Jimena Zuluaga

Latin American Digital Media Are Not so Digital

Latin America has seen unprecedented growth of digital journalistic enterprises in the past five years. But serious questions about their viability have arisen as many of them only sloppily engage with audiences.
 
When Daniel Eilemberg, 30 at the time, launched Pajaro Politico (Political Bird) back in 2009, a Twitter account curating content from international news groups and breaking its own news, nobody would have guessed that it would eventually become a political news and aggregation site with more online readers than well-funded sites of established media groups in Mexico. 
 
It did. Animal Politico site, geared on publishing political news, was born in a year. Today, it boasts over one million likes on Facebook and some 1.1 million Twitter followers. The site’s readership exceeds four million unique visitors. Animal Politico is not alone in Latin America’s booming internet news market. Since 2010, the region has seen staggering growth in new digital journalism initiatives.
 

Millennials Are Shaping the Future Latin American Media

Millennials, as today’s youth are known, are the dominant audience of Latin America. They increasingly consume media on mobile devices. These two trends are telling for where Latin American media will be in a decade or so.
 
Latin America accounts for 10% of all internet users worldwide, which is more or less what the region represents in terms of global population as 8.6% of the globe’s inhabitants are located there, according to the latest report from Comscore. However, this proportion varies significantly. Europe, where over 10% of the globe’s population is located, accounts for some 27% of the total online population worldwide. In contrast, Asia, where some two-thirds of all the people in the world live, is home to only 40% of all internet users today. Comscore’s study brings together Africa and the Middle East in a single region that hosts 9% of all internet users.
 
The obvious conclusion is that although it seems that today everything is literally online, people, relationships, trade, politics, you name it, the reality is different. The digital divide, which is a hot topic in Latin America, is also significant in the global context.