Russia Insider is a site for alternative news in English about Russia.

Right now, Russia Insider runs a Kickstarter fund-raising campaign.

Russia-Insider-crowdfunding-Kickstarter

Their target is to collect 20,000 USD until 19 April 2015.

According to the founder and chief editor, Charles Bausman, …

Your money will go only into great content  We'll only spend it on journalist salaries, nothing else.  Period.

I decided today to make a rather major contribution to Russia Insider's crowd-funding campaign.

Here are my reasons:

Charles Bausman has done something which is very similar to what I wanted to do with TheRussophile.com but didn't have neither the time nor the English writing skills to produce enough content for.

  • The guys behind Russia Insider have identified the exact problem with information about Russia in English language as being overwhelmingly directed against Russia. It also consists mostly of exaggerations, old information and outright lies.
  • The RSS-feeds from Russia Insider are fuelling my Russia news aggregation site, therussophile.org (visit and bookmark!).
  • With content being produced by, mainly, foreigners having lived and worked in Russia for many years (just like myself), the information is bound to represent something which an international audience can assimilate as truthful.
  • Russia Insider is 100% independent from “Western” mainstream media (which is obvious by the content published so far) and also from the “Kremlin” (which I absolutely take their words for).

From the first time I came to Russia in May 1993, the Moscow Times/St.Petersburg Times was my main source of information and it took several years before my Russian language became good enough for absorbing the information in Russian media.

I don't know if I, or the Moscow Times did change (maybe both), but today I can't stand the negative bias about Russia reflected in their articles. As I remember the fonder, Derk Sauer, I don't think he would have approved the course taken by the new parents of his “child”.

If Russia Insider will continue as they have started, they will fill a void between the Russian state-sponsored English media (like RT and Sputnik) and the more general oriented sites like Russia Beyond the Headlines and Johnson's Russia List (the latter which, in my opinion, more and more shows a “western” bias in its reporting).

The only thing which worries me in their Kickstarter prospect is if they widen their approach too much to include also non-Russia related issues. The risk is that it will remove their unique identity and targeted readers.

My recommendation is that if you want alternative (and more correct) information about what's going on with Russia, Russia Insider is your choice and you should support their funding campaign (even if it is only with a dollar or even a tweet).

As of now, Russia Insider has reached more than half of their 20,000 USD target.

Here are some more information about the Russian Insider Kickstarter project:

Russia Insider – Challenge the Media. Let's Push Back! by Charles Bausman Kickstarter

We want you to see a direct result of what you give us.

We'll show you how we spent it  We'll put detailed monthly reporting on our site:

We know a lot about Russia, and see how the media malfunctions when it comes to this important country.

They're presenting a badly skewed picture  We examine this in-depth, and analyze and counter malpractice and bias in reporting.

We inform and educate on what the corporate media is not telling you.

How we got started A handful of us, all non-journalists, became concerned late last summer when we saw that reporting about the Ukraine tragedy was riddled with errors and misrepresentation. We put up a small site at the end of August just to sound off, and were deluged by volunteers who wanted to contribute.  Since then traffic has gone ballistic.

We are non-profit  Well, of course, because we are just a bunch of volunteers!  We plan to register as a US non-profit media organization. If you are interested in making a tax-deductible contribution, please contact us directly.

Even a very small donation makes a difference  Even just a couple $ make a difference, because the more of us engage, the stronger the message we send. It gets reported in the media.  It convinces others to donate.  It snowballs.

Can't give money?  Like us on FB or Twitter!  Our total tweets and FB likes get reported in the media.  It shows the level of support out there.  It really helps!  It could trigger a contribution from someone else.

Can't give money?  Volunteer!  This site has been built by volunteers, its in our DNA!   We need:

Charles has spent his career in finance, specializing over the last 8 years in agriculture investments in Russia and Ukraine.  He comes from Greenwich, CT, USA.  He is based in Moscow, and also spends time in Berlin, Germany and Greenwich.   (More info)

Dave is a documentary film maker currently living in a small town outside Moscow.  He is a US army veteran, and served in operation Iraqi Freedom.  He comes from Los Angeles, CA, and grew up in upstate New York.  (More info)

Riley has written for The Huffington Post, CounterPunch, The Washington Times, True/Slant (the predecessor to Forbe's blogging platform) and ThinkProgress. He is a former editor of Wonkette.com.  He is from Santa Monica, CA.  He is 27.  (More info)

Editors Circle: We exist because of networked citizen journalism, it's in our DNA, and we see everyday how powerful it is.  So we take the Editor's Circle very seriously.  On a weekly basis we will have a closed online chat with members and seriously listen to your input and feedback.  It will be a huge benefit to the site, and a we're looking forward to it.

Premium Content: We're still thinking about how to do this, but we will definitely do it, because revenue like this is essential to keeping sites like ours alive.  Some ideas we are considering are:  a private newsletter, event organization, or in-depth reports, or access to background data.  Once its up, you will have unlimited access forever.  The deal of the century!Russia Insider – Challenge the Media. Let's Push Back! by Charles Bausman Kickstarter

Now, when you have decided to support Russia Insider, you might feel like the happy people from Crimea in this video …