Nairobi. The Nation Media Group (NMG) on Friday transformed into a full digital brand with the launch of its flagship website nation.africa.
NMG promised to play a bigger role in transforming Africa through empowering audiences by informing, educating and engaging them, the company said.
Kenya’s Interior minister Fred Matiang’i, who was the chief guest at the launch held in Nairobi, pledged government support of the transformation.
“There is no serious government that is not going to invest in digital transition and hope to succeed. The Nation is to Kenya what the New York Times or The Washington Post is to the US,” said Dr Matiang’i.
He added: “We are living in the era of fake news and all these are challenges we have to deal with. We must keep protecting the value systems that will drive us forward.” He challenged NMG to target a global platform in future.
NMG Group Chairman, Dr Wilfred Kiboro, said the new journey that targets the entire Africa gels with the vision of the company’s founder His Excellency The Aga Khan.
“Aga Khan’s vision to empower Africa is what has informed the history of Nation Media Group and it has grown from only one title which was Taifa Leo to become the largest and the most influential multimedia house in East and Central Africa and also a house hold name,” he said.
NMG will place greater focus on growing reader-revenue from content delivered digitally, including exploring new revenue streams in the events and technology space.
“We will be charging for some content but we assure you that it will be value for your money,” said Dr Kiboro.
Dr Kiboro noted that NMG has been a champion of ordinary people on the rule of law and respect for human rights. “We plan to continue along that path.”
Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) minister Joe Mucheru, said the company was moving in the right direction.
“The direction that you are taking is the right one, towards what our Heads of State have been doing in terms of policy and putting together a market where we can really benefit,” he said.
Group CEO Stephen Gitagama said nation.africa is a user friendly platform that will enable NMG deliver quality content from across the continent.
“Nation.africa is an expression of massive ambition, on a global scale. It will take many years to realise those dreams. We are like cathedral builders who knew that neither they nor their sons would live to see the completed work, but so strong was their dream that, with stout hearts, they built anyway,” he said.
Mr Mutuma Mathiu, the Group editorial director, said the nation.africa, which has a mobile-first focus, will bring all the 69 NMG brands under one house.
“We are not abandoning our traditional business: Broadcasting and print. We continue to invest in them as you have seen in the recent days,” he said.
“When we are done, you will have fine quality, multimedia, interactive, intuitive mobile experience. What you see on our platform today is merely the beginning. We have just done one kilometre of the marathon. We are saving the best for last.”
On the new platform, Nation invites the audience to add their voices in guiding the newsroom on what stories to chase.
“Nation intends to give consumers content wherever, whenever and however they need it,” Nation executive editor, Pamela Sittoni said.
The media house redesigned the print editions and revamped content including introducing new magazines focusing on human interest stories to retain and attract more readers.
The NMG group publications include The East African, Daily Nation, Business Daily Africa, Daily Monitor, The Citizen, Mwananchi, Mwanaspoti, NMG Investor Briefing, Taifa Leo and Zuqka.