Saturday, March 10, 2007

Nation Business Daily

The Nation Media Group started publishing the new business daily on Wednesday March 7.

It was first mentioned at the Nation AGM in May 2006 and it hits the streets just three months after a new look Nation was published on December 1.

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.

Newspaper affordability
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.

tweaking
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 have 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 shoul 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 excepttheir 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.
- Cartoon 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 appear in blogs or "Kenyan websites" as a by the way without mentioning what they are. e.g. interest rate or stockbroker woe tales.

Future Outlook
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.

News

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

other opportunities

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 careers1@bidco-oil.com by 19/3

Equity Bank: relationship managers, customer service representatives. Apply to jobs@ebsafrica.co.ke 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 erastus@nbnet.co.ke 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 info@mediaedgeint.com by 14/3

grants officer at save the children. apply to vacancies@scuk.or.ke by 21/3

branch manager at Southern credit bank. apply to hr@southerncredit.co.ke 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 recruitsdn@wvi.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

12 comments:

E-Nyce said...

Can anyone explain to me why Virgin Atlantic wants 3 to 5 years of airline or travel agency experience just to be a call centre agent?

Once again, companies bypassing employee training to locals in order to justify sending in their expats to do simple jobs.

The farce continues at Equity Bank:

Equity Bank is an equal opportunity employer, however at the moment there are no new job vacancies. We will however be glad to let you know of any job openings at Equity Bank.
Equity Bank - About Us - Careers at Equity

Not only do they not explain how they will contact you when there are openings, they do not post the jobs listed in the newspaper.

The Bank scouts for talented, creative and innovative team players who are excited by the opportunity of pushing the frontiers of the ever evolving microfinance industry, growing our services, exciting our customers and contributing to our community.

Yeah, right...

Kenyanomics said...

It was brilliant for NMG to launch the new Business Daily. But will it cover the entire East African region or just Kenya? I consider the flow of business news among East African countries quite poor, despite the ever increasing business ties in the region.

The recent influx of Kenyans into the Ugandan stock exchange is precursor to a coming demand of cross border investments by individuals. The demand for extensive reporting of regional business news—including microentrepreneurship—is therefore destined to rise.

I take that NMG’s East African (weekly)newspaper has done well in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania; it’s also making inroads in Rwanda and Burundi. I don’t see why a business version of the paper can’t deliver.

Mitzy said...

@ e-nyce, I think Virgin needs one to have good references from previous employers in the industry. Plus I figure they want to hit the ground running and trumple BA once they start flying to NBO. Besides, I am sure quite a number of people interested in applying for that position(s) will have way more years of experience that what Virgin requires.
@ Banks, great post. Business Daily is done in conjunction with WSJ. Right?

Ssembonge said...

I doubt if Virgin will trounce BA on the nbo-lhr route. I was about to book a flight with them but they've got a 8 am NBO depature flight. That means you have to be at the airport at 5 am. That will not fly with many people. Though its good that we have more choices when travelling to Kenya.

ncrwcc said...

I like the new Business Daily. It omits our never ending politics, and gives me the Busines feed I need to know. Well Done Nation!
However, the cost at 50 bob is on the higher side, 40 would be acceptable.

ncrwcc

sijui said...

Goody, goody, goody Virgin Atlantic is coming to Kenya! I hope they use Gatwick as their hub and not that horrible, horrible HEATHROW! I love Virgin, the times I have flown with them have been fantastic, they're edgy, innovative and very competitive in terms of price.

propaganda said...

A newspaper doesn't need exciting or exclusive content every day. More than half of what's published goes unread, so the competition's old stories like Virgin Atlantic can be dusted off and gain new interest.

pesa tu said...

I think the Business Day's newspaper main competition is Online biz sites and papers like FT(u can get it daily here in Kenya).
Havent read it am out of town, will assess it once am back

Mitzy said...

@Banks, for those of us reading the Nation Business Daily online , are we missing any content? What is the difference in coverage with the hardcopy?

Anonymous said...

sell your dollars! looks like this realiance deal is going thru thats
going to be $300M to the local economy. definitely will affect the exchange rate. sell tea stocks or horticulture stocks too an dbuy stocks that have high import components e.g oil - but again this maybe short term election season might change everything

bankelele said...

E-Nyce: I think they want to hit the ground running and are not targeting expats

Kenyanomics: NMG already has the East African which is quite good for regional business & politics coverage. BTW Uganda & Rwanda have some great online business papers you should check out

Mitzy: Having read "Babylon Air" I could probably hack it at Virgin Air as a ground manager. B'Daily runs 2 or 3 pages of articles from the WSJ (including their tech column)

Ssembonge & sijui: The more, the better. KQ success and passengers from intra-Africa is attracting more big players to JKIA

ncrwcc: I personaly can't separate business from politics, but B'Daily sems to have an idea how. 50 shilings is preicey when you weigh it's 32 pages against the bigger daily nation at 35 only

propaganda: I actualy get more out of the paper by reading at the end of the day than in the morning (or maybe I am pushing for someone to come out with an evening paper) - a paper shoudl have more exclusive content. e.g. i skip most papers life, sports and international news pages since I have caught the news elsewhere

pesa tu: It does bring together stories that one would have to visit dozens of different international sites to read

Mitzy: the web has a good represeantation of whats in the actual paper - and now they are adding rss feeds

zang said...

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