Ukrainian journalists, covering an internal war which not only threatens their life, but also their livelihoods, are turning to crowdsourcing funds to maintain coverage on the ground and even help move information centers to neighboring countries. A consortium of media groups across Europe has raised over $4 million in just over two weeks between GoFundMe campaigns and direct donations, NiemanLab reports. Approximately $1.5 million of these funds were raised for the kyiv Independent, and $2.5 million went to other independent Ukrainian presses.
Contributions pay for emergency equipment and supplies such as body armor and helmets and cover Ukrainian media operational costs such as gas and IT, among other forms of support. The coalition of media groups, which includes The Fix, Are We Europe, Genomics and the Media Development Foundation, has received “tremendous support” from Poland, Germany and the Nordic countries, according to Zakhar Protsiuk, editor of The Fix. “From a long-term perspective, we need to ensure that the media, especially those of national importance, will continue to operate and report on the war effectively,” Protsiuk told NiemanLab. That is why some benefits help Ukrainian journalists to move to neighboring countries. countries and set up hubs. Journalists who have been forced to flee Russia are also trying to find a way to rebuild their operations, including those of TV Rain, Russia’s last independent television station, which shut down on March 3; Monday, Puck’s Julia Ioffe started a GoFundMe on their behalf.
Meduza, the largest remaining independent Russian media outlet, is also turn to crowdfunding in an attempt to maintain what remains of the report not approved by the state of the country, which Vladimir Poutine almost banned because he signed a law threatening journalists with 15 years in prison for calling his war against Ukraine a war (the Kremlin calls it a “special military operation”). Medouza demand the rest of the world for help on Monday in a crowdfunding campaign, saying they had lost funding for 30,000 members in recent weeks – “since the outbreak of this war, moving money from Russia to the ‘Europe is impossible’ – and asking the international community to take their place. “Save Meduza for our Russian readers and for yourselves,” Meduza staff wrote. “We have a duty to tell the truth” and “millions of readers in Russia who need us”.
The Kremlin has previously tried to censor Meduza, which publishes in both Russian and English, by labeling him a “foreign agent,” a label the site was forced to disclose about his work and which cost Meduza most of its advertisers. The newsroom has survived thanks to the support of readers – Meduza is based in Latvia, but about 70% of their audience is in Russia, of which more than 90,000 responded to Meduza’s crowdfunding call to “save Meduza”, the new York Times reported Last year. Now, having lost most of their donations and sources of income from inside Russia, Meduza hopes the rest of the world will contribute to a new crowdfunding campaign, one asking international donors “on behalf of the many Russians who can’t,” the campaign read. “Without independent journalism, it will be impossible to stop this monstrous war.”
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