A study of the impact, innovation, threats, and sustainability of
digital media entrepreneurs in Latin America, Southeast Asia, and Africa

Thanks to support from Luminate with additional support from CIMA

Inflection Point International represents the deepest and broadest research ever done into the state of digital native media in Latin America, Southeast Asia, and Africa. As with so many things in our not-quite-post-pandemic world, what we discovered was a mix of alarming threats and inspiring breakthroughs.

The digital news outlets in this study were built by determined media founders, willing to take on corrupt governments and violent international cartels despite limited resources. Too many of them risk their livelihoods—and in the worst cases, their lives.

But this report is not a cry for help or a desperate plea to bail out a group of media that are in trouble—not the least because many of the media founders we interviewed are reluctant to ask for help at all.

Our goal in the pages that follow is to shine a light on these increasingly important media players who are just starting to get the recognition that they deserve. Many of the digital native media in this study have produced stories that had significant real-world repercussions, from protecting endangered species, to championing gender equality, to forcing corrupt government officials to resign in disgrace.

We share our findings and recommendations because these media leaders deserve our help to keep them safe as they fight powerful forces, as well as financial support and training to build more resilient independent media organizations that serve their communities—and democracies—for years to come.

Visit the Inflection Point International website to read the full report online or download the PDF.

Available in English, Spanish, and Portuguese
Publish Date: November, 2021
Impact, Threats, and Sustainability A Study of Latin America Digital Media Entrepreneurs
Thanks to support from Luminate Group and Omidyar Network.

Digital media entrepreneurs are serving an increasingly important role in Latin America. Since the first venture in this study was launched in 1998, hundreds of digital natives have appeared in the region and grown to serve millions of readers.

This study is the first comprehensive examination of the impact these entrepreneurs are having, the risks they face, and whether a viable business model has emerged for quality, independent, digital journalism. To conduct this research, SembraMedia, with the support of Omidyar Network, commissioned a team to study 100 digital news startups, 25 each in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico.

Many of the researchers were entrepreneurial journalists themselves, and they brought personal connections and a deep understanding of the media in their countries. In 2-hour interviews with founders or directors, they asked more than 130 questions about management and innovation, challenges and opportunities, audience size and engagement, income and expenses.

This report is aimed at helping the founders of digital media startups better understand the trends, threats, and best practices that affect them. It is also designed to help investors, foundations, and journalism organizations to appreciate the value, vulnerability, and impact of this fast-growing media ecosystem. Although we cannot share their proprietary data, we’ve included our top-level findings in this report.

Visit the Inflection Point website to read the full report online or download the PDF.

Available in English, Spanish, and Portuguese
Publish Date: July, 2017
A study of entrepreneurial journalism courses in Spanish
Made possible thanks to the support of Google News Initiative.
While the “crisis in journalism” has been well-documented, especially as it affects news distribution and the relationship media have with their audience, there is a journalism institution that has largely remained invisible, or at least in a secondary role. Universities – in particular schools of communication and journalism – have resisted changing the way they teach in the midst of this transformation, even as pressures have mounted on the (post)industry media, and upon academia itself. What type of transformations are occurring, and how does what is being taught in journalism classes show up in newsrooms? To answer this question, SembraMedia commissioned this study to examine how entrepreneurial journalism is being taught at Latin American and Spanish universities. We were most interested in learning about the professors who teach this subject, because through them, we believe that it is possible to observe and analyze the dynamics and trends developing in classrooms that will then shape the journalism profession as a whole. The result is our report: Punto de Partida (Starting Point), the first comprehensive study on the teaching of entrepreneurial journalism in Latin America. The study explore the type of training and experience professors who teach entrepreneurial journalism courses in the region have, what they teach, their different approaches to key topics and the type of impact they have had on their communities. Visit the Punto de Partida website to read the full report online or download the PDF.  
Available in English and Spanish
Publish date: Dec, 2018
Evolution of Entrepreneurial Journalism Education in Latin America and Spain
Supported by UNESCO
Since the first edition of our research project, the regional context has changed significantly. Having weathered the health, economic, and social crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic, alongside multiple and growing threats to freedom of expression, we saw the need to update our study of entrepreneurial journalism education. At SembraMedia, we firmly believe that one way to strengthen the information ecosystem is by working from the ground up, providing support to those who will become the journalists of the future. That’s how we can truly improve the sustainability of independent digital media. Universities and journalism schools play a pivotal role in the information industry, serving as champions of freedom of expression and grassroots venues for democracy. Starting Point II serves as a gauge to understand how entrepreneurial journalism is being taught in classrooms across Latin America and Spain. This report reveals the challenges and opportunities within entrepreneurial journalism classrooms, and the impact of these developments on the native digital media ecosystem. In addition, we have created a map of entrepreneurial journalism professors in order to facilitate alliances and collaborations in the region. The map also provides an overview of universities offering entrepreneurial journalism programs. Visit the SembraMedia’s Professors Network website to read the full report online in Spanish or download the PDF in English.
Available in English and Spanish
Publish Date: October, 2023