Revamping of Kenya News Agency on Course as Digitization Project Nears Completion

KNA History

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 specializing 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 totaling 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.

The KNA Digitization project was conceived in 2011 with the ICT Authority securing funding for the project in 2014 from the World Bank. The digitization begun in June 2015 and involves cataloging  that includes adding descriptions to the digital file to make it searchable from a computer. In addition to capturing details for each resource. The project is slated for completion in June 2016 with an eCommerce website will be made available in December to allow citizens to view and purchase copies of the images.

This past week, a business case workshop was organised by the ICT Authority seeking ways of  propelling it into a competitive public entity, which can operate sustainably and compete with other international news bureaus. At the forum, stakeholders explored innovative ideas aimed at scaling up KNA’s operations which included implementing a good content management system, top-notch social media strategy and sale of digital content. Various stakeholders recommended that KNA should provide additional service with its Photo Library Services including research assistance. Intellectual Property Rights of KNA reporters and photographers should be acknowledged. KNA was also challenged to invest in marketing to grow its social media presence and promote its valuable products. The news agency was also asked to revamp its subscription and price structure to include products that are accessible to independent media, county publications and freelancers with smaller budgets.