Digital Media Disruptors ‘Rise Above Their Weight’ Making Societal Impact on Shrinking Budgets Amid Enduring Threats

LONDON, November 4, 2021 / PRNewswire / – Digital media entrepreneurs are producing groundbreaking journalism and making a significant impact on their societies, despite often tiny budgets and constant online threats and attacks, a new global report reveals today.

The Inflection Point International report, published by SembraMedia, a nonprofit that supports journalist entrepreneurs, in partnership with global philanthropic organization Luminate, is based on interviews with 201 independent native digital media organizations across Latin America, Africa and Southeast Asia.

Coming a month after the journalists’ announcement Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov As the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize laureates, the report found that more than 85% of media polled produced journalism that led to significant political and societal changes.

“This report sheds light on a new generation of creative and courageous media entrepreneurs, who, like Nobel Prize winners Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov, have a real impact on their societies, strengthen the functioning of democracy and hold power to account ”, declared Stephen king, CEO of Luminate.

The top three ways the media reported having had an impact were:

  • Contributed to increased civil engagement (76%)
  • Inspired members of the public to participate in protest demonstrations in person or through online activism (42%)
  • Contributed to a change in laws or the legal system (38%)

Download the full report

The full report is available on the Inflection Point International website and can be downloaded in English, Spanish and Portuguese. The summary is available in 12 other languages, including French, Thai and Filipino

Janine Warner, co-founder of SembraMedia said the 2021 results were based on those of the first Inflection Point report, which focused only on Latin America and released in 2017.

“While there are differences between the three regions, what struck us most when examining the data were the similarities that emerged between these news outlets as they strove to cover their communities and create sustainable business models, ”she said. “Our aim with this report is to learn lessons from the innovative media organizations that we have studied so that others can learn how to build stronger, more sustainable organizations without compromising their journalistic ethics.”

Grant funding offers media lifeline in pandemic crash

While 60 percent of digital media surveyed did less than US $ 50,000 in terms of revenue, they suffered less from the “pandemic crash” than traditional media because they were less dependent on advertising revenue.

Grant funding, especially from international philanthropic organizations and societies, was their main source of income, increasing from 16% in the 2017 study, to 28% in 2019 and 31% in 2020. It was highest in Latin America. Beyond grants and advertising, media organizations also earned revenue from consulting services, content production, and reader income.

Stephen king de Luminate said, “This report demonstrates the vital role grants play in supporting digital media organizations through this pivotal time of change. role models so that they can build pathways to sustainability while continuing to produce important journalism in the public interest. “

Despite their impact, the report found that many digital native outlets still operate under an unthinkable barrage of threats and attacks, especially those that deal with burning issues such as human rights, corruption and the ‘abortion. Across the three regions, 51% of media organizations in this study said they had been victims of digital attacks and 40% said they had been threatened for their work, often weekly or even daily.

About SembraMedia

SembraMedia’s mission is to enable diverse voices in the media to deliver news and information with independence, journalistic integrity and a positive impact on the communities they serve. We help digital media entrepreneurs create more sustainable and independent news organizations by providing them with business and technical training, market information, networking opportunities, expert advice and direct financial support. Our work is led by an international team of journalists, entrepreneurs, consultants and academics with in-depth knowledge of global political, economic and media markets. We are guided and supported by a distinguished advisory board whose members bring their expertise as journalists, media executives, faculty and consultants. To learn more, visit

About Luminate

Luminate is a global philanthropic organization focused on empowering people and institutions to work together to build just and equitable societies. We support innovative and courageous organizations and entrepreneurs around the world, and we champion policies and actions that will lead to change in four impact areas: civic empowerment, digital data and rights, financial transparency and independent media. We work with our partners to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to participate and shape the issues that affect their society, and to make those in positions of power more responsive and accountable. Luminate was created in 2018 by philanthropists Pierre and Pam Omidyar. The organization was founded by the Omidyar group.

SOURCE Illuminate; SembraMedia

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