Meduza (Russian: Медуза) is a Russian- and English-language online newspaper and news aggregator, based in Latvia. The newspaper was founded by Galina Timchenko, the former editor-in-chief of Russian news website Lenta.ru. The project started on October 20, 2014. Free mobile applications for iOS, Windows Phone and Android became the basis of the media.
Meduza started as an aggregator of news, texts and podcasts in Russian that are selected manually, unlike the automatic rankings of Yandex News. The main criterion for publication of content was the relevance and reliability of the information, not the status of the source.
As of 2021, Meduza publishes many of its own articles, including investigative journalism.
In 2014, Galina Timchenko was fired from her job as chief editor at Lenta.ru and launched the new webpage Meduza in October 2014. Several former journalists of Lenta.ru joined the new online site.
Timchenko told Forbes that the decision to base Meduza in Latvia was made since "right now, establishing an independent Russian language publishing house in Latvia is possible, while in Russia it is not." Moreover, Timchenko stated: “We understood that in Russia, most likely, they would not let us work".
Russian businessman and former oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky and telecommunications magnate Boris Zimin had been considered as passive investors, but they parted ways "for strategic and operational reasons". Because of financial reasons, Timchenko and her partner at Amond & Smith Ltd, Sergey Nazarkin, based Meduza in Latvia.
In February 2015, the website also launched an English-language version. In January 2016, founder and CEO Galina Timchenko handed over the role of chief editor to her deputy Ivan Kolpakov. In November 2018, Kolpakov announced his resignation due to a sexual harassment scandal. He was reinstated as chief editor on March 11, 2019.
In August 2018, Meduza started a partnership with the American website BuzzFeed. The partnership includes publishing each other’s materials, sharing experiences, and carrying out and publishing joint investigations.
In 2019, Meduza started the English podcast The Naked Pravda, which highlights how Meduza’s top reporting intersects with the wider research and expertise that exists about Russia.
Meduza is run by a team of around 20 journalists who resigned from their jobs at Lenta.ru following Galina Timchenko's unexpected removal from her post by the website's owner and Vladimir Putin supporter, the oligarch Alexander Mamut. There are no Latvian journalists in the project.
Since March 2015, Meduza has published daily news called “Evening Meduza”.
Three months after opening, Meduza had 1.3 million monthly readers of its Internet publication. In 2017, Meduza had 7.5 million readers per month and 2 million followers on social media. In 2020, Meduza was the leader in social media citations in the rating compiled by Medialogia, a company that monitors and analyzes media and social networks.
According to Timchenko, Meduza will not only serve as an aggregator but will also produce its own content. So it aims to fill a market niche that exists due to "a long list of forbidden topics which Russian media do not raise for various reasons—due to direct and indirect censorship."
The day after it was launched, Meduza was blocked in Kazakhstan, probably due to an article about the city of Oskemen (Ust-Kamenogorsk).
Access to the site has also been blocked from Uzbekistan. The reasons for this are unclear.
Meduza has installed technical measures to circumvent censorship with their mobile apps.
In June 2019, Meduza journalist Ivan Golunov was arrested by Russian police for claimed drug offences. Colleagues and friends of Golunov said they believed the charges to be fabricated, motivated by his investigations into corruption. Following a public outcry, Golunov was released, and five police officers were fired and later arrested.
On April 23, 2021, the Russian Ministry of Justice designated Meduza as a 'foreign agent'. In response, the European Union rejected the decision, saying this restriction "goes against Russia's international obligations and human rights commitments".
- ^ a b Ivan Kolpakov has been named Meduza’s chief editor
- ^ Taratuta, Julia (10 October 2014). "Галина Тимченко, главред Meduza: унизительно, когда вся политическая журналистика затаив дыхание следит за движением бровей президента" [Galina Timchenko, editor-in-chief of Meduza: it's humiliating when all political journalism is holding its breath following the movement of the president's eyebrows]. Dozhd. Retrieved 24 November 2020.
- ^ Beard, Nadia (23 October 2014). "Russian journalists set up shop in Latvia after Kremlin crackdown". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 July 2017.
- ^ "I was 'fired' because of the Kremlin". BBC News. Retrieved 6 July 2020.
- ^ "Galina Timchenko | Wilson Center". www.wilsoncenter.org. Retrieved 6 July 2020.
- ^ a b c "Галина Тимченко: "Никто из нас не мечтает делать «Колокол"". www.forbes.ru. 15 September 2014. Retrieved 11 July 2017.
- ^ a b "Meduza Тимченко зазвонит из Латвии". www.fontanka.ru (in Russian). 29 September 2014. Retrieved 6 July 2020.
- ^ Подрез, Тарас (27 August 2014). "Экс-главред Lenta.ru Галина Тимченко учредила Medusa Project". Известия (in Russian). Retrieved 6 July 2020.
- ^ Meduza chief editor steps down, remains as CEO, Meduza, January 28, 2016.
- ^ A harassment scandal at Meduza
- ^ "Galina Timchenko". Politico Europe. 7 December 2017. Retrieved 6 July 2020.
- ^ "'The Naked Pravda' premiere trailer: Meduza's new English-language podcast".
- ^ "Alexander Mamut profile: probably the most powerful oligarch you have never heard of". The Daily Telegraph. 4 February 2011. Retrieved 1 June 2016.
- ^ "Российская аудитория сайта Meduza.io достигла 1,3 млн человек в месяц". РБК (in Russian). Retrieved 8 July 2020.
- ^ "Meduza: Doing New Media in a Perfect Storm". international.ucla.edu. Retrieved 8 July 2020.
- ^ "Федеральные СМИ - 2020 год" [Federal media - 2020]. mlg.ru (in Russian). 28 January 2021. Retrieved 27 April 2021.
- ^ Лихачёв, Никита (21 October 2014). "Издание Meduza заблокировали в Казахстане после репортажа из Усть-Каменогорска". Retrieved 11 July 2017.
- ^ "Усть-Каменогорская народная республика: Ждут ли русские в Казахстане "вежливых людей": репортаж Ильи Азара — Meduza". Retrieved 11 July 2017.
- ^ trim_c (30 October 2016). "Медуза идет впереди". trim_c. Retrieved 8 December 2016.
- ^ Galimov, Samat (15 April 2016). "Кошки-мышки в Казахстане". Meduza : dev.
- ^ MacFarquhar, Neil (7 June 2019). "Russian Reporter Who Exposed Moscow Graft Is Arrested on Drug Charges". The New York Times.
- ^ Roth, Andrew (7 June 2019). "Russian police accused of arresting journalist on false charges". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 7 June 2019.
- ^ "Former officers who searched 'Meduza' journalist Ivan Golunov arrested, may face drug possession and evidence falsification charges". Meduza.
- ^ "Russia Labels Meduza Media Outlet As 'Foreign Agent'". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. 23 April 2021. Retrieved 24 April 2021.
- ^ "Минюст внес "Медузу" в список "иностранных агентов"" [Ministry of Justice added Meduza to the list of "foreign agents"]. Ministry of Justice (Russia) (in Russian). Meduza. 23 April 2021. Retrieved 24 April 2021.
- ^ Yun Chee, Foo (24 April 2021). "EU rejects Russian decision to label media outlet Meduza as 'foreign agent'". Reuters. Retrieved 27 April 2021.
- ^ "EU 'Rejects' Russian Labeling Of Meduza Media Outlet As 'Foreign Agent'". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. 21 April 2021. Retrieved 24 April 2021.
- ^ ""Обязанность властей — обеспечить журналистам возможность заниматься своей работой в атмосфере, свободной от страха и принуждения"" [The duty of the authorities is to ensure that journalists are able to do their work in an atmosphere free from fear and coercion.]. Meduza (in Russian). 24 April 2021. Retrieved 24 April 2021.
- ^ "Russia: Statement by the Spokesperson on labelling Meduza as "foreign agent"". European External Action Service. 24 April 2021. Retrieved 24 April 2021.