TRENDS IN STRATEGIC MEDIA MANAGEMENT IN ZAMBIA: THE POSITION OF EDITORIAL CREDIBILITY IN NEWSPAPERS

Basil N Hamusokwe

Abstract


The liberalisation of the Zambian political and economic environment appeared to have transformed the media industry. For some time, the prospects of the media business looked bright but the government did not fully fulfil its liberalisation promises (Phiri, 1999). As a result, media organisations, especially newspapers in the country, continued facing many challenges related to financial sustainability. Newspaper organisations are battling for market and it has become extremely difficult to survive solely from producing and selling media products because the cost of production and distribution keeps increasing. The need to sustain themselves in the prevailing political and economic trends has forced newspaper organisations to pursue other strategic objectives by venturing into more profitable business portfolios. This also implies redefining management strategies in order to not only find their niche, but to also determine their very survival. This article argues that these ‘extra’ strategic objectives come at the expense of editorial quality, and negatively affect the credibility of newspapers. It integrates strategic management approaches into political economy of communication analysis to argue that editorial integrity and media credibility are core resources that can be exploited into a competitive advantage of a media firm.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5789/10-1-260

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