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Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Government media in numbers

I was delighted to see this question following the piece - Yes, let us sell failing parastatals! :
Information and broadcasting services deputy minister Angela Cifire has said the public media in Zambia is doing very well in newspaper circulation.

Ms Cifire said this in Parliament today when answering a question from Kachibiya Member of Parliament David Mwango who wanted to know how many copies of the Times of Zambia, Zambia Daily Mail, sold in the year 2009. Ms Chifire told Parliament that Times of Zambia in 2009 sold 2, 982, 211 copies while the Zambia Daily Mail sold 2, 239, 388 copies. The deputy minister further revealed that the Sunday Times sold 248 237 copies while the Sunday Mail sold 684 847. 
How is this doing well?

The best case scenario is to assume that Times of Zambia figures excludes Sunday Times. That means 2,982,211 divided by (52 weeks x 6 days) =  9558 per day. The Sunday Times figure can be obtained by 248237 divide by 52 sundays = 4773 per sunday.  I will leave others to speculate why the Sunday Times sells twice as less, but I think it is because govt is the largest consumer of it's own product! When offices are closed on Sunday no one buys except cadres! These are papers by government employees for government employees. What a waste of tax payers' money!

Now from what we have been told the Post ships 50,000 plus a day at the same price of K3,000 per copy as other dailies. When all things are put together it makes for a very ignorant Deputy Information Minister. I think I can now understand why she was demoted as Minister of Health. 

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