Who we are
SembraMedia is a nonprofit dedicated to increasing the diversity of voices and quality content in Spanish by helping digital media entrepreneurs become more sustainable and successful.
We provide business and technical training, market intelligence, and networking opportunities to journalists and other social entrepreneurs. Our diverse team has worked with thousands of entrepreneurial journalists and inspired the launch of dozens of new media organizations.
Over the last two years, we have mapped the digital media landscape in Latin America, Spain, and the U.S. Hispanic market, and built a regional network that represents more than 750 digital publishers. Our media directory, case studies, and reports on digital media entrepreneurs in Latin America, Spain, and the U.S. have been cited in more than 150 articles and blog posts and helped SembraMedia evolve into a respected knowledge repository, and a platform for sharing best practices and innovative ideas.
In 2017, we published Inflection Point, the most extensive report ever conducted on digital media entrepreneurship. That report is available in English, Spanish, and Portuguese at data.sembramedia.org.
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.
Our online courses are available 24/7 and all of our classes are designed to be short and practical. Each class takes about an hour to complete and includes 30 to 40 minutes of video lectures, quizzes, templates, and exercises designed to help students build their businesses. The system also includes online forums where students can ask questions, compare notes and network with each other.
We have also organized training events throughout Latin America and co-hosted a regional conference with the Gabriel Garcia Marquez Foundation. To learn more about our events, and those of our partners, visit our calendar section.
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.
The MOOC attracted more than 5,000 students from across Ibero-America. After watching many of the students go on to 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.
A virtual team from more than 15 countries
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. Hispanic market.
As a virtual organization, we have no central office location. Our contractors work from more than 15 countries and regions in their private offices, homes, coffee shops, and laptops. 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 of our contractors when we launch new initiatives or need special expertise.
SembraMedia is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that operates under the fiscal sponsorship of the Institute for Nonprofit News (INN) in Los Angeles, California.
Our financial records are managed and audited by INN, but we operate as a separate organization with our own management team and Advisory Board who are responsible for all of our activities.
SembraMedia has received support from the International Center for Journalists, Institute for Nonprofit News, Omidyar Network, 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 y 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 startup directory, calendar, resources, and online school, are only available in Spanish.
Support our work
As a 501(c)3 nonprofit all donations are tax deductible in the U.S.