Russian news outlet Meduza is launching an NFT auction to raise funds for its independent journalism.
Organised by two Russian crypto-art communities, NFT Bastards and Non-Fungible Females, the auction will sell exclusive single-copy video artworks, and multiple copies of larger digital pieces, many inspired by the outlet’s namesake Greek goddess.
Meduza was labeled a “foreign agent” by the Kremlin in April 2021, under laws that Reporters Without Borders condemned as “[existing] solely to enable the government to tighten its grip on the press.” Reporters for the group had also been attacked by police while covering opposition demonstrations earlier in the year, alongside other independent journalists.
Russia’s “foreign agent” legislation was introduced in 2012 and requires groups “engaged in political activity” while receiving money from abroad to submit to increased governmental scrutiny. Organisations must also actively declare themselves as “foreign agents” to their readers, a label which has pushed away many of Meduza’s advertisers.