The Nation Media Group started publishing the new business daily on Wednesday March 7.
I hope they consulted their readers like the Wall Street Journal did before they also made changes last year. The WSJ is one of the few to increase subscribers (10%) at a time when most newspapers and magazines are experiencing declines.
Three days out and I am one of the few who has bought all issues so far at 50 shillings ($0.70) each. I don’t expect to be a long-term customer since I can read most of the stories I see online at their site or elsewhere (feeds of WSJ online). But if one is not net savvy, the stories are new and different. However I expect that it’s only a matter of time before the stories also become subscriber only like the rest of Nation magazines
I have no loyalty to papers to buy, two on Sunday and either Nation or Standard on any other day depending on which is more appealing (preferably less party politics). Like many (cheap) Kenyans I buy one and get a free newspaper i.e. in exchange for buying a paper, the vendor allows me flip through the Nation or Standard (which are sold for 35/= or $0.50 on week days) before I decide which one to buy. The arrival of the business daily shakes up my vendor’s math – and he’s taking a few days to judge the demand /sort out his orders (he sells 50 Nation and 20 Standard) to motorists as he jogs round traffic jams. He doesn’t understand why the Business Daily was launched, and though he has sold out his few copies, he grumbles that it will reduce his sales of the Nation (which is twice the size but costs 30% less than the B.Daily)
Business without Politics?
Is there enough business news to put out a daily newspaper? Yes there is… we all say we are tired of the media obsessing with politics and politicians. But the Nation already has about half its papers with comprehensive business magazines (Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday- and the East African on Monday). The Standard has also has a business magazine on Monday & Tuesday, (stopped publishing an Executives magazine on Wednesday) as well as a focus on the transportation industry on Thursday. Also, the Kenya Times has comprehensive business writing each week day and it the only newspaper still has all its business stories online free.
Still, when you look at the papers the business daily is emulating – Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, or even the economist, they all have comprehensive political coverage because you can’t separate politics from the world economy. E.g. you can’t talk about Airbus problems and future without mentioning the interests/wishes of the French government and also understand what the presidential candidates in France have said and in the same way you can’t talk about the issues at KPLC, Kengen, and EAPC without understanding their status as parastatals that are influenced by the politics of government.
Some things I’d like to see if asked
– More risk/breaking stories. NTV reporter Robert Nagila has spent a few months doing an expose on dubious procurement contract at a cement company that has been the lead story on NTV news at 9 p.m. several times. But the Daily Nation has not published these findings comprehensively (maybe fear of lawsuits) even as management of the company have paid for rebuttal statements to run in the Nation. The WSJ goal of having 80% exclusive content should be aimed for.
– Some signature writers – like the East African has regular columnists with interesting observation and opinions. who also writes for Nation, Standard has battery who normally write on politics.
– Give an MD a column each week to write about business, economy, investments etc. anything except their company or industry. This should not be an interview and encourage them to make it a personal piece, not a PR team effort
– Index of people names in addition that of companies on page 2.
– Cartoons like the Boondocks, crosswords, advertisements
– More contributor content; this is not easy to manage but newspapers should not wish away their readers contributions. Newspapers often make reference to reports or features and liberally borrow material that appears in blogs or “Kenyan websites” as a by the way without mentioning what they are. e.g. interest rate or stockbroker woe tales.
The Business Daily, priced at 50 shillings should be a test balloon of the market. Nation executives have often stated that they wish to increase the price of the paper to offset increased production costs. That sometime in 2005/06 both nation and standard increased the price of their Saturday paper from 35 to 40 on the same day was not a coincidence.
By combining both the Business Daily (as Section B of the Daily Nation) they can go ahead and raise the price of daily paper to 50 or 55 shillings and still not lose readers to the competition.
Marshals: With no big pickup, SUV, or affordable small cars from Peugeot to sell, the company is cutting back – they have moved from their Sarit center showroom as well as marshals house site (used to be showroom, and workshop) on harambee avenue which has now been advertised for rent now its owner – the central bank staff pension fund who also have put up a new office block opp. Yaya center in Kilimani
Billionaire’s hotel: Flavio Briatore, the Renault F1 team boss will open a luxury beach resort in Malindi later this year.
Soccer dream alive: breathing a sigh of relief at the lifting of the FIFA ban on Kenya will be UAP Insurance and its policy holders who have invested in world cup savings plan – but who may had had a difficult time obtaining match tickets as FIFA would not have allocated Kenya a quota to sell.
Go zero: Safaricom has often been asked about why it hoards your 10 shillings (phone balance never went below 10 shillings) but they have now removed that floor and subscribers can now talk/SMS their way down to 1 shilling.
New airline Virgin Atlantic starts flights to Kenya on June 1 and the airline is seeking airline call center & ticketing agents, call center/ticketing supervisor, turnaround coordinators, area sales executives and airport duty managers to apply online for jobs by 18/3
Bidco: team leaders (finance & accounts) accountants (Jinja) , cost accountant head communications & PR, marketing officers, head(s) export sales & distribution, regional head(s) sales & distribution, territory sales supervisors, area – sales in charge, head – logistics, head – purchase, engineers, graduate trainee engineers, ICT systems analysts and others. Apply to firstname.lastname@example.org by 19/3
Equity Bank: relationship managers, customer service representatives. Apply to email@example.com by 23/3
Emirates airlines cabin crew. Apply online by 1/4
Erastus & Co CPA: audit associates (2), auditor seniors (2) tax & service supervisor. Apply to firstname.lastname@example.org by 20/3
Regional sales representatives at Jamii. D/L is 20/3
Market research & planning manager at KCB. apply to Divisional director HR 48400-00100 by 19/3
Managing Director at Kenya Film Corporation apply through manpower & associates by 23 /3
Media Edge: client service executives, editor, and creative graphic designers. Apply to email@example.com by 14/3
Grants officer at save the children. apply to firstname.lastname@example.org by 21/3
Branch manager at Southern Credit bank. apply to email@example.com by 21/3
World Bank Somalia community driven recovery /& development t (CDR/CDD) project: civil engineering officer, monitoring & evaluation officer, and coordinator CDR/CDD project. Apply online by 21/3
Grants accountant at world vision south Sudan. apply to firstname.lastname@example.org by 19/3
Scholarships: Chinese / Kenya government scholarships – undergraduate (12), post graduate (10) – full scholarships (inclusive of air travel).. D/L is 15/3 to the PS Ministry of Education
Media awards. Marekebisho awards from GJLOS – open only to journalists why? who work for media houses. Three awards each for print (local, regional or national newspaper) and electronic (local, national, regional TV/radio) journalists for work they publish between January 1 and May 31 2007. D/L is 31/5