Sergey Parkhomenko is a Russian journalist, publisher, and founder of several projects aimed at developing civic activism and promoting liberal values in Russia. He founded and was first editor-in-chief (1995-2001) of Itogi (Results), Russia's first current affairs weekly, published in cooperation with Newsweek; was editor-in-chief  of several publishing houses producing translated fiction and  non-fiction literature; and was editor-in-chief of Vokrug Sveta (Around the World), Russia's oldest  monthly magazine. Since August 2003, Parkhomenko has been presenting Sut' Sobytyi (Crux of the Matter) on Radio Echo of Moscow, a weekly program making sense of the events of the past week. Parkhomenko was instrumental in organizing mass rallies in Moscow through the winter and spring of 2011-12. He organized the Vse v sud! (Go to court!), a civic campaign helping people to file lawsuits against widespread election rigging. He was also one of the founders of Dissernet (DissertationWeb), a network community dedicated to exposure of dissertation plagiarism, and Posledny Adres (Last Address), a civil campaign dedicated to creating a collective memorial to the victims of political repression in the Soviet Union and Russia. Parkhomenko was one of the founders of 'Redkollegia' program, an independent award supporting free professional journalism in Russia. He served as a Visiting Scholar at the Europe Center of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University from March - June 2017, and as a Public Policy fellow at the Wilson Center's Kennan Institute from September 2016 - February 2017.

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George F. Kennan Fellow, Kennan Institute: "Creating an Independent Media Platform" - Designing an independent online media platform is an important topic for Russia and other post-Soviet countries, where many "citizen journalism" projects are being actively developed. These initiatives are crucial for protecting the freedom of speech. Russian journalists and general public interested in free exchange of information and opinion are in desperate need of organizational, technological and managerial solutions that would provide for an effective defense against government pressure and outright censorship. There is a great need for truly innovative, thought-through, technologically advanced ways of designing new generation media — those that would reliably protect the free exchange of information and opinions online. It seems that the most effective method of ensuring the freedom of speech is the introduction of collective, "distributed" information projects. Such projects can be best organized through the establishment of volunteer communities — groups of civil society activists that work together to develop and maintain information resources.