woman-reading-newspaperThe perception among so many people out there is that The EastAFrican newspaper is an elitist paper with a tight clientele of its own that only talks business and politics. How I would put it is that yes it does have its crowd, the kind that is not just flipping through papers looking for sex scandals and sensationalized headlines.

But what a lot of people don’t realize is that the paper actually has a lighter side to it that covers human interest stories and generally articles more relatable to the layman who is not necessarily looking for hard core business and political analysis. There are actually some soft headlines especially in the opinion sections. Like this week there is one by Jenerali Ulimwengu which says “So everyone wants to be president? Not me, I’d rather be dating Angelina Jolie”. The article is about Tanzanian politics but I like the light feel of the heading.

The EastAfrican has divided its content into straight forward sections, making it easy for readers to go straight to their favourite stories. These sections are news, business, outlook, opinion, magazine and markets. News and markets are self explanatory.

The business section will provide a clear overview of the region for anyone wanting to start doing business here, scale an existing business, or just to know the business climate of the region. As we had said in an earlier blogpost, “it is an authoritative newspaper based on whose analysis local as well as multinational businesses can make decisions and go ahead to follow through with actualization of the same”. Right from the time that the first paper rolled out of press in 1994, it has set itself apart as a paper that understands the region’s business and reports thoroughly and authoritatively on it.

Outlook tackles one big issue thoroughly and comprehensively by use of well written articles, Q&A interviews with experts in the field of focus for the week, and some good graphics.

Opinion has articles from the region’s most seasoned and respected columnists like Charles Onyango Obbo, Jenerali Ulimwengu, Joachim Buwebo, Frederick Mutebi, Elsie Eyakuze, Jason Lakim, David Makumi, and the seemingly no nonsense Muthoni Wanyeki. This section also usually has a guest feature by an expert in some field or other. This week’s opinion for example is by Nigerian Sa’eed Husaini, a graduate student at the University of Oxford who writes on violence, politics and natural resources management in West African. That slot has also accommodated the likes of the Kenyan first lady Margaret Kenyatta, former president of the African Development Bank Donald Kaberuka, and the former CBK Governor Njuguna Ndung’u among other prominent persons.

My favourite section is magazine, which has easy to read human interest stories and also covers the arts, culture, theatre, books and travel. This section also has room for short stories whereby any member of the public can submit a story and if it is picked for publication, then the paper will pay a token for it. Payment aside, it is a very good launching pad for aspiring publishers who want to further their craft in the literary world. There is no underestimating the power of a launching pad like this as its readers are often decision makers in different fields, including the publishing industry.

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