Challenges to Russia's Independent Media: A Conversation with Meduza's Galina Timchenko
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On April 23, the popular Russian-language media outlet Meduza was labeled a “foreign agent” by the Russian Ministry of Justice and suddenly faced all the risks and problems associated with this status, including the loss of advertising income. Three weeks later, Meduza, which is headquartered in Riga, Latvia, reported that nearly 80,000 people had joined the crowdfunding initiative to save it. Galina Timchenko, a prominent Russian journalist and CEO of Meduza, considered what new challenges to free speech the Russian media are currently up against, how government pressure affects today’s media development trends, and what motivates independent journalists to continue working.
“Our average [age] of our readers are 24 to 35, this is the youngest and the most advertising-friendly audience… So our audience is the most “dangerous” audience for the Kremlin because they are activists who stand against fake elections and who stand for Alexei Navalny and his anti-corruption.”
“We are developing, but [Putin and his regime] are developing as well—against us.”
“Repressions are underway. They are already starting—mass repressions. There is no way back, this is a one-way train… [Putin and his regime] could fake this election brilliantly, they learned how to fake elections, why are they so nervous?"
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