis of South Africa'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.
Although Radio 702 ranked lower than the Business Day as an influential business medium, discussion on the show largely stimulated public debate of corporates, resulting in increased general media interest. Of particular interest is the increased prominence of social media such as Facebook and Twitter as sources of information for traditional media. Just two years ago, media rarely cited social media; it is now prominently positioned as a reference.
Whereas most Afrikaans media lost prominence, Beeld became increasingly influential during 2011. Beeld roused awareness after suspended ANCYL spokesperson, Floyd Shivambu swore at journalist Jaques Dommisse.
"The newspaper 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 closed round table discussions on media topics, in April. For those interested in participating, email Wadim Schreiner on .
The key findings of the research may be downloaded from Slideshare.
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