This project's funding goal was not reached on September 17, 2014.
About this project
Our team wants to build a Russian language media portal, where unbiased news could be broadcasted without fear of the Russian government intervention. We have proven track record of broadcasting Russian related news from Finland and keeping the broadcasted information reliable. Currently we run the only commercial talk station in Finland, airing political and business content around the clock.
Media outlets in Russia are biased and mostly strictly under government control. New laws limiting freedom of expression and flow of information even further have been implemented in the course of 2014. Many radio and TV channels that have been broadcasting opposition voices, have been shut down or forcefully taken over by government-friendly institutions. There is a dire need to give voice to people who want Russia to be a truly free country.
Finnish government is enabling commercial broadcasters to apply for a high power AM transmitter license at 558 kHz frequency, located in Helsinki, Finland. This frequency can broadcast 100kW signal that gives huge coverage area within Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and Western Europe. Except for domestic radio receivers, almost all Russian car radios have AM receivers due to lack of FM stations in remote areas. Therefore blocking the Internet broadcasting cannot stop people from listening AM broadcast. Along with the AM, we will broadcast the 24/7 news and views feed to Astra 4A Satellite European Beam and on the internet at www.reaktsiya.com.
The Russia government-owned propaganda news agency Rossiya Segodnya is currently seeking to establish radio stations broadcasting i local languages at least in the capitals of US, UK, Germany and Finland. At the same time the number of local broadcasters that transmit Radio Liberty programs in Russian territory has dropped drastically due to Russian government interference. Thus broadcasting from outside Russian territory is necessary if one wants to reach broad audience within territory of Russian Federation. Helsinki is the EU capital close to major cities of Russia and an AM sender from Helsinki may reach close to 200 million Russian speakers, of which half located within territory of Russian federation, which again is two thirds of Russia's entire population.
Additionally, Finland ranks as number 1 in Press Freedom Index of Reporters without Borders.
The $500.000 is spent mostly on the hardware, like a mast radiator, digital DRM ready 100kW AM transmitter and studio equipment. Electricity for first year is a significant expense as is the satellite uplink and transmission costs. Salaries for the first year count a big part of the budget, but are not as much as the hardware.
We assume, that group of 20 journalists can easily produce enough news that could be broadcasted 24/7.
Day to day operations
The Reaktsiya network will be operated with advertising sales revenue and co-operation with NGO's and Global freedom of the speech related organizations. The network needs annual sales of $5 million to truly operate in professional and independent manner. To rech that goal, international sales team will be hired to do day to day sales.
Risks and challenges
The AM transmitter and antenna is the most expensive hardware that need to be purchased, so annual funding through donations and sponsorships is an absolute necessity for the project. Finding right journalists who are not afraid to speak out about Russia's current state of affairs is not difficult but some of them may be also vulnerable to possible Russian government reprisals if station gets enough coverage among Russia's listeners. Also station itself may fall victim of various direct and indirect attacks by Russian government and government-related individuals and institutions, which might at worst pose some risk of temporary broadcasting cutouts or cyber safety issues.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
We have not applied for the licence yet as we need to know that we can have enough working capital to operate the broadcasting station.
When we do apply for the licence, it is granted to applicants, who have the fulfilled these oblications according to the Finnish Information Society Code (effective on January 1st 2015).
The code says in Chapter 5, Section 36 that Any applicant 1) who has paid the application fee set out in Section 285 2) who is solvent and has the apparent ability to broadcast regularly according to the programming licence; and 3) for whom there is no justified reason to suspect the applicant of violating the provisions of this Act' The Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority shall grant a programming licence.
If there should be another applicant to the same frequency (558kHz), the applications are sent to the Finnish Government, who will decide the holder of the licence. The licencing period is ten (10) years.
In Russia the AM is still very strong as there are not so many FM broadcasters around. After all, it is a huge country. Satellite dish is attached to almost every house outside the metro areas. The Astra 4A European Ku-band Beam is also used by Russian government broadcasters, so everybody is aimed at the satellite.
And at last, the internet distribution is very vulnerable to Russian Government intervention, unlike AM and SAT.
The opponent is HUGE, but this is the only way to beat them at their own game.
- (30 days)