Kenya based newspaper Business Daily last week did a redesign of both the newspaper and the news website in line with today’s media trends. Ideally newspaper lifespan is 3 years, but Business Daily has taken longer to redesign the newspaper.
Sometime back there was the onslaught of international media to remodel their proposition to align with new readers and consumer trends who are online and mobile first. They were also demanding in the kind of content they were interested in, data journalism and other formats became king. But Kenya did not yet have the kind of skill-set that insightful data based journalism required, so it was not exactly possible to invest in that direction going by that shortcoming.
The media house that owns Business Daily (Nation Media Group) did however invest in a printing press that allowed them leverage on faster printing for the existing market that still buys newspapers. But we all know that won’t be long lived. Consumers are now more than ever, mobile first. And it was time Business Daily invested in that direction.
Business Daily newspaper’s old design was based off the Wall Street Journal long reads model, that was ten years ago. The new design is has a lot more focus on illustrations and summarized text. On the web, the same goes, sometime back, the whole of Nation Media Group took a new direction of online first, and this meant developing content in real-time for the news websites, and leaving analysis and more context for day two journalism on the newspaper.
Data journalism is at the center of the future of the paper, and they will be doing content with insightful and easily consumable data. They have done a layout redesign for the print, and this makes them have new advertisement designs. If a reader prefers illustrations to get information, they have that option to skim through and get informed.
Business Daily noted that readers stay an average of 2 minutes on a story. The new direction will have them develop content with that in mind. If you think about it, that’s them playing catch-up, considering that the Managing Director reports that after Kenya, the next biggest audience for their online version is from the UK and US. And this is a market that’s quite well served by international media that’s already moved into the next phase of journalism. Where they are trying to go. But it’s better late than never. And this is quite a welcome move by Business Daily.