Johannesburg - The Sunday Times was the most influential print medium in the first quarter of 2014, according to a study by media research institute Media Tenor.
In the first quarter of last year, the Sunday Times was ranked third-most influential agenda-setting medium, the Mail & Guardian was second, and City Press first.
The Sunday Times came out tops for the first quarter of this year, followed by City Press and the Mail & Guardian.
The study tracked which media were most frequently quoted by their peers.
“What is heartening is the increase in quotes for South African weekly newspapers as opposed to international print, which suggests that local media have taken back the lead on local stories,” Media Tenor managing director Theresa Lotter said in a statement.
While the Mail & Guardian broke the story on upgrades to President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla home, the Sunday Times and City Press continued to produce fresh angles on the story in the build-up to Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's report on the matter.
Beeld retained its position as most influential daily newspaper, but faced growing competition from The New Age.
“Beeld's niche coverage on domestic crime and societal issues saw Beeld reach top-three status in 2012 and the paper has continued, since then, as a highly influential medium,” Lotter said.
The top three agenda-setting newspapers gave the African National Congress and its national executive committee coverage amounting to about half of their respective representation of political parties. Coverage of the Economic Freedom Fighters was 11 percent across each of the three newspapers.
The Sunday Times gave 27 percent representation to the Democratic Alliance and 13 percent to other political parties.
The City Press and the Mail & Guardian each gave 17 percent of their political coverage to the DA, with other parties accounting for 19 percent and 14 percent respectively.