Helsinki, Finland (PRWEB) August 24, 2014
Freedomhouse.org, The Guardian and other news outlets have reported that Russian state action has recently reduced the abilities of independent media to operate freely in the Russian Federation. News mediums have been shut down or transferred to the control of elements close to the government. At the same time, access to publicity has been severely limited for elements critical of the Putin administration. Several reporters have left the country, and some of those who have stayed have been intimidated or assaulted.
A group defending the right of free speech, active in Finland and abroad, has set up a page called REAKTSIYA - REACTION 'Unbiased News Source to Russians' on the American crowdfunding site Kickstarter, on which they are raising $500,000 in funding for establishing a Russian language news portal. In addition to the Internet, news and discussions of the portal would be broadcasted through the Astra 4A satellite as well.
The group has also approached the Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority about the possibility of obtaining a license for an analog AM radio frequency, as well as potentially also using the digital DRM standard. If a short-term license is granted for AM operations, the intention of the group is to start broadcasting on a 558 kHz frequency and with 100 kW power output as soon as possible, though no later than in early 2015.
The AM licensing round will commence in the Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority with the inception of the Information Society Code on January 1, 2015, at which time the group can apply for a longer license.
The coverage area of the AM broadcast will reach at least St. Petersburg, but in good radio weather, especially at night, the broadcast can be heard as far as Moscow and Minsk. More than 20 million Russian speakers live in this area.
The satellite broadcast will cover all of Western Russia, the Baltic, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia and Kazakhstan, as well as other Russian speaking areas, in which a total of 200 million Russian speakers live. No license is required for satellite broadcasts.
Portal reporters will be selected from proven defenders of free speech. The spokesperson for the group is Timo Uusi-Kerttula, the founder of the only commercial talk radio station in Finland.
The Kickstarter page of the project can be found in the following address: http://kck.st/Vzs13e.
Freedomhouse.org Russia report http://www.freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-press/2014/russia
The Guardian story 1. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/10/freedom-russian-press-scrutiny
The Guardian story 2. http://www.theguardian.com/media/greenslade/2012/mar/11/journalist-safety-vladimir-putin