Government keen on Revamping the Kenya News Agency



The Kenya News Agency has been looking to revamp its operations with the intent of competing effectively in the digital space. The Kenya News Agency was established on December 5th, 1963, a week to Kenya’s Independence specialising in  news gathering across the country and news dissemination for local and international news agencies. So far, it has managed to amass a volume of content totalling 700,000 photos, 6,000 hours of video,  20,000 hours of audio, 500,000 records of articles and 40,000 bounded books worth of magazines dating back to 1936.

In 2011, the ICT Authority conceived a project aimed at digitising the content owned by the News Agency. Funding for the project was secured in 2014 with the process starting in June 2015. The digitisation process included cataloguing where the description was added to files, making them searchable. The process also created an e-commerce portal allowing one to make purchases of images. The ICT Authority has also been looking to make KNA a competitive public entity, which can operate sustainably and compete with other international news bureaus. The authority has previously called stakeholders meetings to deliberate on finding the best course of action in achieving this. Among ideas mooted during these meetings was that KNA implement a good content management system, top-notch social media strategy and sale of digital content.

The government has since established the Kenya News Agency Rapid Result Initiative, with the aim of fostering this agenda. The government will strengthen and facilitate the KNA through capacity building; branding and upgrading to enable the agency distribute information. As part of the initiative, 15 editors and 15 social media personnel have been trained to fast-track preparedness to deliver on news and information targets. The government hopes the revamp will enable KNA to deliver news content that meets Vision 2030 aspirations.
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Eric writes on business, govt policy and enterprise tech.