Agencia Presentes tells what it is like to promote a project with two objectives: consolidate its sustainability as a company, and cover a niche audience that has traditionally received low coverage
Agencia Presentes was created to cover issues related to the rights of the LGBTI community in Latin America. In addition to accepting this challenge, they face the challenges of promoting a journalism company.
Maria Eugenia Ludueña, in an interview with the Fundación Gabriel García Márquez para el Nuevo Periodismo (FNPI) (Gabriel Garcia Marquez Foundation for the New Journalism), comments, "Today the objective of the agency, as a company, is to find the means to guarantee its sustainability".
Although the initial kick was given by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) with seed capital, the team is clear regarding the need to diversify the sources of income. For now, their strategy has two elements.
The first is crowdfunding, a resource that has been quite used by the new media.
Another aspect, that goes together with editorial projection, is the expansion of the agency to other countries. Today the team is made up of journalists that collaborate from Argentina, Chile, Peru, and Paraguay. The plan is to reach Central America to diversify the scope of its contents, in order to find the means that also help to diversify the sources of financing.
The organizational model seeks to have a virtual team acting as an editorial department "because we do not want to have offices as we think the world has changed and traditional editorial departments have not changed correspondingly". This does not only facilitate coverage in the four countries where they work, but also decreases operational costs.
The origin of the agency is related to the concurrence of a group of colleagues interested in addressing the issue of sexual diversity, both for the importance it has in the media's agenda, as well as for the low coverage given to the community.
To promote the project, the team of Presentes used what other media were doing as a reference, particularly those specialized on issues of the agenda and the activity of mass media. With the analysis of the behavior of other journalism organizations, the agency defined the objectives about the criteria regarding the value of information. "We did not want to produce news just for groups, because we do not want to write for those who are convinced. What we want is precisely to sensitize and tell society what is happening".
The interview of María Eugenia Ludueña was carried out in the framework of the workshop Mujeres líderes en la sala de redacción (Women leaders in the Newsroom), organized by the Fundación Gabriel García Márquez para el Nuevo Periodismo Iberoamericano -FNPI- (Gabriel Garcia Marquez Foundation for the New Ibero-American Journalism), CAF, Development Bank of Latin America, and the support of the Universidad Católica de Chile. The complete version can be found at www.fnpi.org.
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