The news outlet launched by Pussy Riot will try to pivot from foreign grants to crowdfunding

15:01, 5 december 2017

The independent Russian news outlet Mediazona announced a crowdfunding drive on December 5, explaining that the foreign grants on which the project has existed since 2014 are insufficient to sustain and develop its work.

“This is a very exhausting and unreliable financing model,” said Mediazona’s publisher, Pyotr Verzilov. The website, which costs about 30 million rubles ($511,000) to run annually, is hoping to raise money through crowdfunding and monthly subscription payments (though Verzilov says there will never be paywalled content).

As with the grants Mediazona currently uses to fund its operations, crowdfunding donations will be paid directly to staff members, and not to any legal entity, in order to circumvent Russian restrictions on accepting donations.

In 2014, Pussy Riot members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alekhina launched Mediazona, which reports on Russia’s justice system. Verzilov says the website currently attracts about a million unique visitors each month.