In the recent weeks there have been debates on who is the king of Kenya’s news paper sector. Is it the Daily Nation (including the sister papers the Saturday Nation, the Sunday Nation and Taifa Leo), or The Standard? Arguments have been put forth claiming that the Daily Nation has lost its popularity, but what does the facts say? The facts that we are going to look at are categorized into “Independent Reviews” and “Circulation Numbers”.
There are a number of online sites that have offered reviews, or information, on the quality and quantity of newspapers being published and distributed in Kenya. One such site is the Kenya Information Guide, and according to the site, “The Daily Nation is the most authoritative of all Kenya’s newspapers, providing comprehensive and balanced coverage of Kenyan news. The newspaper is also arguably the most objective, independent, and unbiased in its news coverage.” An article by a Robert Gitau appearing in ZaKenya website reviews the Daily Nation as “not only cheap but also affordable and has a lot of information that caters for the interest of the public.” According to Robert, “wide range of areas ranging from politics business and sports are covered by the newspaper. Various job opportunities are also covered within the newspaper and is good for one to advertise any piece of information they have.”
Daily Nation has been hailed as the newspaper that is not afraid to be independent, to be objective, and to go out of its way and verify the truthfulness of a story. That is why over the years, the paper’s motto, tagline, or if you like slogan, has always been “The Truth” and no one has dared challenge that. These attributes has enabled the paper to not only come from behind when it was first published in 1960, but rise up the ranks to becoming the leading newspaper in East and Central Africa where it has continued to set the pace, define the standard, set the bar, and become unchallenged leader in the East African market.
Daily Nation in Numbers
Recent awareness campaign by the Daily Nation claims that for every three people that read newspapers, two of them read Daily Nation (or any of the other Nation Media Group owned newspapers). That is, by market share, The Daily Nation controls 66.67% of the market. How true is this? The most recent research I have found online that talks about newspaper circulation is a research done by GeoPoll, under its GeoPoll’s Media Measurement Service that reports daily measurement for print outlets. In their report, GeoPoll stated that they “found that across the board Daily Nation and Standard are the top newspapers by audience size and share, beating the competition by a large margin. In the past 30 days, Daily Nation had an average readership of approximately 4,379,400 per day, and Standard had an average of 2,223,500 per day. This means nationwide, Daily Nation has a 40% share while Standard has a 20% share. Lower down, Taifa Leo has a 10% share, and People Daily has an 8% share.” Going by GeoPoll figures, it is clear to see that even before including papers such as Business Daily, Daily Nation and Taifa Leo already control 50% of the market.
According to data shared by the Daily Nation, only the Daily Sun of South Africa beats the Daily Nation in popularity. In the list of top 5 Daily newspapers in Eastern and Southern Africa, Daily Sun tops the list followed closely by Daily Nation. Isolezwe, another South African paper, comes in third followed by Sowetan also from South Africa at the fourth position. Closing the list is Son, yet another South African paper, at the fifth position. This ranking clearly indicates that the Daily Nation is enjoying a very wide reach in Kenya and other East African countries, that the only “competition” are South African papers that are actually not in the East African market. The popularity of the nation newspaper has been made possible by the fact that the paper reaches over 35 million people every month as shown in the figure below.
Both the independent reviews and the actual numbers show that the paper one should rely on for quality, verified and truthful news is the Daily Nation. For those of you who are tired of fake news, then you know where your source of verified news comes from. For the advertisers, just by the pure numbers, you know where your readers are.