Kenyan Newspaper Marks 100th Year


(AP) The East African Standard, one of Africa’s oldest, continuously published newspapers, marked its 100th anniversary Friday.

Inaugurated at the completion of the East African Railway from the Indian Ocean port of Mombasa to Lake Victoria in 1902, the African Standard, as it was then known, was launched by A.M. Jeevanjee, a Karachi-born trader. He consolidated his fortune when he moved to Mombasa and became the supplier of the British colonial railway project that was built largely by laborers brought from British-ruled India.

Jeevanjee sold the paper in 1905 to two British businessmen, who changed the name to the East African Standard and in 1910 moved its headquarters to Nairobi, which became the capital of the British protectorate known as Kenya.

A few months before independence in 1963, the British-based Lonrho Group bought the newspaper. In 1977, it became a tabloid and the name was changed to the Standard. In 1995 Lonrho sold its controlling interest to the Standard Newspapers Group Limited, a company in which prominent Kenyan politicians are believed to have considerable interests. The name was changed back to the East African Standard.

In 1997, the group purchased the Kenya Television Network, or KTN, the country’s second television broadcaster and the first competitor to the government-run Kenya Broadcasting Corporation, or KBC.

KTN now broadcasts via satellite to Nairobi, Mombasa, Nakuru, Eldoret, and Kisumu, the Lake Victoria port where the railway ended in 1902.

The East African Standard‘s principal media rival, the Nation Media Group, publishes the Daily Nation, Sunday Nation, and Taifa Leo, a Swahili-language daily. The daily dates to the immediate pre-independence period, and the group’s major shareholder is the Aga Khan. The group established radio and television broadcasting operations in 1999.

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