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Our team

Our team of ‘SembraMediers’

SembraMedia is a virtual organization led by co-founders, Mijal Iastrebner, based in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Janine Warner, based in Los Angeles, California. In addition to a small operations team, they manage a diverse group of consultants from throughout Latin America, Spain, and the US. 

Janine Warner 
Co-founder and Executive Director, SembraMedia

Janine Warner has a Knight Fellowship from the International Center for Journalists that supports her work at SembraMedia.

A bilingual journalist turned tech nerd and entrepreneur, Janine experience in digital media includes leading online teams at The Miami Herald and CNET Latin America. She is the author of 25 books and has been a guest professor at more than 30 universities in the US, Latin America, and Europe. She ran a consulting firm and worked with media companies throughout Latin America for more a decade before co-founding SembraMedia in 2015.

janine@sembramedia.org

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Mijal Iastrebner
Co-founder and Director,
SembraMedia

Mijal is a journalist, entrepreneur and experienced manager based in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

She has worked as a professor in the Master of Journalism program at La Nación and the Torcuato Di Tella University in Argentina and she developed the Journalism Entrepreneur at the School of Journalism TEA.

She is an entrepreneur, worked in consultancy and management of online learning projects before co-founding SembraMedia in 2015.

mijal@sembramedia.org

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Content and operations team

Vanina Berghella 
Director of Velocidad

She is a journalist and was a consultant in the strategic management of projects, contents and digital platforms. She was Executive Director of the Argentine Journalism Forum (FOPEA), Director of the Social Media area of the agency Circus Marketing and formerly Head of Digital Projects of Grupo Clarín, among others. Co-author of journalism books, lecturer and university professor.

vanina@velocidad.fund

 

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Sebastián Auyanet
Program Consultant

He earned a Master’s Degree in Social Journalism from the Craig Newmark School of Journalism (CUNY) in New York. Previously, he was a journalist at the newspaper El País in Montevideo, was editor and strategist of social networks at the newspaper El Observador and is a professor at the University of Montevideo. He is currently an associate producer at NowThis News.

sebastian@SembraMedia.org

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María Eugenia Álvarez
Media Directory Manager

Maru is a journalist with a background in radio and television production. In addition to managing SembraMedia’s team of ambassadors, she teaches a radio workshop at the TEA School of Journalism in Buenos Aires, Argentina. 

MariaEugenia@SembraMedia.org

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Felicitas Carrique
Director of Innovation 

Feli is a journalist who has worked for a variety of digital media organizations and agencies in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She draws on her curiosity and love of innovation to manage SembraMedia’s many technology and media projects. 

feli@SembraMedia.org

 

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Naimid María Cirelli Asef
Director of Institutional Communications

Naimid María Cirelli Asef is the Director of Institutional Communications at SembraMedia and leader of Metis, a business mentoring program for women media founders in Latin America. Naimid is a journalist and has worked in media for the past eleven years. She has experience in television, radio and traditional print media, but the last few years she focused on native independent digital media. Today she collaborates with graphic and digital media writing about gender, youth and pop culture.

naimid@sembramedia.org

 

Patricio Contreras
Academic Initiatives

Pato is the author of SembraMedia’s Starting Point Report and supports training and services for academics. He teaches entrepreneurial journalism at University Alberto Hurtado and is editor of PuroPeriodismo. He co-founded Ojo en tinta and was a 2018 Scripps-Howard Fellow.

Patricio@SembraMedia.org

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Melanie Pragier
Chief Financial Officer

Melanie studied business management and has experience in accounting and corporate finance. At SembraMedia she leads the accounting area.

melanie@sembramedia.org

 

Isabela Ponce

Isabela Ponce
Content Director

Isabela has been a journalist and editor for more than a decade. In addition to managing SembraMedia’s blog and case studies, she is the co-founder and deputy editor of GK.city, an independent media organization in Ecuador.

isabela@sembramedia.org

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Lupita Ruiz-Tolento
Institutional Development

Lupita has done fundraising and managed financial aid programs for universities and nonprofit organizations. She has a Master’s Degree in Latin American Studies from the University of California San Diego. 

Lupita@SembraMedia.org

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SembraMedia’s ambassadors

SembraMedia’s diverse group of part-time ambassadors serves a “network of networks,” conducting research and providing training and support to more than 850 digital media sites in 20 countries. In addition to their work at SembraMedia, many of our team members also work as journalists, professors, and media entrepreneurs.

Olivia Sohr
Buenos Aires, Argentina

Olivia is a sociologist and journalist. She is the Editorial Coordinator at Chequeado, one of the leading fact-checking sites in Latin America. She also works as a columnist and radio and television reporter.

Olivia@sembramedia.org

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Fabiola Gutierrez
La Paz, Bolivia

Fabiola has a Master’s degree in journalism and communication from the University Evangélica Boliviana. She is also a contributor to two experimental digital journalism projects, La Pública y Burlando Fronteras, where she covers discrimination and diversity. 

fabiola.g@sembramedia.org

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Paulette Desormeaux
Santiago, Chile

Paulette is a journalist with a Master’s degree in Media and Globalization. She is the founder and president of Red de Periodistas, the first investigative journalism network in Chile. She also teaches investigative and transnational journalism at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.

Paulette@sembramedia.org

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Sara Trejos
Bogotá, Colombia

Sara is a project manager at Magic Markers and the director of Presunto Podcast. Sara holds a degree in journalism and sociology from  the Universidad del Rosario in Colombia. She also worked for the UNESCO Center for Book Development in Latin America and the Caribbean. 

Sara@sembramedia.org

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Elaine Díaz Rodríguez
Havana, Cuba

Elaine is the founder and director of Periodismo de Barrio, a nonprofit news site that covers environmental issues in Cuba. Elaine is the first Cuban journalist to receive the Nieman Fellowship at Harvard. She has also been a professor at the University of Havana since 2008.

Elaine@sembramedia.org

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Miguel Loor 
Quito, Ecuador

Miguel is a communications consultant and a professor at the College of Communications and Contemporary Arts (COCOA) at the University of San Francisco in Quito, Ecuador. He is also the producer of Postlatino, a podcast about music and identities in transformation.

Miguel@sembramedia.org

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José Antonio González Alba
Cádiz, Spain

José Antonio has a Master’s degree in Management and Innovation from the University of Cádiz and is currently working on his PhD in communication, conducting research on digital transformation and innovation.

[email protected]org

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Natalie Van Hoozer
Washington, D.C., US

Natalie is a journalist and program assistant for the Knight Fellowships program at the International Center for Journalists. She has worked as a bilingual journalist for Noticiero Móvil and Reno Public Radio in Reno, Nevada. View highlights of her work in her digital portfolio.

Natalie@sembramedia.org

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Abraham Torres
Cancun, México

Abraham is a professor of Digital Journalism at the International School of Communication and Entertainment of the University Anáhuac in Cancún, Mexico.He founded the content agency, Outset, and he is the creator of Somos Deporte and Héroes del Tiempo.

abraham@sembramedia.org

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María Lilly Delgado
Managua, Nicaragua

María Lilly Delgado is a correspondent for Univisión News based in Nicaragua, where she reports about politics and human rights. She was the first journalist from Nicaragua to win a John S. Knight Journalism Fellowship to attend Stanford University.

lily@sembramedia.org

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Desirée Esquivel
Paraguay

Desirée is a journalist, photographer, and the co-founder of Ciencia del Sur, the first digital media site specializing in scientific journalism in Paraguay. She is on the Board of Directors of the Paraguayan Journalists Forum (FOPEP).

Desiree@SembraMedia.org

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José Hernández Falcón
Embajador de Puerto Rico

José is a journalist, blogger and director of Puerto Rico BloggerCon, a convention that brings together digital content creators from throughout the Island. He is also a social media consultant who is passionate about how the internet has revolutionized communication. 

josehernandez@sembramedia.org

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Indhira Suero Acosta 
Dominican Republic

Indhira is a professor at the Instituto Tecnológico in Santo Domingo, D.R. She is an experienced cultural journalist and broadcaster, and a Fulbright Scholar, who has done research on African-American media and new technologies. She is the creator of Negrita Come Coco, where she writes about popular culture and being of African descent in Dominican culture .

indhira@SembraMedia.org

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Nilsa Varela Vargas
Embajadora de Venezuela

Nilsa is the founder of Diario el Vistazo, a digital news site in the El Tigre oil region of Venezuela. She says she started to do “street journalism” after taking Janine Warner’s online entrepreneurial journalism course at the Knight Center, where she was inspired by Janine’s message to “just do it.”

Nilsa@sembramedia.org

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