This report is based on the presentation Rostislav A. Vylegzhanin (his blog) delivered during the OhmyNews International Citizen Reporters' Forum 2007:
(if you are interested in the transcript and/or presentation, please leave a comment or eMail me)
As most mass-media in Russia is state-owned, state-controlled or / and (de facto) censored and the Internet is still an absolutely free media-sphere in Russia where all viewpoints can be expressed, blogs became quite popular for hosting public discussions and for spreading information that can not be published or broadcast by mass-media.
LiveJournal.com has become especially popular in Russia. It hosts about one million of Russian blogs (today 488.745 under the domain .ru) many of them from the intellectual elite, journalists, politicians, active citizens and so on.
Rostislav A. Vylegzhanin graduated from Moscow State Institute of International Relations, his diploma thesis was about blogs and citizen journalism. Inspired by successful examples of citizen journalism sites in the USA, OhmyNews and others, Rostislav, Irina Serbina and Irina Yasina the head of NGO Club of Regional Journalists (with more than 2000 journalists from Russia's regions - more, PDF) started Realno.info.
Realno.info went live on 7th of November 2006 with about 50 regional professional journalists from the Club of Regional Journalist and gave them a platform to publish on Realno.info those news-stories they could not publish in their own media.
- Every user has the right to publish posts without approval of an editor.
- Any viewpoints can be expressed (except those forbidden by law).
- There is no political censorship
- Every user should follow the ethic code
- Posts should be written in good Russian language
At Realno.info volunteers are doing all work. A code of ethic and a status / reputation system (Blogger, Author, Expert and Editor) help them to secure quality:
Today Realno.info has
- 320 citizen reporters and professional journalists from all over the country
- between 5 to 15 posts daily
- attracts about 1000 unique visitors a day
Realno.info together with NGO Club of Regional Journalists promotes ideas of citizen journalism in Russia. Editors of Realno.info lecture for students of journalism faculties, media specialists, professional journalists, etc.
Realno.info, Moscow State Institute of International Relations and NGO Club of Regional journalists run in March 2007 "The First Moscow International Conference "Blogs, New Media and Citizen Journalism" - again in planning for March 2008
Realno.info is looking for some income and new sponsorship, as the original seed investors stopped their engagement - any idea, any interest to support free media in Russia? Please let me know and I will be happy to connect you.
See Rostislav on OhmyTV (Session 1)
(cross posted at HEM on Media, Marketing & Internet)