‘Nation’ changes paywall to allow mostly free articles during the election period

Mutuma Mathiu

Mr Mutuma Mathiu, NMG's Editor-in-Chief. 

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

The Nation Media Group (NMG) has effected changes to its paywall on nation.africa to allow free access to most articles during the election period.

Only very few stories will be put behind the paywall during this period, NMG Editor-In-Chief Mutuma Mathiu, said adding, “from today, you will read all our stories on Nation.Africa absolutely free.”

“As you know, the election is only two months away and Nation has a civic obligation to provide the information that Kenyans need to make informed decisions in exercising their democratic choices at the ballot,” he said.

Mr Mathiu also explained that the bulk of the content that Nation will publish going forward will be election-related.

“Our duty at this point is not to make money or register people, it is to ensure that good, unbiased, accurate and relevant information gets to the widest cross-section of people possible. We are also obligated to encourage the youth to participate in the elections and if this takes offering free access to our content, then that is what we shall do,” he added.

He, however, clarified that the media house was not doing away with its payment and registration system.

“We are just pausing it for the electoral season. One or two stories will still be inaccessible to unregistered fans, but this will be rare and the purpose is to keep the system functional,” Mr Mathiu said, in an email sent out to all subscribers, explaining that those with active subscriptions would not lose their money.

“Those who have accounts and have paid for access, have no fear; the balance of your paid-up period will be preserved and restored after the election,” he concluded.

Nation.Africa was launched in 2020 with a mobile-first mindset and with the versatile African youth in focus.

Months after the unique design of nation.africa, which went live in September 2020, won two awards at the prestigious International Forum (IF) Design Award 2021, also referred to in popular culture as “the Oscars of Design”.

Nation.Africa, the flagship news and content website of NMG, won under the Communication category while its launch campaign video bagged the award in the Best Campaign Video category.

The paywall, the payments gateway for Nation.Africa, scored top marks in the best use of data to drive subscriptions, content or product design.

The paywall, which went live in February 2021 attracted 50,000 paid subscribers in three months while the registration option had drawn in more than 240,000 users in five months.