Empowering the success of digital media entrepreneurs
SembraMedia is a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing the diversity of voices in Spanish by helping digital media entrepreneurs become more sustainable and independent.
We provide journalists and other social entrepreneurs business and technical training, market intelligence, networking opportunities, consulting and financial support. Our diverse team represents a regional network of more than 800 digital publishers in 20 countries in Latin America, the U.S., and Spain.
Our media directory, case studies, and reports on digital media entrepreneurs have been cited in more than 200 articles and blog posts and helped SembraMedia evolve into a respected knowledge repository, and a platform for sharing best practices and innovative ideas.
In 2019, SembraMedia launched a series of new initiatives, including:
Velocidad: a digital media accelerator that will provide more than US$1.5 million in grants and professional consulting supporting to independent news organizations in Latin America. Velocidad (which means “Velocity” in Spanish) operates under the direction of SembraMedia and the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ), with financial support from Luminate. To learn more, visit the Velocidad.fund website (available in English, Spanish, and Portuguese).
SembraTEC: is pilot program that provides small grants, tech support, and training to digital media in the U.S. Hispanic market. As part of the initiative, we conducted extensive research and created a Toolkit for audience engagement and diversifying revenues. This program was made possible by a grant from the Lenfest Institute. View SembraTec program page (in Spanish).
In 2018, we published Starting Point, a study of universities and professors who teach business and entrepreneurship to journalism students in Latin America and Spain. The report is available at professores.sembramedia.org (in English and Spanish).
In 2017, we published Inflection Point, the most extensive report ever conducted on digital media entrepreneurship. That entire report is available at data.sembramedia.org (in English, Spanish, and Portuguese).
Our online school provides courses in management, marketing, and how to make money through diversified revenue models. Our school is based on the same model as our organization: first, study what is working among entrepreneurial journalists, then identify the best real-world solutions, and finally, share them with others. Online courses are available 24/7 and all of our classes are designed to be short and practical.
We have organize a series of local events and an annual conference.
SembraMedia was founded in 2015 by Janine Warner, who is based in Los Angeles, and Mijal Iastrebner, who is based in Buenos Aires. Both have experience as journalists and entrepreneurs. The two first met in a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) that Warner taught through the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas in 2014. After working with more than 5,000 students from across Ibero-America and watching many journalists launch digital media projects in countries as challenging as Venezuela and Honduras, they were inspired to create an organization that could provide ongoing support and training.
An international team
Our work is driven by an all-star team of entrepreneurial journalists, consultants, and academics with deep knowledge of the political, economic, and media markets in Latin America, Spain, and the U.S.
SembraMedia has a small operations team in an office in Buenos Aires, Argentina, that supports a virtual team of contractors from more than 15 countries. We are guided and supported by an Advisory Board whose members contribute their expertise as journalists, media executives, professors, and consultants.
Building SembraMedia as an agile virtual organization has enabled us to have a broad regional impact with relatively low overhead. This model lets us respond to fast-changing market conditions by adding or expanding the hours and hire additional contractors when we launch new initiatives or need special expertise.
SembraMedia is a 501(c)3 nonprofit based in California. SembraMedia’s annual form 990, bylaws, and nonprofit determination letter are available upon request.
SembraMedia has received support from the International Center for Journalists, Institute for Nonprofit News, Luminate, Omidyar Network, Google News Lab, The Lenfest Institute, The Cook Family Foundation, The National Endowment for Democracy, The U.S. State Department, The Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas, Mark and Linda Jenkins, Patricia Torres-Burd, Ariadna Coto, David LaFontaine and Janine Warner.
What inspires us
Throughout Latin America, digital media startups are harnessing the power of the Internet to launch new and innovative media projects.
From Tijuana to Panama, from Bogota to Buenos Aires and beyond, entrepreneurial journalists are using big data to expose corruption, harnessing social media to increase citizen participation, and designing interactive websites that are forcing governments and big businesses to be more transparent.
Despite some inspiring success stories, however, many entrepreneurial journalists are isolated and struggling to develop sustainable business models.
Our mission at SembraMedia is to improve their chances of success by creating an online community where digital media entrepreneurs can network, share resources, learn business skills, and draw on the expertise of others who are facing similar challenges.
We focus on projects in Spanish in the U.S, Latin America, and Spain, and we are always delighted when our work encourages new projects anywhere in the world.
We provide this section of our site in English because we believe in transparency and we want to help our English-speaking supporters better understand what we do, but our focus is on publishers who produce content in Spanish and most of the content on our site, including our most of our case studies, media directory, and online school, are only available in Spanish.
Support independent journalism
As a 501(c)3 nonprofit all donations are tax deductible in the U.S.
SembraMedia team and board members at our annual conference, held in Mexico in 2019.
SembraMedia team and board members at our annual conference, held in Peru in 2018.
SembraMedia conducts weekly and monthly team meetings through video conferencing.
SembraMedia’s Board of Directors holds quarterly meetings via video conference.
Members of the SembraMedia board and team celebrated our first anniversary during Festival Gabo in Medellin, Colombia, in the fall of 2016.