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Working to grow audiences in Africa: an interview with Churchill Otieno

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Working to grow audiences in Africa: an interview with Churchill Otieno

Churchill Otieno, Managing Editor for Digital at NMG, will be the keynote speaker at WAN-IFRA's upcoming Digital Media Africa conference, 28-30 September in Johannesburg, South Africa. In this email interview, Otieno discussed the group's activities on digital platforms, their recent success with a major data journalism project, and his goals for this year.

Churchill OtienoChurchill OtienoWAN-IFRA: As Managing Editor for Digital, what are your main duties?

Churchill Otieno: I oversee our publishing to digital platforms – mobile, websites, apps. In some spaces this involves defining standards that meet our editorial policy then monitoring their observance, in other areas in means driving operational teams daily to drive them. I’m also part of a core senior-level team that scopes and plans new areas for digital growth.

How many journalists does Nation Media Group have? Do they all work for both print and digital, or do you have some specialists?

NMG has about 200 journalists in Kenya and about a similar number in Uganda and Tanzania. Many identify as print journalists and just about 20 percent are linked to broadcast platforms. Currently, a newsroom project is encouraging all to identify as web-first.

What is your group doing on social media and what are the main digital platforms you work with?

We use mainly Twitter and Facebook but also have a presence on Instagram, Snapchat and Google+. We mainly try to get our journalism visible on these platforms.

How much of your digital audience is coming to you from mobile devices vs. desktop computers?

The share of audience from mobile has been growing steadily over the years and stands currently at about 70 percent.

What have been some of your favourite digital successes in the past year?

We have successfully established a data journalism project that we are very proud of: (pictured in the top screenshot are two of the related stories).

What are some of your digital goals for this year?

Working to grow audiences, and get more people in our newsrooms involved in digital publishing.


Brian Veseling's picture

Brian Veseling


2016-08-10 10:08

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