Relaunch sharpens ‘watchdog’ role

The Standard [NAIROBI, Kenya] One measure of my own satisfaction with a redesign project is to return to the community one year later, pick up the paper, and gauge my own personal level of interest, as a reader. (I’ve gotten pretty good at putting myself in the head of a local reader, after all these years working in very different communities.) If page after page is filled with compelling headlines, photos, captions and graphics, in a noticeably improved way from pre-redesign days, I feel I’ve helped make a difference. Such was the case recently when I returned to Nairobi for a week and picked up The Standard. Overall, the design has held up well. Better yet, the paper is confidently covering a number of issues that are of grave importance to the country, and East Africa: Famine. Drought. Deforestation. Politics. Traffic. The economy. Page after page of any day’s issue was filled with exhaustive reports on these topics; each page designed to serve both the “scanning” reader, as well as the in-depth fan of that particular topic. These were chief goals of the design that was created, as well as extensive newsroom training that took place for more than a year. While The Standard had always had a reputation as being a government “watchdog” in this important emerging – and troubled – democracy, the redesign seems to be framing this role in a new, clear light. Thought I’d share a few pages that caught my eye here. Not splashy, perhaps not design award winners, but pages that I know would captivate readers in this information-hungry market. Kenyans know that one of the key factors in “getting ahead” is education, and access to information, and The Standard strives hard daily to provide this. (For an additional gallery of earlier pages, visit this Flickr set.) StanFront4 StanFront3 StanIns3 StanIns1 StanIns2 StanFocus StanInsPartial StanCCI StanCCI2 StanCCI3 Related:

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    1 Comment

    1. 23_Mbugua

       /  February 28, 2010

      Fantastic. I have been reading Standard periodically and have noticed the improvement. I will make a point to watch for it more … people in the streets are reading it more, it seems. Congrats to the people in the media house who made the improvements work

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