HARARE – In Zimbabwe, people know that either elections are in the offing or that a lot is at stake in the marketplace by simply observing the number and quality of alleged surveys being churned out by so-called research or monitoring organisations.
The naked aim of many of these unashamedly partisan, so-called surveys is almost always to shore up the fortunes of fledgling political parties or corporate entities.
It’s disgraceful! A recent example of these sham surveys is an alleged media credibility index that was carried out by an organisation going by the name Media Monitoring Project of Zimbabwe (MMPZ), whose lofty motto is “defending free expression and your right to know”.
In this “media credibility index”, the Daily News was, incredibly (excuse the pun) ranked lower than even the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation — that famed bastion of slavish political propaganda!
Only a nutter could come up with such a glaringly preposterous proposition.
From where we stand, there is consistent method to this ongoing “research” madness — which is also a huge discredit to the gullible donors who direct their scarce resources to this kind of trash.
Donors should not waste money shoring up such distasteful and biased surveys.
Surely there are worthier causes in our struggling country such as food aid.
The common thread in all of this dubious research output of this particular organisation has been to portray one player in the market place as doing better than others, particularly the Daily News.
Does the recipient of this contrived research really need this support, this desperately?
We want to state outright that we have no problem at all with any organisation doing the bidding for its friends, but it must at least be honest about it and say so up front.
Not pretend that they are impartial and legitimate — because they are certainly not.
Another sad thing coming out of this scam and their biased surveys is that it is beginning to blight the standing of some of the people associated with the organisation — whom Zimbabweans had previously seen as decent.
But the good thing about the newspaper business is that reputations and market success are not defined by these spurious surveys, as irritating and misleading as they are.
The tens of thousands of readers and advertisers who buy and support their favourite newspaper, the Daily News, day in and day out, are the ultimate arbiters of who is credible and who isn’t.
And the market, unlike partial researchers, does not lie! – Staff Writer