Nation Centre, Nairobi.

Nation Media Group has made changes to its editorial management team. The changes reflect its new direction of online first journalism and is expected to increase appeal of its various products. The changes affect the Nation newspapers section.

See below the memo from Editor in Chief, Tom Mshindi, which was released yesterday evening.

As you are all aware, NMG is driving an on-line first agenda in response to the rapidly changing media market dynamics that have seen most of our consumers interact with our content primarily on mobile devices. This is happening within the newsroom convergence strategy that has so far seen us merge the Sports Desk, the International Desk and the Business Unit.

We have also set up the Health and Science Desk that will serve all our platforms with relevant content. The effort so far has met with varying degrees of success and it remains on-going since it is a journey rather than a destination. Valuable lessons have been learnt and we continue to encourage teams to embrace this change wholly and provide us with feedback we can use to improve the process.

To further align our editorial processes to reflect the on-line first strategic thrust AND protect and keep improving our print business, I am happy to announce a significant restructure of the editorial processes that establishes a robust content generation unit under a senior editor; a consolidated production hub, an online and new content unit and a streamlined print products unit. To operationalize this, I also wish to announce the following key changes within the editorial department:

Mutuma Mathiu has been appointed the Executive Editor, Print, a new role that makes him primarily responsible for the Daily Nation newspaper, but also gives him overall oversight over the editors responsible for the Saturday Nation, Sunday Nation and Taifa Leo.

The product editors will be in charge of their products, making the key publishing decisions, including decisions on the headlines, pictures, story placement, product improvements, innovations, etc. They will be responsible for adherence to the editorial policy and guidelines, and also work closely with the commercial departments to support the achievement of commercial targets.

Reporting into Mutuma as product editors will be Ng’ang’a Mbugua (Editor, Saturday Nation), Michael Owuor (Editor, Sunday Nation), Nicholas Muema (Editor, Taifa), John Kamau (Investigative and Special Projects Editor), John Agunda (Op-Ed Editor), Elias Makori (Editor, Sports) and Bernard Mwinzi (Editor, Health and Science Desk).

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Eric Obino will take over the production hub as Head of Production, a role that gives him overall responsibility of the print production process, quality improvement, design and graphics. A critical role of the production hub will be to ensure that stories that the product editors plan to use big in their papers are reworked to add the value and relevance that will make them worthwhile Day 2 stories. This is key to ensuring continued resonance of our newspapers to readers that already get most of their breaking news freely on social media platforms.

Reporting to Eric will be John Kiplagat (chief sub-editor), Joe Mbuthia (Production Editor), Kibe Kamunyu (Quality Editor), the Revise/Rewrite team, the Chief Graphic Designer and the Chief Librarian.

Timothy Wanyonyi has been appointed the Head of Content, a role responsible for generation of content. All reporters and the news reporting teams will report into this new role whose first customer will be the online platforms. Timothy will ensure that our news production cycle is not primarily dictated by the print but by the immediacy of digital. He will set up a 24-hour newsroom and ensure that breaking news is very rapidly available for posting online and work closely with the online team to ensure that the stories are regularly updated.

Reporting into Timothy will be Bernard Namunane (Assignments Editor), the Regional Editors, and the Photo Editor.

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Churchill Otieno has been appointed the Editor, Online and New Content, an important role in the newsroom as it will be the first contact point with readers and consumers interacting with our content online.  This is the unit that will ensure that our websites and social media platforms are first with the news and are constantly updated.

It will also be responsible for originating and executing ideas that should place us at the forefront of content innovations, for example as is happening under Nation Newsplex. Churchill will also liaise very closely with the Digital team to facilitate synergies around content generation and use of analytics to give editors a better understanding of customer behavior and the performance of our content.

Reporting into Churchill will be Harrison Misiko (Online Editor), the social media team, the Newsplex team and the Video Hub team.

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I also wish to announce the consolidation of the Meru and Nyeri bureaus under Leonard Nguchu; the Kisii and Kisumu bureaus under Gekara Mayaka. John Kiplangat will move from Kisii to Eldoret and David Opiyo and Njeri Rugene will be re-deployed to Nairobi – David on the Revision team and Njeri on the content generation desk. Lucas Barasa will take over as Regional Editor in Mombasa. Caroline Wafula remains in Nakuru.

These changes take place with effect from Monday January 16th 2017, except for the bureaus, which should be completed by February 13th 2017.

Join me congratulating all the colleagues assigned new roles. Please extend to them all the support they need as we work to make NMG an even more successful content company.

Tom Mshindi


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