Ten investigative media platforms from Latin America combined forces to create ALiados, a network to strengthen mutual cooperation and find new ways to sustain independent journalism. ALiados formed in Buenos Aires, on June 15, where representatives from the news sites met to discuss and create its founding document, the Declaration of Al Maitén.
ALiados' founding organizations are Agência Pública (Brazil), Animal Político (Mexico), CIPER (Chile), Confidencial (Nicaragua), El Faro (El Salvador), El Puercoespín (Argentina), IDL-Reporteros (Peru), La Silla Vacía (Colombia), Plaza Pública (Guatemala) and The Clinic (Chile). Although very different from each other, the news sites will have common guidelines, stated in the Declaration, such as: "professional quality, transparency, independence from political and economic influences and factual accuracy on the realities of Latin America and the world in a way that traditional media platforms in the region are not doing it."
Many of ALiado's members know each other and met last May during the 6th Ibero-American on Digital Journalism, where the idea of the association was born. Organized by the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas of the University of Texas in Austin, the Coloquium focused on key questions on digital journalism such as sustainability, revenue diversification, and the expansion of reach and audience traffic.
"It was a productive meeting, with a clear focus on collaboration and sustainability," said Rosental Calmon Alves, director and founder of the Knight Center, who was also present in Buenos Aires for the foundation of ALiado. "Independent news sites from Mexico to Argentina discussed ways to help each other develop strategies for financing the type of quality and professional journalism they do in their countries. The sites are very different from each other, but are united in a common objective: to produce good journalism and contribute to democracy and transparency in their countries."
In order to search for new ways for sustaining investigative digital journalism, ALiados will organize programs and joint initiatives, such as attracting new sources of support from donors and the public. For Gabriel Pasquini, director of the Argentine site El Puercospín and one of the founders of the group, the creation of ALiados "is an inevitable step in the development of digital journalism, especially in a region of the world where we share a language, and in many cases, issues and problems that transcend borders."
The members of the ALiados network are:
Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.