Politics, Business & Culture in the Americas

Marketing Documentaries

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An Albatros Media photographer in the field. Courtesy of FUNDACION ALBATROS MEDIA.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Educational TV can be a powerful tool for raising awareness of social issues. The problem: production costs place it beyond reach for most activists and educators in Latin America. Enter Fundación Albatros Media, a Panama-based nonprofit that produces and distributes documentaries on quality of life and environmental and social issues free of charge to television stations across the region.

Typically in Latin America—and even the U.S.—getting sponsors for do-gooder documentaries is a challenge. With a platform that reaches more than 70 million potential viewers, though, Albatros has been able to tap a number of powerful, deep pocketed backers. International Community Foundation, Plan International, the World Bank, and corporations like Shell, Copa Airlines and others have come forward to support—and lend their names—to Albatros’ work.

Albatros Media’s activities also extend beyond TV programming to inlcude multimedia content and workbooks for schools. “We seek to blend quality entertainment with education,” says executive director George Hanily. For Hanily, the Albatros model is National Geographic Television or the BBC’s Blue Planet series, but with a Latin American twist.

Stay tuned for future programming on the environmental challenges facing islands and on the uses of energy and renewable resources. This summer, catch the Spanish or Portuguese versions of Visions of Hope—a series on water pollution and preservation in 13 Latin American countries.

Regional Distribution:

  • Sun Channel Tourism Television
  • Televisión América Latina, TAL
  • LinkTV
  • Ecuador, United States, Canada, Spain and Italy: Ecuavisa Internacional
  • South America: Empresa Brasil de Comunicaçao, EBC, Canal Integración

National Distribution:

  • Argentina: Sistema Nacional de Medios Públicos, S. E., Canal 7
  • Bolivia: Radiodifusoras Populares (RDP), Canal 4
  • Chile: TV-UMAG (Universidad de Magallanes)
  • Colombia: TeleAntioquia
  • Colombia: RTV Señal Colombia
  • Costa Rica: Sistema Nacional de Radio y Televisión, S. A. (SINART), Canal 13
  • Dominican Republic: Corporación Estatal de Radio y Televisión (CERTV) en dos canales de TV (Canal 4 y 17)
  • Dominican Republic: Corporación Estatal de Radio y Televisión (CERTV) en tres radio emisoras
  • Guatemala: Planeta Verde de Televisión
  • Panama: Fundación para la Educación en la Televisión (FETV), Canal 5
  • Panama: Radio Hogar
  • Peru: Asociación Nacional de Canales Locales de Televisión Red TV
  • Peru: Corporación El Comercio en Canal N
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Any opinions expressed in this piece do not necessarily reflect those of Americas Quarterly or its publishers.
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