Media regulation

Death of the rude Russian Exile

No one has tried this in China

The Exile is, or rather was a sarcastic, funny and sometimes obscene English newspaper and website, published in Moscow. Frequent references to hookers and extremely crass mockery of Russian politicians were a constant feature.

Until yesterday, when government agents walked into the publication's Moscow offices.

Mark Ames, founder of he paper is writing for Radar magazine's website about the "audit" and closure of the Exile by government agents. Excerpt:

Thursday morning, Moscow time, four Russian government officials came to the office of my English-language newspaper, the Exile, and conducted an "unplanned audit" of our editorial content. They are carrying out an inspection of my paper's articles to see, in their words, if we have committed "violations." And they specifically asked to question me, since I'm officially listed as the founding editor-in-chief.

I started up the Exile 11 years ago with a Russian publisher, and it grew into a kind of cult phenomenon, with an online readership of 200,000 visitors per month, launching the careers of Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi and the "War Nerd," Gary Brecher, but ensuring that anyone who sticks with the paper is condemned to a life of poverty and paranoia.


As far as your correspondent knows, no foreigner has ever tried to publish anything like The Exile in China. The closest thing I have seen is the rather inward-looking and music obsessed Eight Inches of Arsehole, a photocopied zine that was distributed in bars in Beijing and amongst the expatriate hipster musician types and people with strong thoughts about Beijing expatriate magazines.

But it was photocopied, anonymous, and had no advertising or pretense of being commercial media. And they never touched politics.

• Thanks to Shanghai Eye for the tip off.
• I have only seen the one issue of Eight Inches pictured here, and do not know precisely who produced it; corrections to the above are welcome.

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There are currently 3 Comments for Death of the rude Russian Exile.

Comments on Death of the rude Russian Exile

From the 8 Inches picture: "Ross Goulding: Cover star"

That's the same name as the nightlife editor of Beijing's Time Out. He's also a bit of a music obsessive but doesn't look much like those guys on the cover. Mind you, I've never seen him in Gestapo uniform.

If he was involved with the magazine it might be making a return - Time Out's been banned for the Olympics, after all.

Did the exile get banned or did it just get audited?

we been there done that.


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