Nation Media has made major editorial changes it hopes will drive the media house to the next level of digital journalism.
The new appointments, which have left out a number of top editors, come a few weeks after launching its new digital brand identified as the new frontier in the media house’s quest to shift away from the traditional advertising business model.
In an international memo issued on Friday seen by Business Today, Nation Media Group Editorial Director Mutuma Mathiu announced the changes, placing responsibility in the hands of a few seasoned editors at a crucial moment that could define the company’s future.
Titles have shifted from the traditional newsroom make-up, signaling the shift into producing content that will compel readers to pay. Under the new structure, editors have been given more responsibility to cover up for the expanded workload and reduced workforce.
“As part of the process of implementing the Group’s digital transformation strategy, I am pleased to announce the following appointments effective October 1, 2020,” said Mutuma.
Churchill Otieno: Head of Development and Learning
This is the editorial focal point for monitoring existing digital products, development of new ones, learning, skills development and culture change.
He will coordinate the development, monitoring, and evaluation of critical KPIs, play a lead role in the execution of the group’s digital expansion strategy through Nation.Africa, participate in the formulation and execution of group editorial strategy including building an integrated content process and coordinating the expansion of Nation. Africa to the subsidiaries.
Daniel Kalinaki: Africa Editor & ME TEA
To breathe life into Nation.Africa by leading the ideation and execution of world-class coverage of Africa while at the same time providing effective leadership for The EastAfrican, effectively navigate regional relations, protect and extend the Nation brand by enforcing the Editorial Policy and Guidelines, lead content generation and production operations to differentiate, establish and grow The EastAfrican, its circulation and online presence, identify and develop talent, participate in the formulation and execution of group editorial strategy including building an integrated content process as well as support digital transformation through skills and leadership development and culture change.
Washington Gikunju: Head of News
To protect and extend the Nation brand and credibility, enforce world-class rigour in news collection and editing, play a lead role in the formulation and execution of an integrated news process, enforce integrity in newsgathering, implement the Group Editorial Policy and Guidelines as well as House Style in newsgathering and production, provide effective leadership to the newsroom, build structures to produce world-class quality, competitive and monetisable content, identify and develop talent, participate in the formulation and execution of group editorial strategy, building journalism skills, leadership development and culture change.
Bernard Mwinzi: Managing Editor Weekends
To provide effective leadership for the weekends, enforce policy, protect and extend the brand, enforce Editorial Policy and Guidelines and House Style, personally lead content generation to differentiate the products, grow circulation and online presence, produce world-class monetisable content, identify and develop talent, participating in the formulation and execution of group editorial strategy including building an integrated content process, skills, and leadership development and culture change.
John Kamau: Managing Editor, Projects
To personally execute and, working with the Executive Editor, Head of News, Managing Editor Weekends, Africa Editor, and other editors in the Group lead the development of long term editorial multimedia projects that will once and for all reestablish and entrench the dominance of Nation Journalism, protect vulnerable products and strengthen our other news products such as the Daily Nation on Monday, Saturday Nation and NTV bulletins.
John Kiplagat: Head of Production
To drive world-class quality, enforce an integrated multi-platform production process, ensure multi-media output, enforce deadline compliance, effectively supervise a diverse multi-platform team, participate in talent spotting, identification, and development, enforce Group Editorial Policy and Guidelines and House Style, participate in the formulation and execution of group editorial strategy, skills, and leadership development and culture change.
Wayua Muli: Lead, New Ventures
Editorial champion for the verticals and other commercial activities providing leadership and coordination for Editorial, technical, and commercial cross-functional teams involved in the Group’s monetization processes, leading content development and being an effective link between Editorial and other departments in commercial ventures and finding innovative ways to turn content into monetisable products.
Kudrat Sehgal: Product Innovation Lead
To lead Editorial’s digital innovation and product development on Nation. Africa, across platforms, troubleshooting and finding new ways to improve critical KPIs, work with the User Hub, and in the Content Verticals to ensure we build and sustain product features and user experiences that enable user acquisition, engagement, retention and monetisation on an ongoing basis. Coordinate the development of existing and new products in a project management sense.
Catherine Wanyama: Coordinator, Quality Desk
To manage the flow of work and manage its distribution to ensure high standards of quality across the week, specifically ensure the achievement of world-class standards in content quality making sure that reporters are challenged to develop their stories and incorporate multi-media devices, content is re-written, edited and revised to the highest standards well in advance of deadlines and for all platforms
Harry Misiko: Growth Editor
This role is primarily charged with growing traffic to Nation. Africa and its purpose is to manage the daily report; it straddles the User Hub and the traditional news desk and is the spearhead of the modern digital content operation and our integrated content process. As leader of the User Hub, the holder will coordinate the application of audience insights in driving the daily report to ensure we are consistently generating content that is aligned to audience interests to a quality standard that fits customer needs.
The holder will also lead the beats in delivering the daily report to digital, broadcast, and print platforms in a timely basis and effectively manage reporters to deliver content within deadlines, in a multi-media format of acceptable quality, drive reporter’s updating of stories and their marketing on social media as well as help Enterprise Editor identify stories that are developable for the paywall.
Alex Ndegwa: Enterprise Editor
This role is charged with the development and scheduling of premium content; the role masters and services the paywall by spotting, developing, and scheduling stories from the daily report into premium content, ensures a steady stream of exclusives, follow-ups, and breaking big stories.
Working with Head of Projects and platform editors also drives production and acquisition of multimedia, exclusive, immersive, and evergreen content for the paywall and print publications and broadcast outlets.
Lynette Mukami: Engagement Editor
This role champions audience needs, tastes, and sentiment in the editorial process and ensure audience primacy in editorial decision-making.
It will use analytics and feedback channels to drive newsroom reorientation to the audience, and coordinate headline testing, newsletters, social media, and events to drive engagement with all segments.
This role works with the Product Innovation Lead to monitor and guard user experience.
Verah Okeyo: Diversity and Inclusion Editor
Ensure newsroom focus on neglected audiences, including minorities such as the young, immigrants, distant populations, and the disabled.
Working with all editors, this role will get consistent focus on these often forgotten populations, not just with coverage but also ensuring that our journalism is accessible to them and that we provide them access to our platforms to get their voices heard. It will also drive newsroom experimentation and content innovation.
Kenfrey Kiberenge: Community Editor
This function will drive Nation. Africa’s push into local/community reporting across the country, working with the Regional Editors. It will provide innovative and pulsating coverage of our audiences in their spaces to ensure focus on key issues that define people’s interests and holistic happiness at a personal level, and hold County governments accountable to their constituencies.
Leonard Guchu: Political and Parliamentary Affairs Editor
To lead the in-depth and mature coverage of politics, Parliament and Government in a manner that serves digital, print, and broadcast platforms, providing a stream of exclusive content and explaining policy and political development to audiences as well as planning big coverage of diary events.