Monday, December 17, 2007

Post impressed with opinion poll response

Post impressed with opinion poll response
By Inonge Noyoo
Monday December 17, 2007 [03:00]

The response to our newly introduced text message-based interactive opinion poll has so far been very impressive, Post managing editor Amos Malupenga has said. And Malupenga said today’s opinion poll results indicating that 82 per cent of the participants feel that the fight against corruption has not yielded the desired results was a confirmation of what most Zambians felt on the matter.

Reviewing the performance of the opinion poll which seeks to enhance interaction between the newspaper and its readers, Malupenga said the participation so far received from readers was impressive.

“Following the introduction of the SMS opinion polls in which our objective is to get readers to interact with us as a newspaper on national issues, we have so far received overwhelming responses from the readers across the country,” Malupenga said.

And reacting to a concerned reader’s fears that the opinion polls might not be representative of the national position because it was limited to The Post and those with access to mobile phones, Malupenga said going by the number of SMSs received so far, he felt very safe and satisfied to say every corner of the country was represented in the results.

The concerned citizen stated in yesterday’s Postbag that the opinion polls may not be representative of the national position per se, as the constituency was limited to those who have access to The Post and Celtel and MTN mobile phones. The reader further stated that therefore, the opinion would however give the position of the enlightened who are considered to make rational decisions on important national issues.

But Malupenga said regardless of how high or low the participation in the opinion poll would be, the votes received so far were coming from all parts of the country. He said it was an indisputable fact that The Post was circulated to all corners of the country.

“Our partners in this project, Celtel and MTN, are similarly spread across the country so it is easier for us to get participation from all corners of the country,” Malupenga said. “Of course, what is true is that participation in the urban areas will never be the same as in rural areas for obvious reasons. That not withstanding, we have gone a step further by sensitising our people through some community radio stations and further arrangements are underway to use more community radio stations including ZNBC, the national broadcaster and Muvi TV. We think these initiatives will be sufficient to adequately sensitise citizens all over the country so that they can adequately participate in the opinion polls.”

And Malupenga said today’s opinion poll results were representative of what many citizens felt or thought about the fight against corruption in Zambia.

“This is not difficult to understand because in our today’s edition, we are even carrying a statement from President Mwanawasa who is expressing disappointment that some members of his ruling party are not supportive of the fight against corruption and have instead embraced corrupt elements within the party and government,” Malupenga said. “In our humble view, the poll is achieving our objective because this is what we wanted to achieve – to get people’s views and opinions on national matters. Our duty in the next few days will be to find out why most people feel the way they do about the fight against corruption in Zambia.”

Malupenga has since called upon Post readers to express their opinions on national matters if they were to make a difference in the way national affairs are managed by those mandated to do so.

“For example, if 82 per cent of the participants in this opinion poll are saying the fight against corruption is not yielding results then all of us involved in this fight will have to sit back, review our efforts and establish why this is so. We hope this kind of interaction will help not only us, as journalists, but also all stakeholders in the management of national affairs to reflect on their work and see where improvements are needed,” said Malupenga.

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