Monthly surveys conducted by the Zambian intelligence shows that the Zambian Watchdog is now the most influential publication in Zambia.
The OP conducts monthly surveys on a range of issues especially those that border on politics for their internal consumption.
A report leaked to the Watchdog shows that from February this year, ZWD has consistently being rated number one in terms of influence and wider readership.
Muvi TV and Richard Sakala’ s Daily Nation Newspaper have been interchanging on the second position.
Radio Phoenix always comes out number three followed by the Post newspaper on number four.
According to the report, ZNBC has some considerable influence in villages where literacy levels are low because of Radio one which broadcasts in local languages.
But ZNBC TV has no influence in urban areas. Times of Zambia and Daily Mail are reported to have no influence at all.
The report attributes the Watchdog’s popularity to the critical stance it takes on the current government and the up to the minute latest news found on the website.
The report shows that the Watchdog is usually the first to break news on any event in Zambia and that the news reaches the four corners of the country within minutes of being published on the site due to internet on mobile phones.
Bloggers on the site have also been cited as helping the site getting more famous. The report says thousands of people spend hours debating on the Watchdog and that these bloggers include politicians and civil servants.
MPs are said to be using the Watchdog as a research facility. The MPs sit and read each and every comment passed on the site and some of them use the comments they see on the site to go and debate in parliament. They adopt the comments as their own thoughts. A number of MPs have assigned assistants, in some cases their children to read and summarise the comments on the Watchdog for them.
The survey further shows that most civil servants and other workers in government offices start their working day by checking what is on the Watchdog. A lot of people are said to be printing articles from the site and giving thoe who have no access to the Internet or those with slow internet, print to go and read at home.
The report says that almost every government computer from State House to Luwingu that has internet shows on its browser history that someone was on the Watchdog.
The findings by the OP are consistent with internal statistics held by the Watchdog.
Google analytics shows that the Watchdog is now read by 250 000 people on average.
The same statistics further shows that 78 per cent of people who read the Zambian Watchdog are based in Zambia
For example, of the 1,264,690 people who visited the Watchdog in the last five days, 831 478 were browsing from Zambia while 88,430 were from UK, 76,818 from USA, 40,478 from South Africa, 20,317 from Namibia, 18,360 from Israel, 10,963 from Australia, 9,368 from Canada, 8,071 from Botswana.
Other statistic are: Germany 6,919, China 6,328, Nigeria 6,248, Russia 5,610, Kenya 5,01 , Netherlands 4,051, Denmark 3,566, Italy 3,411, France 3,385, Switzerland 3,291, Tanzania3,181, Norway 3,083, India 3,036, Belgium 2,652, Zimbabwe 2,441, Japan 2,300, Malaysia, 2,244 , Ethiopia2,061, United Arab Emirates 1,976 Congo [DRC] 1,921
Up to 50 000 were not set meaning their browsing locations could not be located.
In Zambia, most readers of the Watchdog are based in Lusaka, followed by Kitwe, Ndola, Livingstone, Chipata, Solwezi , Mongu and Kabwe in that order. Kapiri Mposhi recorded 4 348 readers of the Watchdog in the last five days and these were mainly from mobile phones.
Established in 2009, the Zambian Watchdog is owned by private Zambian journalists. From its inception, the Watchdog has been owned by the same Zambian journalists and has no connection, and will never have any political party or any sectarian interests or connection.
It is funded by donors, advertisement and well-wishers.
If you wish to support the work of the Watchdog by making a contribution, contact us using: firstname.lastname@example.org