The recently published ZAMPS media surveys showing how Zimbabweâ€™s media has fared in the last quarter on the market, have raised a lot of questions begging for answers.
The Zimbabwe All Media Products Survey [ZAMPS] released findings that the organisation say are a reflection of the market-share in the countryâ€™s media industry.
With focus on the daily newspapers, the so-called findings put the Herald daily readership at 1,820,018, trailed by the Daily News, 986,167 and then Newsday a distant third.
Dismissing the ZAMPS findings where the Daily News, only launched in March this year, has leapfrogged Newsday which has been publishing since June 2010, media practitioner, Panganayi Kahuni says it is a cheap marketing gimmick meant to create a make-believe scenario to the readers.
In what other observers say is a ploy to whip public perception to view the private papers especially the Daily News as a leader in the readership market ahead of next yearâ€™s elections, former Information Minister & Political Analyst, Professor Jonathan Moyo says it is no coincidence that the paper is the official MDC-T mouthpiece.
Professor Moyo expressed disappointment at the Newsday which even went to the extent of publishing self audited results giving itself the number one position in terms of readership.
Media practitioner, Jealous Mawarire says the results are a deliberate attempt to manipulate statistics and readersâ€™ minds in an environment where competition for the market has been getting tougher on a daily basis.
In a nation where the private print media thrives on foreign sponsorship, observers say expecting proper surveys that tell the correct story of readership figures, remains a pie in the sky as he who pays the piper will always call the tune.
The sad reality is that it is the average Zimbabwean craving for real news who remains shortchanged.