The summit was held by the International News Media Association (INMA). 

INMA added insights into the state of the global news industry with a keynote by the association's CEO Earl Wilkinson.

Additionally, it says that it was supported by the Google News Initiative, the summit featured diverse case studies from the region's top publishers, including:
  • Business Day in Nigeria
  • Independent Media in South Africa
  • Media 24's City Press in South Africa
  • Monitor Publications in Uganda
  • Nation Media Group in Kenya
  • New Times in Rwanda
  • Stears in Nigeria, and
  • Pulse Senegal.
Key takeaways from the six hours of programming across four segments included the following:


Nigeria's Business Day shared the critical "reasons why" newsrooms must change their cultures, including:
  • the need for agility
  • the 24-hour news cycle
  • the abundance of data
  • the need for continuous experimentation
  • the rise in reader revenue models, and
  • the emergence of multimedia storytelling.
In Uganda, Monitor Publications says that it is focused on acquiring and retaining good and experienced journalists, yet is realistic about:
  • low pay
  • expanding demand for communications, and
  • gender pitfalls.
The risk of being a journalist isn't quite worth the financial reward; the thrill is gone, yet social media continues to shine. While the digital dinosaurs are gone from newsrooms, those newsrooms remain devoid of tech-savviness / depth, according to the publication.

Nigerian Stears's case study was intriguing for its lack of a legacy newsroom, according to the publication. It has created a newsroom from scratch with journalists sharing the stage with:
  • data
  • product
  • engineering, and
  • marketing professionals.
It says that it takes a product approach to strategy and is constantly focused on company objectives. With an embrace of data and information worth paying for, its content and business strategies are connected.

Audience engagement

Pulse Senegal says that it is creatively using social media to expand its footprint. Faced with a huge youth audience, Pulse adds that its strategy is to "inform and entertain" with social media that has:
  • fun facts
  • inspirational stories
  • street video interviews
  • reader portraits, and
  • news.
The publication co-creates content with influencers.

The New Times in Rwanda says that it is pushing back against economic headwinds with a combination of products and marketing in the following areas:
  • job board
  • social media
  • podcast
  • flash briefings
  • e-paper, and
  • video desk.
The New Times says that it has seen:
  • engagement grow
  • new market segments open up
  • subscriptions triple, and
  • finances go up.
Nation Media Group in Kenya says that it weaved its Kusi Ideas Festival into a broader strategy that helped build relationships with policy influencers via thought leadership. This also created an alternative revenue stream with a regional approach.

Advertising campaigns

Media24's City Press says that it is empowering readers with its 'Money Makeover' native advertising campaign. It is enabling Absa's clients to plan for and attain financial freedom.

In its sixth year, the native campaign has become a staple in City Press' annual calendar, positioning Absa as 'the bank that cares'. The campaign fits well with strong content that connects with audiences via authentic messaging, according to the publication.

Also in South Africa, Independent Media's collaborative added-value campaign took Chicken Licken away from its traditional TV / outdoor investments, which is part of a broader strategy to grow advertising segments. Innovation and creativity are keys to driving revenue growth and social media engagement, according to the publication.

Global and strategic developments

INMA CEO Earl Wilkinson spoke about the emergence of the modern media company's playbook:
  • subscriptions
  • product
  • newsroom innovation
  • data
  • advertising, and
  • people / talent.
According to Wilkinson, subscription bundles and surfing event waves are on the rise, while product is pointing to app innovation and changing how work gets done. While newsrooms get into the business of news, data is central to growth strategy and an indicator of cultural maturity.

Successful digital advertising savviness is increasingly about knowing where to focus people sales versus machine sales. Wilkinson recommended that, when looking to acquire and retain young digital talent, that one should focus on the journalistic mission.

South Africa's Project Goliath says that it has joined other national consortia to navigate the regulatory, legislative and settlement world with the Big Tech platforms.

With global regulatory hotspots like Canada, Australia, New Zealand, France and Denmark, the competitive South African publishers have banded together, appointed competition law specialists and are working to front inquiries and draft legislation, according to the group.

IC Publishers — and its pan-African titles such as African Business, African Banker and New African — is managing the digital transition of its business and focused on new product development and growth, according to Wilkinson.

The company has grown correspondents and thought leadership events in tandem with its advertisers who have taken a regional approach seeking dominance in markets across Africa.

"The INMA's ability to bring global insights fused with regional best practices and case studies to the region has really made this summit an important event for Africa," concludes Doreen Mbaya, producer of the INMA Africa summit. "Our attendees really appreciated the fresh focus on newsrooms, as well as the discussions around Big Tech."

Registrants received access to the live stream, along with all recordings and presentations associated with the summit. Coverage of the summit may be found on the INMA's website. 

For more information, visit You can also follow INMA on Facebook and Twitter.