17 March 2016

Kenya: Aga Khan Commissions New 'Nation' Press

The Aga Khan has officially opened the Nation Media Group's new printing press on Mombasa Road.

The press, which has a capacity to print 86,000 newspapers per hour, is a state-of-the-art facility intended to offer a range of options for advertisers and a fresh new look for readers.

The Aga Khan hailed the new press as a major milestone for the company now in its 56th year in Kenya.

It is a far cry from the technology in place when he founded the Nation Media Group more than five decades ago.

"At a moment like this, I find myself thinking of the days when we started the Nation. That was five decades ago. It's hard to believe that much time has passed," he said.

The Aga Khan also reminisced on his experience 56 years ago when the Nation Media Group was started.He also noted the explosion of new sources of information and media enabled by the growth in technology.

"We live in a post-fact society. It's not that everybody feels entitled to their own opinion, and that's a good thing, but they also feel entitled to their own facts," the Aga Khan said.

In such a world, he said, everyone should have a place to turn to for a constructive and objective source of information.

INDEPENDENT MEDIA HOUSE

He said the NMG has achieved his aim to have an independent media house.

"Our goal was not to tell people what to think but to give them the information to help them think," he added.

The event was also presided over by Information, Communication and Technology Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru.

NMG Board chairman Wilfred Kiboro said the company would maintain constructive criticism of those in power as well as responsible reporting.

"There will always be a need for good journalism and that's why we'll not sit and worry about when the last copy of the Daily Nation will roll off the press," said Mr Kiboro of the investment in print at a time the newspaper business is facing challenges across the globe.

The press was built at a cost of Sh2 billion, a significant investment in Kenya and a testament to the group's commitment to the country.

It is designed to put out, daily, thousands of copies of the Daily Nation, Business Daily, Taifa Leo and weekly, The EastAfrican.

"Investing in technology and good journalism has been the DNA of this company from the very first," said Joe Muganda, the group CEO.

"We will not waver in maintaining the high ethical standards expected of us. We'll stick to the high griund and I'm sure we'll come through," he added.

In a speech read on his behalf by Mr Mucheru, President Kenyatta lauded the investment in Kenya and reiterated his commitment to media freedom in Kenya.

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