Star’s editorial changes get a cold reception

The Star newspaper has today announced changes in its editorial team, which some journalists say have left the newsroom more confused. But something worth clapping for is the appointment of Lola Okulo, who becomes the first female business editor for a Kenyan newspaper.

Under the changes, Francis Openda, who is public affairs editor, has been made head of indepth content, which could include special projects and investigations.  Deputy news editor Francis Mureithi is now regional theme editor, putting him in charge of regional pages that carry news from the counties.

The political desk managed by Paul Ilado has been expanded to include courts and his title changed to micro editor. “There is more confusion with these changes,” said a Star journalist. “First titles have been bastardised and there is no knowing who is in charge of who! In fact, there has been so much hype about the relaunch, but there is a feeling that it has been about too much ado about nothing.”

Also Read >> Sacked Nation editor seeks Ksh0.4 billion compensation

Meanwhile Joseph Olweny and Paul Koitie have been appointed revise editors, while Wycliffe Muga, Wanjiru Kinoti and Ibrahim Oruko will be in charge of opinion pages. Susan Kiprono will be assignments editor.

Other than the change of title names, some insiders feel there is nothing radical about the proposed changes that formally take effect from Monday. Features pages and business have significantly been whittled down to two pages each, with more space hived off for politics.

The thinking is that the newspaper growth hinges on politics and management wants to leverage on political stories for increased growth. Seven other political reporters have been hired to beef up the political desk, including Sam Kisika from News 24, an online publication, who is set to report on Monday.

Jack Owuor, who left in 2013 for Pic Centre that collapsed last year, makes a comeback as a photographer. Fred Indimuli had been designated as deputy features editor, but decided to take an offer from Citizen TV.

[crp]

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