Meduza is you Almost 80,000 people have donated to keep this news organization alive. We’re now retooling for sustainability as a ‘foreign agent’ in Russia. Here’s our plan.
A miracle by Meduza’s readers
A few days after Russia’s Justice Ministry designated Meduza as a “foreign agent,” we launched a crowdfunding campaign to compensate for lost advertising income. Nearly 80,000 people joined this initiative. Together, you’ve performed a miracle. Thanks entirely to readers like you, Meduza continues to operate, despite the fact that the Russian authorities crushed our revenue stream in a matter of days.
This wave of support has given us hope, along with time to decide how Meduza will function in these new, difficult conditions. Whatever happens, our first priority will always be the interests of our readers. We’ve been given a shot at survival and we owe it to you.
Set up a recurring donation to Meduza here.
What we ourselves have done to save Meduza
We’ve drastically reduced our expenses, as promised. The newsroom abandoned its physical offices in Moscow and Riga (thankfully, we learned to work remotely during the pandemic), and we’ve jettisoned everything nonessential in the current conditions. Most importantly, we cut salaries by 30–50 percent.
The Meduza team reached this difficult decision together. We did this, in order to buy more time. We’re prepared to fight for this news organization because we know that we have someone to fight for.
In the months to come
Meduza is going to change. Our structure as a news organization and the format of the content we deliver to readers will be subject to revision. Why? Because we now have fewer resources and greater burdens. Meduza is now forced to devote significant time and energy to compliance with its new status in Russia, where regulatory violations risk steep fines and even being blocked online. Now that Meduza is a registered “foreign agent,” many sources (particularly in Russia’s law enforcement community) refuse to speak to us, necessitating new reporting tactics.
Further cutbacks (and not just to salaries) are inevitable. Many people on our team are simply unable to continue working at Meduza in these new conditions. We love and respect those of us who need to step down and move on, and Meduza will do everything in its power to safeguard and assist in their lives ahead.
One of our most important challenges is to keep this publication running without interruption. Since we launched our crowdfunding campaign on April 29, Meduza has released more than 400 news stories, including 40 feature articles, roughly a dozen analytical texts, more than 60 stories in English, 24 new podcast episodes, 10 photo reports, and 12 games and quizzes. Without the support of our readers, we’d be sharing farewell messages on Facebook, not publishing this flood of new content.
How to keep Meduza going (recurring donations are key!)
With the first wave of crowdfunding behind us, we begin the most difficult stage of making Meduza sustainable again. We need to ensure that we can exist on donations in the long run, operating as efficiently as before, when we relied on advertising revenue.
The best way to support us is to set up recurring donations — even small recurring payments are an enormous help. This assistance means you’ll be able to keep reading Meduza, and it provides Meduza to hundreds of thousands more people, as well.
Wherever you can, let others know that Meduza needs support. With every post on social media and each message to a colleague who also follows Russia, someone new makes another pledge and our chances of survival rise.
We will be adding new ways to donate funds to Meduza. We cannot accept cash, but you can make direct bank transfers, beginning today. There are also easily accessible tools to contribute to Meduza anonymously.
Meduza is you
We’re only just getting started here, and there will be a lot of news in the coming weeks and months. Some of it will be happy and some will be sad. Some will be expected and other developments will be a total surprise. However difficult the road ahead is, we’ll stay the course together with you.
Meduza will go on. Because Meduza is you.
We’ll report regularly and publicly about our work, adjusting to “foreign agent” status in Russia. If you have any ideas or suggestions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org