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Independent Media accused of inflating circulation figures

18 July 2019, Sunday Times, SHAIN GERMANER

Media Monitoring Africa director William Bird said he now understood why Independent Media had initially appeared to not have been hit as hard by a drop in circulation compared with other print titles.

But Bird added he was willing to give Independent Media the benefit of the doubt, saying it could have been an error due to the loss of senior, experienced management at the company.

A company with such a long history should know how the system works – but if there’s evidence it was intentional, this becomes a very serious matter.

Media Monitoring Africa director William Bird

“A company with such a long history should know how the system works, but if there’s evidence it was intentional, this becomes a very serious matter,” he said.

He said circulation numbers were important to advertisers selling products within each publication.

“A bigger audience means you would be able to charge more (for advertising) … If you lose readers, you have to drop rates accordingly,” he said.

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