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Former Nation news editor Eric Shimoli joins Standard

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Nation Media plans to outsource some of its newspaper production process.

Former Daily Nation news editor Eric Shimoli is set to join Standard Group, in a move likely to jolt Nation Centre. Mr Shimoli, who was among journalists recently laid off by Kenya’s leading media house, is said to be in advanced talks to join The Standard newspaper as a senior editor.

“It’s a done deal as far as I know,” said a source from Standard Centre on Mombasa Road. “What remains is for him to sign the letter of offer and report to work.”

Also joining Standard is Mary Wasike, who was Nation’s opinion and editorial editor before being edged out during the recent restructuring.

As the dust settles at Nation Centre after sending away a number of journalists, Standard Media Group appears to be sifting through the rubble to pick out some valuables. The dark cloud of restructuring at Nation clearly had a silver lining for Standard, which now has access to talent at negotiated rates. Poaching is a costly affair and Standard would have had to cough out blood to lay hands on someone like Shimoli, if at all, as NMG was good at arm-twisting its rivals with counter offers.

At Standard, Shimoli and Ms Wasike will rejoin their form boss, Mr Joseph Odindo, who as editorial director, is reorganizing the political desk for elections coverage and firming up the news gathering machinery to compete against Nation.

See Also >> Star newspaper to be shut down after elections

The Standard is replicating the Nation model of having a strong backbench, a team of experienced editors who panel-beat stories and strengthens before they are sent to the subeditors. The backbench acts as a bridge between the newsdesk and subs.

Mr Shimoli is expected to lead the backbench team of Ms Wasike and others who will be sourced both internally and externally. In fact, BT is reliably informed that Standard is taking advantage of the tension at Nation to talk some of its best sub-editors into crossing to Mombasa Road. The backbench will help improve copy by adding relevant details and angling.

Vincent Achuka

Already, Standard has sign up Sunday Nation correspondent Vincent Achuka to join its weekend team as a writer. Achuka, who will be a staff writer, is said to have signed the employment letter.  He is good in analysis, investigations and features and is expected to give the Standard weekend writing team a major boost. Sunday Nation is now left with Justus Wanga, Walter Menya, Wanjohi Githae and Elvis Ondieki.

Meanwhile, Geoffrey Mosoku, who was pushed out during its October 2015 restructuring has made a comeback at Standard as a contributor. Standard Group recently advertised jobs for reporters to join its parliamentary team and to replace former digital editor David Ohito, who left to join politics.

[crp]



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BT Reporter
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