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    Russia Insider’s Plan to Target American Mainstream Media

    by Ekaterina Basilaia
    March 27, 2015
    A crying Statue of Liberty appears on the home page of Russia Insider.

    Russia Insider has a crying Statue of Liberty on its home page. She’s weeping into her palms as black clouds or smoke billow in the background. There’s also a poster of a Russian man dubbed “the hero of our time” for fighting alongside Ukrainian separatists.

    Some of what you see or read on Russia Insider may appear to be propaganda, but it’s actually media criticism, says founder Charles Bausman.

    “I think that you can interpret it as propaganda, or you can say, look, it reflects the opinion of a lot of articles on our site, which really argue that American foreign policy, in regards to Ukraine and Russia, is badly, badly mistaken.” -Charles Bausman

    After about half a year in operation and amassing 15 million page views, the website has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $20,000. As of today, it is at about $23,000 with three weeks to go. More campaigns are being planned as the English language website looks to crowdfunding for a future.

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    Before raising any money on Kickstarter, Russia Insider started by banking tweets, Facebook shares and Tumblr posts. Using Thunderclap, posts and tweets were published simultaneously, giving their message reach to more than 115,000 in social media.

    Speaking from Moscow, founder Charles Bausman said the Statue of Liberty photo is “suggesting that American foreign policy is mistaken in many ways.”

    And because he isn’t well-known outside of Russia, the “Hero of our time” poster of Igor Strelkov is “trying to provide imagery that shows that’s there’s a lot going on in Russia that people in the West aren’t aware of.”

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    crowdfunding propaganda?

    When asked how Bausman would respond to someone who says Russia Insider seems to be a Russian propaganda response to Western media bias, he said:

    “I think that you can interpret it as propaganda, or you can say, look, it reflects the opinion of a lot of articles on our site, which really argue that American foreign policy, in regards to Ukraine and Russia, is badly, badly mistaken.”

    igor-strelkov-197x300

    The website’s aim isn’t propaganda but to point out where American and European media are wrong about Russia, Bausman said.

    “Because they’re [western mainstream media] very critical of Russia and bias against Russia, we often times take the other side. So you could look at that and say ‘This seems to be like a pro-Russian site or something, a pro-Russian government site,’ but that’s not what we’re doing.”

    “What we’re saying is it’s the information about Russia that is very biased and slanted, and we’re trying to point this out.”

    The site that describes itself on Facebook as “a Western view of Russia, without the anti-Russian bias” has published little or no criticism of the Russian government, preliminary analysis by Through the Cracks found.

    There is no criticism of Russian media either because “we’re not a Russian site,” Bausman said.

    “We’re mostly Americans, also from Canada and the UK, and what we’re really talking about is our own media,” he said.

    About half of the site’s readers are in the United States and Canada, Russia Insider said.

    Bausman said he has noticed bias in western media for 20 years.

    “The narrative in the western media became so far departed from reality in my opinion of what’s going on that I felt it was just like a civic responsibility,” Bausman told Russia Today (RT) after the site’s launch. “I mean somebody has to finally stand up sometime and say, OK, enough is enough. I’m not going to listen to this anymore.”

    The crowdfunding campaign money will be used to hire a video producer and a full-time crowdfunding manager to run future campaigns. Bausman said he would never accept money from any government.

    Crowdfunding, he said, is “an ideal solution.”

    “I like that crowdfunding is very democratic and that if you do well by people who funded you it can be an ongoing thing,” he said.

    Ekaterina Basilaia is currently based in Antwerp. She has worked in various print and online media. She believes in the power of Internet and information that keep the people forward.

    Through The Cracks Editor Khari Johnson contributed to this story.

    through-the-cracksThrough the Cracks: Crowdfunding in Journalism, where this story first appeared, is a news website that shares stories of innovation, reporting and storytelling made possible by the crowd. We also share resources and advice from journalists who have carried out successful campaigns. We’re pretty excited about crowdfunding’s ability to bring untold stories to light and support media entrepreneurs and news startups. To keep up with the latest visit throughcracks.com, follow @crowdjournalism on Twitter and check out their Facebook page.

    Tagged: crowdfunding media rt russia russia insider. through the cracks
    • Mainstream Media Propaganda

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    • I like that page (Russia Insider) but i really do not think a crying BABYLONIAN SUMERIAN IDOL erected by FREEMASONS … is what TRULY represents what America was ever about.

      honestly, “the statue of liberty” is ABOUT SLAVERY and is THE OPPOSITE of what America is about. It has NOTHING AT ALL to do with “liberty”.

    • I like that page (Russia Insider) but i really do not think a crying BABYLONIAN SUMERIAN IDOL erected by FREEMASONS … is what TRULY represents what America was ever about.

      honestly, “the statue of liberty” is ABOUT SLAVERY and is THE OPPOSITE of what America is about. It has NOTHING AT ALL to do with “liberty”.

    • Sinbad2

      Strelkov is a hero, a Che Guevara, fighting for his people against those who would enslave his people.

      • What “his people” ?

        He is FSB (former KGB ) colonel from Moscow, who lives in Moscow.

        According to his own interview proudly given to friendly right-wing Russian newspaper – with his special forces Russian unit they crossed border from Russia , captured government buildings in Ukraine and started this war .

        Before Donbass, they did the same in Crimea – successfully.
        In Donbass it didn’t work, because they meet resistance

        After Ukrainian volunteers kicked him and his unit from Sloviansk – he now got back to Moscow and traveling Russia giving interviews and recruiting more people to send them fight and die in Ukraine.

        So, what exactly heroic about this man?
        He is typical mercenary who goes fight for money to other countries – not to defend his own country.

        • Sinbad2

          Che was an Argentinian, it didn’t stop him from trying to free the Cuban people from American oppression.
          Most of Ukraine is in fact Russia. Small parts in the west are Hungarian and Polish, they are the Nazis the US is using to exterminate the Russian people.

          • Except few differences between Che and Strelkov :

            Che was young idealist sacrificing his life for his ideals fighting against oppression of dictators – not selling them for money as Strelkov always did.

            Strelkov ( real name is Girkin) – old secret service (FSB/KGB) colonel, cold blooded killer, who was professionally fighting for money in Chechnya, Transnistria, in Bosnia in which thousands of civilians were killed .

            His pseudonym “Strelkov” (“Strelok”) can be roughly translated as “Rifleman” or “Shooter”. He has also been dubbed Igor Grozny (“Igor the Terrible”).

            In war against Ukraine, he he started in Crimea and continued into Donbass.

            So much for idealist like Che

          • xIRONFISTx

            The Americans and the “Polish-Hungarian Nazi’s” are trying to “exterminate” the ethnic Russian minority in Ukraine?

            SHOCKING REVELATION! Clearly you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol when you posted this colossal load of trash.

            Granted, you are definitely a paid Russian troll working from St. Petersburg and earning a pathetic living by telling lies on the internet in support of a kleptocratic dictatorship. But if you expect anyone to take you seriously you’ll have to stop quoting nonsense straight from the Kremlin’s Ministry of Propaganda. I mean, it’s not even believable at all. It’s just hilarious. I actually laughed out loud when I read that stupid comment you wrote. LOL

      • xIRONFISTx

        Strelkov is the exact opposite of a hero. He is a Kremlin stooge who was an a key figure in Putin’s successful plan to initiate a war of territorial expansion against an independent and peaceful neighbouring country.

        And let’s be absolutely clear, Strelkov’s aggression had nothing to do with any fear of enslavement. If anything, it is Putin who wants to enslave the Ukrainian nation, because after all, he doesn’t even recognise the existence of the Ukrainian nationality as being legitimate. By his own admission, Putin sees the Ukrainian people as being one and the same as the Russian people.

    • Sinbad2

      Strelkov is a hero, a Che Guevara, fighting for his people against those who would enslave his people.

      • What “his people” ?

        He is FSB (former KGB ) colonel from Moscow, who lives in Moscow.

        According to his own interview proudly given to friendly right-wing Russian newspaper – with his special forces Russian unit they crossed border from Russia , captured government buildings in Ukraine and started this war .

        Before Donbass, they did the same in Crimea – successfully.
        In Donbass it didn’t work, because they meet resistance

        After Ukrainian volunteers kicked him and his unit from Sloviansk – he now got back to Moscow and traveling Russia giving interviews and recruiting more people to send them fight and die in Ukraine.

        So, what exactly heroic about this man?
        He is typical mercenary who goes fight for money to other countries – not to defend his own country.

        • Sinbad2

          Che was an Argentinian, it didn’t stop him from trying to free the Cuban people from American oppression.
          Most of Ukraine is in fact Russia. Small parts in the west are Hungarian and Polish, they are the Nazis the US is using to exterminate the Russian people.

          • Except few differences between Che and Strelkov :

            Che was young idealist sacrificing his life for his ideals fighting against oppression of dictators – not selling them for money as Strelkov always did.

            Strelkov ( real name is Girkin) – old secret service (FSB/KGB) colonel, cold blooded killer, who was professionally fighting for money in Chechnya, Transnistria, in Bosnia in which thousands of civilians were killed .

            His pseudonym “Strelkov” (“Strelok”) can be roughly translated as “Rifleman” or “Shooter”. He has also been dubbed Igor Grozny (“Igor the Terrible”).

            In war against Ukraine, he he started in Crimea and continued into Donbass.

            So much for idealist like Che

          • xIRONFISTx

            The Americans and the “Polish-Hungarian Nazi’s” are trying to “exterminate” the ethnic Russian minority in Ukraine?

            SHOCKING REVELATION! Clearly you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol when you posted this colossal load of trash.

            Granted, you are definitely a paid Russian troll working from St. Petersburg and earning a pathetic living by telling lies on the internet in support of a kleptocratic dictatorship. But if you expect anyone to take you seriously you’ll have to stop quoting nonsense straight from the Kremlin’s Ministry of Propaganda. I mean, it’s not even believable at all. It’s just hilarious. I actually laughed out loud when I read that stupid comment you wrote. LOL

      • xIRONFISTx

        Strelkov is the exact opposite of a hero. He is a Kremlin stooge who was an a key figure in Putin’s successful plan to initiate a war of territorial expansion against an independent and peaceful neighbouring country.

        And let’s be absolutely clear, Strelkov’s aggression had nothing to do with any fear of enslavement. If anything, it is Putin who wants to enslave the Ukrainian nation, because after all, he doesn’t even recognise the existence of the Ukrainian nationality as being legitimate. By his own admission, Putin sees the Ukrainian people as being one and the same as the Russian people.

    • “Some of what you see or read on Russia Insider may appear to be propaganda,”

      No, it doesn’t just “appear” to be propaganda,. It is actually propaganda.

      It is putin’s mafia government financed propaganda to distort the truth and cover for their war against Ukraine.

      A a matter of fact – despite its name “Russia Insider” which suggest it will give people around the world more information about what’s going on inside Russia – most articles are about problem – real or imagined – in Ukraine, Europe and US.

      This is very old propaganda trick from Soviet times: When people in Russia started to complain about terrible living conditions – official propaganda answer always been
      “But in America they lynching Negroes”

      Same “Russia Insider” concentrating on lies about Russian war against Ukraine, and processes in EU and US – to make oppressed Russian people feel better – convincing line goes like that : “if even Western democracies are not perfect – there is no point for us to fight for freedom in Russia”

      Hope as Russian with rich experience of dealing with Russian propaganda , I explained how it works.

      So keep it in mind when you read their materials

      • xIRONFISTx

        ^^ Absolutely spot on assessment. ^^

        ‘Russia Insider’ is just another fake outlet for supporting the barbaric actions Putin’s kleptocratic tyranny. We’re essentially watching Russia devolve into a state which looks a bit more like Hitler’s Third Reich with each passing day. The Russian people deserve a better government and a better future. The entire world deserves better too. The armed conflicts in Ukraine, Georgia, Chechnya, as well as the intense information war being waged throughout the Baltics, the Balkan states, America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, have all shown us that Putin is causing very serious problems well beyond his own borders. Putin and his government have made decisions which are directly responsible for the deaths of thousands of innocent people both inside and outside of Russian territory. And for what…? Just to maintain his unbreakable grip of power over the Russian people.

        Disgusting.

        • Игopь Кoндpaшoв

          I agree

    • “Some of what you see or read on Russia Insider may appear to be propaganda,”

      No, it doesn’t just “appear” to be propaganda,. It is actually propaganda.

      It is putin’s mafia government financed propaganda to distort the truth and cover for their war against Ukraine.

      A a matter of fact – despite its name “Russia Insider” which suggest it will give people around the world more information about what’s going on inside Russia – most articles are about problem – real or imagined – in Ukraine, Europe and US.

      This is very old propaganda trick from Soviet times: When people in Russia started to complain about terrible living conditions – official propaganda answer always been
      “But in America they lynching Negroes”

      Same “Russia Insider” concentrating on lies about Russian war against Ukraine, and processes in EU and US – to make oppressed Russian people feel better – convincing line goes like that : “if even Western democracies are not perfect – there is no point for us to fight for freedom in Russia”

      Hope as Russian with rich experience of dealing with Russian propaganda , I explained how it works.

      So keep it in mind when you read their materials

      • xIRONFISTx

        ^^ Absolutely spot on assessment. ^^

        ‘Russia Insider’ is just another fake outlet for supporting the barbaric actions Putin’s kleptocratic tyranny. We’re essentially watching Russia devolve into a state which looks a bit more like Hitler’s Third Reich with each passing day. The Russian people deserve a better government and a better future. The entire world deserves better too. The armed conflicts in Ukraine, Georgia, Chechnya, as well as the intense information war being waged throughout the Baltics, the Balkan states, America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, have all shown us that Putin is causing very serious problems well beyond his own borders. Putin and his government have made decisions which are directly responsible for the deaths of thousands of innocent people both inside and outside of Russian territory. And for what…? Just to maintain his unbreakable grip of power over the Russian people.

        Disgusting.

        • Игopь Кoндpaшoв

          I agree

    • Just curious: why “Russia Insider” not concentrating on targeting Russian government owned and controlled Russia’s Mainstream Media inside of Russia?

      Instead they choose to fight from Russia.against Western media.

      Doesn’t strike you as odd ?

      • xIRONFISTx

        That’s exactly how the Kremlin likes it. The single most important rule within the Kremlin-controlled media outlets is to never criticise or report negatively on Russia or Putin and his government. This rule is glaringly obvious when looking at major sources like RT or Sputnik News (newly rebranded RIAN). They *NEVER* report stories that criticise Putin, his government, or Russian society. They claim that this is because they are “offering an alternative view to ‘biased’ Western media,” but that’s nothing but a flimsy lie. The Kremlin promises not to interfere with the media as long as they ensure that all of their efforts are directed at maintaining the Kremlin’s anti-Western lies and to convince the Russian people that everyone in the West is either an uncivilised, bloodthirsty racist or a child molesting homosexual. If we pretended to believe that Kremlin media was an actual source of honest journalism, instead of being spiteful propaganda, we be given the impression that absolutely nothing bad ever happens in Russian society. But we all know that’s not even slightly true.

        Sadly, this shameful trickery actually works in part because only about 8% of Russians have been outside of Russian borders, so the population is likely to be fooled more easily than societies which have more first-hand experience with foreign cultures.

        • Игopь Кoндpaшoв

          Yep. That’s how they doing: brainwashing own people and spreading propaganda abroad.

          Isn’t that what German Nazis used to do?

      • xIRONFISTx

        That’s exactly how the Kremlin likes it. The single most important rule within the Kremlin-controlled media outlets is to never criticise or report negatively on Russia or Putin and his government. This rule is glaringly obvious when looking at major sources like RT or Sputnik News (newly rebranded RIAN). They *NEVER* report stories that criticise Putin, his government, or Russian society. They claim that this is because they are “offering an alternative view to ‘biased’ Western media,” but that’s nothing but a flimsy lie. The Kremlin promises not to interfere with the media as long as they ensure that all of their efforts are directed at maintaining the Kremlin’s anti-Western lies and to convince the Russian people that everyone in the West is either an uncivilised, bloodthirsty racist or a child molesting homosexual. If we pretended to believe that Kremlin media was an actual source of honest journalism, instead of being spiteful propaganda, we be given the impression that absolutely nothing bad ever happens in Russian society. But we all know that’s not even slightly true.

        Sadly, this shameful trickery actually works in part because only about 8% of Russians have been outside of Russian borders, so the population is likely to be fooled more easily than societies which have more first-hand experience with foreign cultures.

        • Игopь Кoндpaшoв

          Yep. That’s how they doing: brainwashing own people and spreading propaganda abroad.

          Isn’t that what German Nazis used to do?

    • Sinbad2

      Yep the Russians have the Yanks on the ropes and it’s only a matter of time before the US either throws in the towel, or goes out in a blaze of radioactive glory.
      And about time, the world has had enough of the American empire of death and destruction.

    • Sinbad2

      Yep the Russians have the Yanks on the ropes and it’s only a matter of time before the US either throws in the towel, or goes out in a blaze of radioactive glory.
      And about time, the world has had enough of the American empire of death and destruction.

    • Russia Insider and RT.com are a breath of fresh air in a sea of swill from the West.

    • Tijen Yasar

      As a Turk, I recently tried to leave peaceful comments to this site and they immediately delete it! They only listen Russians not foreigners. Stay the hell of this disgusting, ONE SIDED, propaganda site. Yes it is a biased website and they are doing propaganda! I feel disgusted…

    • голос со стороны параши

      I trust everything I see on TV and the media. Our media is fair, unbiased and tells the truth. Everyone who says anything positive about Russia is a Kremlin operative. Putin eats babies and Russians are evil. They’re all evil, and yet they’re poor and oppressed and are begging us to bring them democracy. In order to prevent Russia from invading us all, we must declare war on Russia now. Every day I pray that my glorious masters at BP, Halliburton, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Booz Allen Hamilton, AT&T et. al. can save me from the Russian menace.

      Sincerely, a scared yet well informed American thanks to our trustworthy and honest MSM.

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