On April 23, the Russian Justice Ministry added one of the leading independent media outlets in the country, Meduza, to its foreign agent media list, implying that now, every news piece or social media post that they do should be accompanied by a message notifying the public about their new status.
The actions of the body have led Meduza to resort to setting up a fiat and crypto fundraiser in order to survive the consequences of labeling.
Meanwhile, the media outlet has noted that with such a move, the Kremlin showed that they consider them as an enemy of the state, making their journalistic routines, such as looking for sources or reporting any news, more complicated.
The effects of the labeling
Shortly after, advertisers ceased their business ties with the news outlet, removing a significant amount of financing to help the outlet stay alive.
Meduza made the only response they can right now. According to news.bitcoin.com, the outlet’s editor-in-chief Ivan Kolpakov has announced that a fundraiser was launched to accept donations via bank card payments, PayPal, or digital currencies such as Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and Binance Coin (BNB).
Back in 2012, Russia adopted the foreign agent legislation that required non-governmental organizations that receive foreign assistance and are engaged in political activities to be registered with such labels and be audited by authorities as well, including their financial activities.
Cryptocurrencies as payment for salaries
The next ideal move then is to have employees be compensated through digital currencies.
But there could be risky implications in terms of financing the media outlet. With regards to this matter, an editorial cited by news.bitcoin.com stated that “the writers who receive salaries from Meduza are now at risk of being designated as individual foreign agents.”
It continued to state, “Should this happen, they would be forced to report all their income and expenses to Russia’s Justice Ministry.”
With that, any reporting error will lead to fines and felonious charges, and imprisonment.
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