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Standard launches first County newspaper

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Updated Tue, July 5th 2011 at 00:00 GMT +3

By Jibril Adan

The Standard Group on Tuesday launches a colourful and rich weekly newspaper packed with features and news from the counties, and debating issues affecting Kenyans at the grassroots.

The Standard County Weekly is Kenya’s first national newspaper of unrivalled quality, specifically targeting the counties ushered in by the new Constitution. The first edition will be on sale in Nairobi this afternoon, and in other regions of the country tomorrow morning and throughout the week.

However, subsequent editions will be on sale from Monday each week and throughout the week. The Standard County Weekly is a must-read for everyone

A Standard Group staff at their ultra-modern press. The group launches the first ever county weekly edition on Tuesday. Photo: Andrew Kilonzo/Standard

wishing to catch up on politics, culture, business and entertainment in the counties, and has something for everyone.

The unveiling of Kenya’s newest weekly adds to the excitement that greeted the enactment of the Constitution and the birth of the Second Republic, an era that is expected to see rapid development in all regions of Kenya.

While majority of the newspapers and media outlets in Kenya on Tuesday focus on national issues and rarely accord much space to regional news, The Standard County Weekly will solely be dedicated to serving the interest of Kenyans at the grassroots level.

Great impact

The publication will highlight the successes made by Kenyans and the lessons that may be drawn from their achievements.

We will tell the stories of local heroes who continue to make a great impact in the lives of people in their communities.

The Standard County Weekly will open an avenue for businesses based at the county levels. We will tell the stories of businesses that started small and grew against numerous odds.

Even though the Constitution provides for a devolved government, the system will not be robust without a forum where issues about it are freely discussed.

The Standard County Weekly will provide such a forum where Kenyans can share experiences.

The publication will also be a meeting point for Kenyans to debate politics, development and social issues, and hold their leaders to account.

It becomes the newest entrant into the Standard Group stable after Radio Maisha hit the airwaves last year. The group publishes The Standard, The Standard On Saturday, The Standard on Sunday and also owns Kenya’s premier television station KTN.

The launch ceremony will be held on Tuesday at the Standard Group Centre on Mombasa Road at 12pm to 2pm.

Members of Parliament and dignitaries from Government and the private sector will grace the function.

As the minister under whose docket the planning for devolution falls, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Local Government Musalia Mudavadi will be the chief guest.

Leaders who spoke to The Standard about the group’s plans to start a weekly publication focusing on counties said it was the right move.

Justice Minister Mutula Kilonzo said the publication should play a big role in supporting devolution.

"The publication is not only timely, but also long overdue since Kenyans needed such an avenue to share and decide on how to move ahead on the actualisation of the devolved systems," said Mutula.

Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka, through his spokesman Kaplich Barsito, said Kenyans should use the avenue provided by the new publication to highlight the issues that are of concern to their regions.

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