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Funding Journalism in Colombia

Undoubtedly, the media ecosystem in Colombia has undergone significant transformation in recent years. Traditional media such as print, radio, and television, while still relevant, no longer hold the same prominence as before. On the other hand, new media and platforms have not only made space for themselves but also consolidated their positions. Consequently, the country now has a much wider and more diverse media offering than before.

Similarly, the audience has changed. Their consumption habits, interests, preferred formats, and priorities are no longer the same as they were a decade or so ago. As a result, these trends have had an impact on the economy. While traditional media has seen a decline of their revenues and had to catch up with the times to slow down or mitigate the decline, new media and platforms have had to resort to creativity to finance themselves.

In any case, advertising remains an important source of revenue for the media, as it does in other countries, even though many of these resources have migrated to digital platforms, which is the market with the highest growth and interest for advertisers. Nonetheless, according to the latest figures, television still holds the largest share of the ad pie, followed by the internet, radio, and newspapers.

With that being said, although the cake is no longer distributed as it was before, the financing model of traditional media has not changed significantly. Generally, private media still heavily rely on advertising revenue. Meanwhile public media depend on a combination of funds from the state budget and advertising sales.

However, the novelty in this scenario stems from new media and platforms, particularly independent ones. Their sources of financing are diverse. While many receive resources from non-governmental entities (such as foundations or foreign governments) they also obtain funds through crowdfunding campaigns, service provision (content creation, communications, training, consulting services, among others), memberships, donations, and advertising. They are currently in a trial and error process, as there is still no proven formula that works for everyone.

In conclusion, it is worth noting that despite everything mentioned, one aspect has remained unchanged: the concentration of media. While there are now various alternatives to those provided by large economic groups, they still possess a significant number of media outlets and have a significant impact on the dissemination of information. The Santo Domingo Group, the Carlos Ardila L├╝lle Group, the Luis Carlos Sarmiento Angulo Group, and other large ones are dominant and seem to continue to enjoy their control of the media sector.

Read Funding Journalism in Colombia report 2023

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