Perched at the Daily Nation, young journalist shares a bird’s eye yiew of the Kenyan media landscape

. Photo: Arthur Buliva (Original)
Photo: Arthur Buliva (Original)

In July 2008, I travelled to Kenya to spend eight months at the Daily Nation, the Nation Media Group’s flagship newspaper. Not long before my departure, I had graduated from Columbia University’s journalism programme and received a “Young Professionals in Media” fellowship from Aga Khan Foundation Canada and the Canadian International Development Agency. This meant that my first job out of school would be as a news reporter on the streets of Nairobi, a thrilling — but nonetheless daunting — prospect.

Professionally, it seemed like a good challenge. Journalists are often placed in unfamiliar situations and told by their editors to write about new topics at short notice. Good journalists learn quickly and can assemble a bird’s-eye view of complex issues and disciplines. In my case, I had never been to Kenya before, and I saw this as an opportunity to study the country’s current affairs. I also hoped to understand the reasons why it endured dramatic and bloody unrest following a disputed presidential contest in December 2007.

On a personal level, I hoped to explore the part of the world where my parents came from. My father grew up in Zanzibar; in 1969, he received a scholarship to attend college in the United States. My mother lived in Kampala, Uganda, and left the country with her family under Idi Amin. I also looked forward to learning more about how the Aga Khan Development Network and its portfolio of companies — especially the Nation Media Group — were contributing to East Africa’s economic progress.

Learning and working

The Nation Media Group`s publications widely read throughout East Africa. Photo: Nation Media Group
The Nation Media Group`s publications widely read throughout East Africa. Photo: Nation Media Group

On my first day at the Nation Centre, an iconic building in downtown Nairobi with two cylindrical towers and horizontal gray stripes, I toured the entire Nation Media Group. The company started small but now offers a variety of products besides the Daily Nation and Taifa Leo, its Kiswahili-language counterpart. These include the East African, a weekly round-up of regional news; Business Daily, a paper focused on business and finance; NTV, a television channel; and two radio stations, EasyFM and QFM. The firm also has distribution and courier divisions, as well as sister companies in Tanzania and Uganda.

Read more at: The Ismaili


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