The world needs to understand Africa “better” is one of the motivations of this new African digital news platform that’s been launched by South African based Mail & Guardian media group. Led by veteran Ugandan-born journalist who quit the Nation Media, Charles Onyango-Obbo, the digital news platform will tell the African story from an African perspective;
“Mail & Guardian Africa has taken the bold step to report Africa by telling why things do or do not happen, using an evidence-based, non-dogmatic and analytical approach and exploring the new opportunities that technology, social media and crowd-sourcing tools offer to do that in new ways,” says Mail and Guardian Africa Editor Charles Onyango-Obbo, a leading pan-African journalist with an unparalleled grasp of the Africa narrative.
The news site will aim to be the leading and most important commercially successful contemporary voice on African issues offering News analysis, insight, commentary and investigative journalism across the continent.
As part of the package, http://www.mgafrica.com, the digital news and information portal of Mail and Guardian Africa, was activated on Thursday 1 May 2014. This will be followed by the launch of the Mail and Guardian Africa head office in Nairobi, Kenya on Tuesday 20 May 2014. From this location, Charles will lead a carefully selected contingent of creative and African journalists and editors operating across the continent.
“The aim is to focus on delivering quality African news and information via mobile to, primarily, 30-40 year-old audiences with a college education in both Africa and outside the continent. Mail and Guardian Africa will offer a non-paternalistic, intelligent, and enlightened view of developments on the continent without feeling duty-bound to talk up the “Africa Rising” narrative, or to be stuck in cynicism and a refusal to see progress either. The objective is to make M&G Africa the most trusted and diverse source of news on Africa,” says Charles.
The M&G Media has appointed Anastacia Martin as Managing Director Mail and Guardian Africa to drive the strategic mandate and ensure commercial viability of the contemporary digital news portal.
“We are excited that finally, our dream and vision to provide Africa with a platform to access impeccable journalism delivered in a creative, engaging and trend-setting way has come to fruition,” says Martin.
“Bearing in mind the ever changing dynamics of the media landscape and matters of sustainable growth, we will complement our editorial vision with inter-active thought leadership events and conferences, and partnerships in advertising, sponsorships and multi-media offerings that will help us reach our goal for a world class pan-African news and information platform.”. The challenges of monetizing digital media is one of the reasons that have held traditional media houses from making the big shift.
Speaking during a pre-launch business conference in March 2014, M&G Media Ltd Executive Deputy Chairman Trevor Ncube described Mail and Guardian Africa as the culmination of a long held vision that as “Africans we have to tell our own story.” Added Ncube; “I think nothing is more emblematic of how little influence Africa has wielded in world affairs than the fact that even Africans themselves rely on non-African media to know what is going on in their own backyard.”