As in other media markets around the globe, the advent of the Internet promised to diversify and democratise the media system in Mexico. However, things turned out to be different after almost two decades since the Internet became a place for media development. The Reuters Institute's 2019 Digital News Report contains a chapter that describes the Mexican digital media landscape. The results of the survey show that the top online media brands are part of legacy newspapers (eg, El Universal online, TV Azteca news online Reforma online, El Financiero online), national TV and radio holdings (eg, TV Azteca news online, Televisa news online, Imagen news online), and global media companies (eg, CNN.com, Yahoo! News).
In this ranking, there are only three native digital media: 1) Aristegui Online, which is run by the well-known journalist Carmen Aristegui; 2) UNO TV, which is an online television channel owned by the telecommunications billionaire Carlos Slim; and 3) Animal Político, which is one of the leading producers of investigative journalism not only in the online media landscape but in the whole Mexican media system. If we only focus on native, digital media, the newspaper El Economista and the company ComScore, created a ranking of the most visited online digital news outlets. In this study, the most visited news site from smartphones is UNO TV, followed by SDP Noticias, Aristegui Noticias, El Deforma, Cultura Colectiva, Mediotiempo (a sports site) and so forth.
That is not to suggest that there is not also a small, but active sector of independent digital media growing in the country. Sembramedia, a respected NGO that assembles a directory of independent digital outlets in Iberian and Latin American countries, lists 104 independent sites in the country (64 of them focused on human rights and societal issues), by far the highest registered number of any Spanish-speaking country. Eligibility for being listed in the registry include operating as native digital outlets, producing original content in the Spanish language and publishing information with a public service orientation. They have to be non-partisan and non-corporate in nature and be open and transparent about their aims and funding. A few examples of such outlets include the aforementioned Animal Político, Crónicas de Asfalto, and Tercera Vía in Mexico City, Zonadocs in Guadalajara, Altavoz in Monterrey, Lado B in Puebla, Amapola in Guerrero, el Malpensado in Sonora, La Verdad in Ciudad Juárez, El Muro MX in Oaxaca. Many of these sites cover the unreported societal issues that the mainstream media leave out and engage in some innovative narrative, format, genre, topic or content. Even sports natives like El Míster or Apuntes de Rabona have sought to challenge mainstream Sports news content by trying new formulas, storytelling narratives, or in-depth coverage.