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12 Latin American Newsrooms Join Inaugural Cohort for News Product Design Sprint

  • By Newmark J-School Staff

Twelve newsrooms representing countries across Latin America have been selected for the first cohort of the News Product Design Sprint. The program, a partnership between the Meta Journalism Project and the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY, will provide participating newsrooms with the skills needed to build and launch user-informed and sustainable digital news products. 

Meet the 2022 Latin American cohort of the News Product Design Sprint:

  • Agência Mural de Jornalismo das Periferias is a non-profit local news agency based in Brazil focused on deconstructing stereotypes about the Greater São Paulo area. The team is made up of Anderson Meneses, Leonardo Britto, Magno Borges, and Tamiris Gomes.
  • Chequeado is a non-government organization based in Argentina dedicated to fact-checking public discourse and fighting disinformation. The team is made up of Ariel Tiferes, Ignacio Ferreiro, Pilar Castro, Matías Severo, and Sebastián Lanaro. 
  • Cultura Colectiva is a digital media publisher based in Mexico. The team includes José Aurelio Vargas, Alejandra Gonzalez, Diego Pérez Morales, and Giovanni Vidaurri.
  • Editora Jornal do Commercio Ltda is a news website based in Brazil. The team is made up of Diogo Menezes, Moisés Falcão, and Ticiano Figueiredo.
  • Grupo AM is one of Mexico’s leading regional news publishers. The company is based in León, Guanajuato. The team is made up of Enrique Gómez, Héctor Padilla, Iván Herrera, Mauro Olvera, and Melisa Aguirre.
  • Grupo Bandeirantes is a media group based in Brazil. The team is made up of Marcela Coimbra dos Santos, Dafne Arantes Real Amaro, Daniel Giannotti Nicodemo, and Luana Cristina de Sousa Diniz.
  • Grupo Semana is a news outlet based in Colombia covering political and economic issues. The team includes Angélica Sánchez, Alejandro González, Catalina Monsalve, and Sandra Carvajal.
  • GZH is a digital newspaper based in Brazil. The team is made up of Eduardo Rosa, Aline Eberhardt, Marina Krapf, and Pietro Meinhart. 
  • Rádio Novelo is a podcast producer based in Brazil. The team is made up of FêCris Vasconcellos, Bia Ribeiro, Natália Silva, and Vitor Hugo Brandalise.
  • Reportar Sin Miedo is a newsroom focused on investigative journalism based in Honduras. The team is made up of Dunia Orellana, Amilcar Cárcamo, Helen Montoya, and Lourdes Ramírez.
  • RPP Noticias is a broadcasting and media production company based in Peru. The team is made up of Gerardo Cárdenas Dávila, Hieronymus Rodriguez Carbone, Joaquín Ortiz Rivarola, and Pedro Petit Villa.
  • Sopitas is a digital media outlet based in Mexico. The team is made up of Aaron Rubio Manuel, Alejandro G. Vargas, Ivan Gonzalez Hernandez, and Sebastian Gutierrez. 

Over 12 weeks, the cohort will participate in a series of tuition-free classes, bootcamps, and coaching sessions designed to guide them through the tested, step-by-step process of building news product prototypes. These methodologies are used in top newsrooms around the world. With the support of instructors who are industry experts, participants will gather virtually starting May 3 and will develop a prototype of their own news product, culminating in a final pitch to a panel of expert judges.

“As the landscape of journalism evolves, we want to offer newsrooms the tools they need to meet the challenges and opportunities of the digital era. This program is an excellent platform for making product thinking accessible to newsrooms that don’t currently have a fully functional product department and enabling them to build new revenue streams,” Julieta Shama, Head of News Partnerships, Spanish Speaking Latam, at Meta, said.

Two experienced product coaches who are fluent in Spanish and Portuguese — Luciana Cardoso and Germán Frassa — will work with the teams on experimenting with various design and testing tools for digital products. Cardoso, who is based in São Paulo, Brazil, is Product Manager at Quartz and Vice Chair of the News Product Alliance. Frassa, who is based in Madrid, Spain, is an experienced consultant with Meta’s Audience Analytics Accelerator/SpaLatam market and was Chief Product Officer at several Spanish newspapers, including El Mundo.

The new cohort is made up of representatives from news organizations from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Honduras, Mexico, and Peru. The newsrooms include digital media outlets, broadcast organizations, and news agencies.

“In addition to giving newsrooms hands-on skills, we hope that this program will help newsrooms cultivate a culture of data and innovation, as well as audience-centered thinking, that, in turn, enables them to better understand and serve their users and foster sustainable innovation,” Anita Zielina, Director of News Innovation and Leadership at the Newmark J-School, said.

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