It's 'facts first' promise as 'KTN News' rebrands

Pomp and colour as confetti fills up Standard Group's converged, modern, digital-first newsroom during its official launch at the Group headquarters along Mombasa Road in Nairobi on November 29, 2021. [Stafford Ondego, Standard]

The new-look KTN News was unveiled yesterday, heralding a new era in which fast, accurate and trustworthy news top The Standard Group’s agenda.

This is the latest product relaunch at Standard Group, which came when the ultra-modern, converged newsroom was also unveiled.

With the logo shedding its blue hue for a black background, KTN News promises to accompany the refreshing look with a new way of doing things.

Launched in 2015, KTN News became the country’s first 24-hour news channel. The relaunch follows hot on the heels of the April 2021 relaunch of The Standard newspaper, which also fitted in a transformational reel formulated in 2017.

“In 2017, the management and the board had a discussion and was cognizant of the rapidly changing external environment, with business becoming different. The opportunities that were abundant before were shrinking, the demographic dividends that come with a young population negatively affected business, and we had to start catering for a new generation of consumers who did not subscribe to how we used to do things,” said Orlando Lyomu, the Standard Group CEO.

In 2018, as the transformation journey gathered momentum, Vybez and Spice radio stations were launched. Since, the flagship print publication, The Standard, has changed face, with, competitive video and a podcast offering also coming into the picture.

KTN, which morphed into KTN NewsKTN Home, KTN Farmers and BTV, was launched in 1990 and has been the launchpad of many journalists’ careers. It has also helped progress the country’s political, economic and social discussions while remaining a common feature in Kenyans’ televisions over the years.

But it was KTN News that captured people’s imaginations with its ceaseless coverage of news content around the clock, a first in the region. It remains unmatched to this day.

“Journalism has evolved from the printing press of the 1400s to today, when we have digital news running 24 hours. The journey has been monumental, but the last 20 years or so have been highly dynamic. Covid-19 accelerated that future,” said Dr Julius Kipngetich, Standard Group Deputy Chairman.

He said that even as social media gets awash with information, the place of journalists remains sacred, as they perform roles no other people possibly will. 

“Journalism won’t die. The role of the integrator will always be there. So the journalist will always be there for the synthesis, integrator, interpretation and storytelling,” he said.

Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja recalled how he grew up watching KTN programmes, including Club Kiboko and Jam-a-Delic. His first TV interview, during his days as a rapper, happened at KTN's Straight-Up show.

KTN also created Kenya’s earliest television stars: Catherine Kasavuli, Joseph Warungu, Raphael Tuju, Farida Karoney, Zain Verjee, Fayaz Qureshi, Lydia Manyasi, Ruth Mutia, Isaiah Kabira, Annette Kanana-Bazira, Kathleen Openda, Waweru Njoroge and Njoroge Mwaura, some who attended yesterday's relaunch.