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Kenya Daily Nation - The Daily Nation: 50 Years Old and Going Strong

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The Daily Nation, headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, was started by an Englishman, Charles Hayes, in 1958. Initially a weekly newspaper published in Swahili, the paper was then bought in 1959 for 10,000 British pounds by Prince Karim Aga Khan the fourth, who viewed the purchase as an opportunity to build African national sentiment and hasten the end of colonialism. The Aga Khan, spiritual leader of the Ismaili worldwide community (the second-largest Shiite Islamic sect), changed the paper’s name at purchase from Taifa, to Taifa Leo—the Swahili phrase for “Nation today.” He introduced English language editions of the paper in 1960, with both the Daily Nation and the Sunday Nation. The Daily Nation celebrated the announcement of Kenyan independence in December of 1963 with the headline “Kenya Free.”

The young Aga Khan would go on to establish multiple non-governmental, non-denominational organizations, which now work in strategic tandem in 35 of the world’s poorest countries. The mission of the Aga Khan Developmental Network, or AKDN, is to increase the self-sufficiency of and subsequent opportunities for poverty-stricken communities in various regions around the world. Developmental efforts are on the ground in Central and South Asia, the Middle East, and sub-Saharan Africa, and focus on education, health, culture, and other community-building initiatives. Services are available without regard to origin, faith or gender, and the AKDN budget totals more than USD $300 million annually.

The Daily Nation, as part of the Nation Media Group, is principally owned by the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development, a branch of the AKDN. The Nation Media Group, as a publicly traded company, also has about 7500 other shareholders.

The newspaper, celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, enjoys its reputation as the most prominent and influential newspaper in East Africa. As East Africa’s biggest newspaper, daily circulation alone numbers about 205,000. In all likelihood, the number of readers is even higher, as each copy is read by multiple people. The paper’s success has stemmed from its independent editorial stance and impartial journalism, garnering high credibility throughout the region, as it has foresworn ties to any commercial, political, religious or factional influences. The Daily Nation and Sunday Nation enjoy a whopping market share of 74 percent, outselling their closest competitor, The Standard, by more than 3 to 1.

Its initial publisher was East African Newspapers, which later became known as the Nation Media Group (NMG), and which offers a wide range of media products in East Africa. Its portfolio includes other newspapers, such as The Business Daily, a weekly; The East African; the original Taifa Leo (still published in Swahili, and still published daily); and The Monitor, a Ugandan daily, which also hosts an FM radio station. The NMG also owns NTV, a television station; Uganda NTV (Uganda’s leading TV station); and Easy FM, a Swahili radio station in Kenya. Although the NMG had served audiences in print format for decades, its broadcasting presence wasn’t established until 1999. With its purchase of controlling shares in the Mwananchi Communications Limited Company, NMG was able to experience true regional presence by expanding coverage into Tanzania, with its investment in 3 Mwananchi Communications Limited papers—2 in Kiswahili, 1 in English. The NMG owns a transport division, the Nation Carriers Limited, which enables print product distribution throughout Kenya. A spinoff of Nation Carriers, Nation Courier, provides express delivery of mail and packages, including international connection capability. The Nation Marketing and Publishing Limited Company distributes such international entities as Times and Newsweek, and publishes a local marketing insert.

As one of the first African newspapers to welcome modern printing in the sixties, the Daily Nation also pioneered the technique of phototypesetting in the region. NMG papers continue to adapt to new technology: digital subscriptions to The East African, the Daily Nation and the Sunday Nation are available via Newsstand. An online service of selected daily and Sunday edition stories, with linked access to other products, is hosted via the Daily Nation’s website. The online paper boasts more than three million hits daily. Online archives are also available free of charge.

The newspaper arm of the Nation Media Group has an annual budget of USD 44.3 million, and a fulltime employee staff of more than 470.

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over 4 years ago

How can i access Nation newspaper archives?

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about 7 years ago

Daily Nation is the best and this was many years back since I remember . But recently things have changed in Daily Nation not publishing the articles which are sent to the editor and not notifying the owner of that article the reasons .

When you need to be praised than truth should be published its not that one has to inform the concerned that their is an article on you or on the Government side that the article is tough and will not be good to the concerned .

So if need to win the hearts of readers and Kenyans truth should published . I hope things may come back like before .

But still Daily Nation we do trust and read always what ever happened .


Hussein Abbas

Mombasa , Kenya