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The East African : Nov 10th 2014
II | OF UNDERSTANDING THE REGION | EDITOR’S NOTE | NOVEMBER 8-14, 2014 PUBLISHERS NATION MEDIA GROUP ACTING EDITORIAL DIRECTOR TOM MSHINDI MANAGING EDITOR PAMELLA SITTONI PHOTO EDITOR JOAN PERERUAN SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER ANTHONY SITTI RESEARCHERS EVANS SASAKA AUGUSTINE NYAGA MARIA KANINI CONTRIBUTORS LINUS GITAHI TOM MSHINDI JOSEPH ODINDO GERRY LOUGHRAN ALI ZAIDI JAINDI KISERO BERNA NAMATA JOACHIM BUWEMBO L. MUTHONI WANYEKI GITAU WARIGI FRED OLUOCH TREVOR ANALO MICHEAL WAKABI NICK WACHIRA MBATAU WA NGAI JOSEPH MWAMUNYANGE MIIRO STEPHEN fundamentals remain constant A lot has changed, but the As we mark the 20-year milestone, starting this week, we not only look at how far we have come, but also set our sights on how much ground we must cover.... In fact, the East Africa the newspaper was born into has undergone such great transformations it almost seems unrecognisable T he first issue of The EastAfrican, unveiled to readers on November 7, 1994 — in its dignified, understated yet elegant, black and white form — was the realisation of a long-held vision for a newspaper that could go beyond the national borders to tell East Africa’s story. Founding editor Joseph Odindo, con- sulting editor Gerry Loughran and their marketing colleague Jerry Okungu (God rest his soul) criss-crossed Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, talking to diverse groups and individuals to assess the region’s information needs, before they laid the foundation of what would be East Africa’s most respected newspaper. At the time, East Africa comprised just these three countries. This is how the editors, in their first editorial, introduced the new newspaper to East Africans: “This is not a newspaper for screaming headlines, sensational photographs, titillating sex or the minutiae of local party politics. It is designed for serious consideration of political and economic issues, examination of where governments are succeeding and falling short, exclusive news reports from our bureaus, business information, market statistics and financial commentary, an overview of world events, leisure, travel, entertainment and regional sport.” As we mark the 20-year milestone, starting this week, we not only look at how far we have come, but also set our sights on how much ground we must still cover. A lot has happened in the past 20 years. In fact, the East Africa the newspaper was born into has undergone such great transformations, it almost seems unrecognisable. The region has expanded to include Rwanda and Burundi, thanks to the integration process that has seen the East African Community re-emerge as a strong regional bloc. The region’s people are beginning to reap the Our look is a slightly different from what we were in 1994: We embraced colour and tweaked our design, and today tell many of our stories through graphics benefits of the new-found co-operation at many levels. Individually, each of the five countries has gone through interesting cycles: The politics has evolved, the economies have grown and the social fabric has changed with emergence of new cultures. The technological revolution that has swept through the world has changed every aspect of our lives. The EastAfrican has been on hand to give the reader a panoramic view of these developments — predicting, revealing, recording, analysing, interpreting and providing objective commentary. We at The EastAfrican, have changed too. Where we had only a few writers in the three countries in 1994, we now have fully-fledged bureaus, a fourth in Rwanda and contributors from several other countries, including Burundi, South Sudan and Somalia. Our look is slightly different from what we were in 1994: We embraced colour and tweaked our design, and today tell many of our stories through graphics. We take cognisance of the fact that technology has changed the way people receive and consume information. However, technology does not threaten us; it only creates platforms that allow us to tell our stories faster, to diverse groups in different ways. When The EastAfrican was first pub- lished, readers in Uganda and Tanzania had to wait for the paper to reach them by road from our printing plant in Nairobi. Today, not only is the newspaper simultaneously printed in Nairobi, Kampala and Dar es Salaam, but readers can access our content — and a lot more news as it breaks — on our website, Facebook page and Twitter handle. Soon, we’ll launch our e-paper app to enable readers to download the full newspaper on their tablets and smartphones. With all these changes, some things remain constant. Our commitment to you, our readers, remains as resolute as it was when The EastAfrican was first conceived: To highlight and discuss important developments in East Africa and beyond, to help improve its people’s lives. The spirit of our journalism too remains unchanged. Our team of strong writers, impeccable editors and authoritative columnists rededicates itself to bringing you news, analyses and commentary you can rely on to make decisions — in whichever format you find convenient. One more thing that remains un- changed is our gratitude to our loyal readers, who anticipate every week’s issue of The EastAfrican. Asanteni!
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