Former NMG Chief Editor Tom Mshindi Takes Charge at KBC

Some media analysts see him as a recycled journalist joining KBC's media legends since he does not have a strong legacy in transforming broadcast operations

Tom Mshindi, the veteran Journalist and former chief editor of the Nation Media Group, has taken over as chairman of the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) for the next three years. The appointment by President William Ruto is a shot in the arm for both Mshindi, who forced to retire at 57 years from Nation Media Group in December 2018, and KBC, which has been struggling to adapt in a fast-changing media environment.

Mr Mshindi replaced Benjamin Maingi effective 19th January 2023, whose appointment was revoked by President William Ruto. Today, 22nd Jan., Mshindi met Information Communication and Technology (ICT) Cabinet Secretary Eliud Owalo and discussed the turn-round strategy for the public broadcaster. “I thank H.E. President Dr. William Samoei Ruto for appointing a respected, experienced and seasoned media practitioner to augment efforts in revitalising the public broadcaster,” Mr Owalo said.

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Mr Mshindi is being seen as a big catch for KBC, given his long-standing experience in media. While known mostly for his newspaper work, Mr Mshindi has led multimedia companies including Standard Group and Nation Media, which run fairly successful broadcast businesses.

Mr Mshindi served nine years at the Nation Media Group (NMG) where he began as a journalist and rose to the role of Managing Editor of the Daily Nation. He left for Standard Media, and other non-media assignments before returning to NMG where he served as head of newspaper division and later, editor-in-chief.

He also held key positions such as Managing Director of Monitor Publications, an NMG subsidiary in Uganda, Managing Director of Nation Newspapers Division, and Chief Operating Officer. Currently, Mshindi is actively engaged as a consulting editor and writer for his venture, Tom Mshindi Consulting.

The president’s backers say the three-year appointment of Tom Mshindi as KBC chairman reflects Ruto’s commitment to strengthening the media sector in Kenya and ensuring that the state broadcaster plays a crucial role in informing, educating, and entertaining the nation. At the other end, however, independent thinkers see Tom as a recycled journalist joining the team of KBC’s media legends since he does not have a strong legacy in transforming broadcast operations.

It is hoped that his extensive experience and leadership skills will guide KBC towards achieving growth and transformation, but he is likely to dance to the tune of the appointing authorities, who use KBC more of a mouthpiece for state projects and less in practising independent journalism that could make the national broadcaster vibrant.

The positive side of it is the fact that a journalist is leading the media house and could push a more targeted agenda to make KBC better in terms of not just its journalism but staff welfare as well. KBC runs KBC TV and radio as its flagships as well as a number of local radio stations.

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