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Media Factory: A News Accelerator for Latin America

Categories: Latin America, Citizen Media, Ideas, Media & Journalism

Media Factory [1]

In the present context of change, there are many proposals telling us about various ways to launch media outlets in this century. In this respect, we find approaches like Media Factory, [2] a “communication media factory”, as they define themselves– in other words, an accelerator for new digital companies, focused exclusively on the creation of communication media in Latin America.

As explained on their website [3][es], their “network of mentors and investors” is what allows them to sponsor a small team of journalists, in which they invest US$75,000 per venture, and take a 17% return. Initially these digital media have a specific theme: 

Vamos a crear medios de comunicación digitales inicialmente enfocados en política y economía para luego crecer hacia otras temáticas, con ambición de convertirlos en plataformas digitales dominantes.

“We are going to create digital media initially focused on politics and economy and later grow into other subjects, with a goal of converting them into key digital platforms.”

Mariano Blejman, Manager partner at Media Factory and Knight Fellow at ICFJ explains [4] the steps taken with each project chosen:

Vamos a elegir equipos de diversos países para que vengan a Buenos Aires por un periodo de cuatro meses y puedan crear los medios desde cero. La apuesta es a que en un período corto de tiempo los medios puedan crecer y generar audiencias reales y de tráfico y, con el conocimiento de los “lectores”, pasar a la monetización y las segundas rondas de inversión.

We’ll choose teams from various countries to come to Buenos Aires for a period of four months and they will create the media outlets from scratch. We’re betting that in a short amount of time the outlets can grow and generate real audiences and traffic, and with knowledge of their “readers”, they can move on to monetization and the second round of investment.

To start this project to be launched in Buenos Aires in January 2014, and to realize new ways to finance the media outlets, they have surrounded themselves with a team of experts including, among others: Sasa Vucinic [5] from the crowdfunding platform IndieVoic.es, focusing on finding new ways to finance journalism; James Breiner [6], student of business models linked to ICFJ (International Center for Journalists); [7] Christopher Altcheck, [8] CEO of PolicyMic [9], a media outlet directed at the post Internet generation; or Jim Frederick [10], editor of TIME Magazine at Time Inc.

Article by Paula Gonzalo originally published in Periodismo Ciudadano [1][es].