By the time you pick your copy of the Saturday Nation from August 1, you will notice a bereft of visual changes.
Nation Media Group on Thursday July 30 announced the rebranding of its newspapers and creation of a new digital brand, ushering in a digital-first strategy in the company.
Dubbed Nation.Africa, the new digital platform will enable the media group to deliver news across mobile channels. The media group will also redesign its legacy media, changing the appearance and content of its newspapers.
Nation.Africa will also mark the media group’s transition to paid content, diversifying its revenue base from advertising, which is dwindling globally.
Speaking on the transformation in a memo to all staff, Nation Media Group CEO Stephen Gitagama said “I am delighted to announce the beginning of our digital transformation journey through the phased launch of our digital brand Nation.Africa. This digital brand will be our pathway towards the monetization of digital content and taking up leadership in the mobile publishing landscape in Africa.”
The transformation to a digital brand is also necessary, owing to the changing role of newspapers in today’ journalism. Social media is now the centre of breaking news, a position once monopolized by newspapers.
As a result, Nation will redesign its newspapers to focus on exclusive stories and analysis targeting a broader demographic, adding a new design to its papers. CEO Gitagama announced that readers should expect the latest designs on August 1, in the Saturday Nation and other newspaper issues to follow.
“In this regard, we have not left our print readers behind; we will be providing them with stronger redesigned Nation newspapers. The Nation newspapers have undergone a redesign and on Saturday, August 1, 2020, Saturday Nation will be launched to the market, Sunday Nation on Sunday, August 2, 2020, and Daily Nation on Monday, August 3, 2020,” Nation Media Group’s CEO said.
The news papers have been skillfully redesigned to world class standards with introduction of fresh wide-ranging content including new magazines focusing on uplifting human interest stories, exclusives and analysis for various demographics – from the young to the old, to the educated and the curious – that makes everyday special with a modern clean, classy and appealing design.
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the negative impact of the decline, which has driven media houses to cut operational costs by laying off workers.
With the rebranding, NMG will explore digital advertising, e-paper subscriptions and content-driven reader revenue.
“Let me conclude by re-emphasising that although we are entering uncharted territory and it will take time to transition, I believe this will be an exciting journey with invaluable lessons for all of us. This calls for each of us to be a champion of this mission, sharing a common mindset, driven by the set of values that we live by,” the NMG CEO signed off.
The digital disruption in the media industry has also affected Nation’s competitors, The Standard, which has also redesigned its website.
The Standard’s new website requires readers to log in with an email address to access the content.
Although login in is free at this point, the company is monitoring user activity which will inform how it will roll out a pay wall for readers to subscribe to some or all of the content.