Viktor Samusenko single-handedly makes the most popular telegram channel in Siberia in Krasnoyarsk
Regional telegram channels are, as a rule, something very small, with a couple of thousand subscribers - at best, which publish leaks, compromising evidence and unverified news - for the sake of reprints in the media. Krasnoyarsk "Borus" stands out against their background, the telegram channel of Viktor Samusenko, the last romantic of journalism, who believes that news should be truthful and timely, and one can create one's own media alone.
Victor, by the way you took on the Borus telegram channel, you can feel that you have a journalistic background. Tell me, what did you do before you became the head of Telegram beyond the Urals?
— I started with TV. At the age of 17, he came to Channel 7 - this is the network partner of REN-TV in Krasnoyarsk. Then, after the army, I was called as a correspondent to the new ORTV channel. The owner of this channel bought the brand and archive of the closed Afontovo TV channel and restarted it. And there my wings had already begun to grow, it became a bit crowded for me, and I went to the regional TV channel "Yenisei" already as a news director. Then he also worked as a producer for Lifenews and "360" in Krasnoyarsk.

And three years ago I ended up in the Krasnoyarsk Internet publication Prospekt Mira, where I realized that television is a dying genre. Nobody cares about television. In order for someone to somehow appreciate your work, you need to turn on the computer and write in social networks: "Guys! Look! I shot a story here!" Because all your peers, the millennials, don't give a shit what's on TV. You can spend two weeks poring over some kind of special report, minidoc, and nobody fucking needs it. Because everyone on YouTube has been around for a long time. I got high from the Internet and in the end I didn't understand why I had been doing television for so many years.
Now do you understand it?
- They come to television for three reasons in general - they are located like in Maslow's pyramid. The lowest, most popular reason is to become a star. The second is to prove something to someone - this is my case. And at the top of the pyramid is the most unpopular reason: to change something in the world. There are people like Ivan Golunov - when you read his texts, you understand that these are high-level romantics who really dream that everything in our country would be cool. I want to be equal to those. Although, by and large, a journalist has a simple task: to find and tell interesting stories. Everything.
- Well, you worked for Lifenews, for 360, for the regional TV channel. What could be changed there?
- I went to the state TV channel "Yenisei", because I wanted to produce, determine the layout. True, "Yenisei" turned out to be a slightly different story - there issues sometimes consist of technical specifications - and you don't really work out there with creativity. Well, the agenda was such that a little step aside - they start calling you from the regional administration, asking: "Are you crazy? What is Pussy Riot to you? Any other news?" I begin to explain: Tolokonnikova is released from prison there, there are 16 TV cameras at the gate: Reuters, Russia Today - but we won't be there? And I still get pissed off just for doing a normal job.

Lifenews was very difficult. I did not participate in the creation of any political topics, we were given the task of looking for local, cool stories. It was pretty stressful work. Because he only came home to sleep, and the rest of the time he was looking for topics. On the day when I was already leaving Life, I handed in the last material - from the zoo. And my then boss Raul Smyr wrote to me: "The bear sucks its paw - this is your level." This is what really hit me! Now I understand that I have to thank Raul for the fact that again I wanted to prove something to someone. I hope it works.

A journalist has a simple task: to find and tell interesting stories. Everything
Work on TV gave you a lot?
- Of course. Methods of obtaining information, working with it. Well, the sources. When you are constantly looking for stories, people remember it - you meet them and ask: "What is interesting for you? Is there any story for the news??" On the one hand, you look like a paranoid, on the other hand, personal contacts work best.

Today, it is difficult for graduates of journalism departments to speak with their mouths on the phone - this is an atrophy of their professional skills. If you can't make phone calls, don't make journalism your profession! You will be hard. Because sometimes you have to call some politician, official and say: "Dude, you crap - comment." It's complicated. You have to get over yourself.

As for the sources, here you are walking with a neighbor with dogs, and he, for example, serves in the law enforcement agency. Slowly, little by little, you begin to discuss something with him, reach the level of "recruitment", then develop your "intelligence network" of people who, out of the kindness of their hearts or for money, sell you information that you really need. The more you get to know people, the better you can get information.

And if you try very, very hard, you can build the information agenda yourself - not rewrite press releases, but engage in journalism of facts. Today is Monday, a boring, empty day - but this does not mean that you have to sit and rewrite: "A car caught fire on the Left Bank", "Bionord" pour - the townspeople complain." Because everyone will write about it! When the channel "360", where I worked recently, closed the regional bureaus, I realized that one could be a news agency. After all, it turns out to get exclusives! For 12-13 years in the profession, a good base of contacts has been developed, there are people everywhere.

And I decided to try.
- And why did you - a TV man - go to Telegram, and not to YouTube?
- YouTube is entertaining, it's not news - that's all. Dud is great - but no one turns on YouTube to see what happened in the world today. And the message in the telegram, the news - here it is, on the palm of your hand, no wider than the screen of a mobile phone. But I didn't stop working with text, photos, or videos. This is convenient — when you have the skill to quickly mount a video, apply a logo, glue it, pour it into the channel.

But you need to understand that the old TV set is dead - you can't just put the presenter in the studio and hope that the audience will come to watch. We millennials have already seen Vasily Strelnikov and Tutta Larsen on MTV at one time - and the repetition of this format is unlikely - so that it was watchable, cool, relevant.

When Kiselyov and Solovyov appeared on TV in their current format, social networks like MDK appeared, which did the same thing - but with a reverse vector. They occupied a very important niche - the Internet became a platform where one could write about what was happening: "This is the bottom." First, Solovyov and Kiselyov were persecuted - they say, they disgraced the profession, and then it became clear that you can express your position on the Internet, and what for Kiselyov and Solovyov and their television are needed! We were taught according to the same canons that a journalist can only operate with facts, then Kiselyov appeared, and then it became possible to mock the jambs of power in social networks - and even more effectively than on TV. In some absurd sense, one can say thanks to Solovyov and Kiselyov for being here today.
Did your telegram channel start quickly?
- Literally on the very first day of work, the first news of the Borus telegram channel was a comment by the head of the district from Khakassia, who beat the correspondent of the Rossiya 1 channel. I just got hold of his phone and called him at 9 in the morning - the journalists had not yet had time to attack him, and he emotionally, in a village way, said to me: "Here, provocateurs! They set me up!" And I have 20 subscribers in the channel - my friends, basically.

I found the contacts of Sergei Smirnov from Mediazona, tagged him, then a colleague from RBC, Dmitry Blinnikov from Krasnoyarsk, and they really took my comment. On the very first day of Borus' work, I saw news with an active link to my telegram channel on RBC, Mediazone, Varlamov's. Subscribers began to grow, citation appeared.

Falling asleep on the first day of work, I knew for sure that everything is possible, that no luck is needed - you just need to work, get exclusives and go either on your own topics, or give exclusive twists on those topics that someone already has. When there were explosions in Kamenka, I immediately rushed to Achinsk and started unsubscribing from there - editors of everything that was possible began to subscribe to me in the telegram: from the Zvezda and Mir TV channels to the editor of some Polish news. Meduza began to list Borus as a reliable source. And the channel was only a couple of months old.
Falling asleep on the first day of work, I knew for sure that everything is possible, that no luck is needed - you just need to work, get exclusives and go on your topics
You say that no one watches TV, but at the same time you have sources, people who tell you stories so that you tell them further. What motivation do they have other than getting on TV?
- The work of a journalist is generally building bridges. When you are a news reporter, you are, of course, primarily interested in operational services: the police, the Ministry of Emergency Situations, the investigative committee, the prosecutor's office, the FSB. And when you set a goal, for example: "I need a person in the environmental prosecutor's office" - and not by washing, but by skating, you make a path for yourself - and suddenly you find that on the other side, the cleanliness of this path is being maintained! Because over time, they begin to trust you humanly.

Do not hand over your sources - this is a really unshakable rule of a good journal. I was once summoned three times to the regional Investigative Committee for interrogations with one single purpose: they demanded that I hand over the source of the photo, which depicted an unflattering inscription on the wall of the regional Investigative Committee about the then committee head. Naturally, he didn't.

But there are areas that are not related to state secrets - in education, in healthcare. When you have a little man in every university, every clinic, who just see what is happening from the outside, he starts to highlight you. Not because he is bad, a snitch and in general - but because he sees how a crime is happening or an attempt to commit it, some kind of ordinary life injustice, and understands that there is an opportunity to prevent this - call Samusenko.
- How did your relationship with the press services change when you switched to the dark side of Telegram - you don't have the status of a journalist now?
- I was invited here recently to a concert in honor of the day of the police - they wrote "Blogger" on the envelope. Sometimes you don't know how to treat yourself: from the point of view of activity, you write news, take comments, but according to the law, I really do blogging. Yes, at first it was hard - everywhere they said: "We do not cooperate with telegram channels." But we managed to agree with most of the press services. How? You post an exclusive that directly relates to their activities, local media pay attention to your news story - rewriting your news, they call a specific press service for a comment. In commercial structures, when you call for a comment, you are sometimes asked: "What is your vested interest?" What? I am a journalist, I am looking for information!

But in general, when you have sources and acquaintances in Krasnoyarsk and the region, you do not always need press services. You yourself understand what's what and what to give in telegrams. And what, for example, is not worth it. In order not to disrupt the same ORM operas - the detention of some crooks or something like that. Everyone has their own job, and no one needs to interfere with her work.
Are you a unique journalist for Krasnoyarsk? Do you have many non-anonymous telegram channels in your city?
- As far as I understand, of those stubborn people who make news channels alone, there are only two of us: Borus and Strelka.
There are anonymous telegram channels - drain tanks, there are - associated with the name of a particular person, like yours, where, it seems, you are responsible for the accuracy of the information with your face. How promising is this format? Is he trusted in the region?
- When the editorial office does something and does not want to show the face of a journalist, because they are afraid that they can break his head for the material, they may not put his signature. They just write: "Editorial" instead of a specific author. And here you can't go anywhere. You sometimes publish something - and you understand: "Aaaaa! Now the farts will explode!" And this is quite nervous bullshit, when there is simply no one to support you, cheer you up, as if it were in the editorial office. Yes, and I had no dream of creating a news agency named after myself, I want to get an editorial office - but this requires investments. And you can't borrow money from everyone.

Now my number of subscribers is striving for 20 thousand - this, of course, is not serious against the background of all kinds of guards there, but there is no desire to artificially pump up the channel, buy bots - because it is unsportsmanlike. It's like "god mode" in a shooter - well, in 5 minutes I shot everyone - and then it's no longer interesting.

Moreover, after all, you can see every subscriber in the channel, so I know that the mayor of the city, deputies of the State Duma, heads of the largest enterprises in the region read me. Some well-known person has publicly said many times that they hate journalists and their activities - and then you see that he has subscribed to you. Here it is - a credit of trust! So now you present your readers not as a bunch of hipsters, but as a bunch of hipsters - and ten mayors, ten deputies, ten millionaires. And you try to make content with an eye on the audience. But in fact, I have a simple approach to choosing topics: if I'm interested, it means my subscribers are interested. And do not care who has how much money or power there. When you are free - you are a punk from the profession, you can do whatever you want.
Were there calls demanding "Remove from the Internet"?
- Not yet. But those who can call know who Samusenko is and that he will not delete it. Deleting news is generally the last thing you can do. If you crap - give a rebuttal. Be honest with yourself, with readers, and with newsmakers. But, of course, in life you can stumble upon some fools who set themselves the goal of finding and burying you for not deleting you. But somehow I try to use diplomacy, to keep the answer - I'm from a simple district, from Zheleznodorozhny.
How purely technically do you work with the channel?
- The news lives for 5 minutes: two minutes are written, you need another three minutes to edit the video and bang your die. When you know how to write quickly, you don't miss important lightnings, you don't miss important turns: some kind of fierce crap happened - you gave a lightning bolt, called quickly, clarified - gave development. I always have a laptop and phone with me in my backpack. If an emergency happens - you need to fall into a place where there is Internet, or distribute it from your mobile phone and start unsubscribing news. Unfortunately, I don't have a regularity yet - and the news itself is an irregular thing. I constantly monitor the tapes - what else is left for me? Well, what's nice, I constantly get some messages, calls: "Did you hear what happened?"
The story, thanks to which your channel instantly became famous, is the schoolboy Prokhor, who made his hair like Ibrahimovic's, and teachers began to spread rot on him. How did you discover it?
- Listen, with Prokhor it happened by accident. The very situation when you are constantly looking for stories - and the story finds you by itself. It so happened that Prokhor's mother was a colleague of my mother, and she told me at work: her son was being bullied for his hair. It turned out that the school's deputy director did "educational work" - she brought some printouts from the Internet about homosexuality, the Hitler Youth, and so on - to prove to a 10-year-old boy that you can't wear a haircut with shaved temples and a ponytail. When I came to the principal of the school, talked with these "teachers" - I don't want to call them otherwise - my hands were shaking - I did not expect such a level of hopelessness and cavernousness. They explained to me in all seriousness that the hairstyle of a 10-year-old guy is the Hitler Youth and homosexuality. I then set a goal for myself that I would do my best. And it's cool that the story went so far.
Do you have a sense of responsibility towards the heroes of your publications? The comment the chief of staff gave you could have affected his career. Prokhor with Ibragimovich's hair - at some point I myself began to fear that the kid would now be dragged wherever possible - and not only his studies, but also his football career would be covered.
- Prokhor got into a fairy tale. I was also worried, as if the kid's fate was not spoiled. Everything will be fine with him - he was at a football match of the Russian national team, he was at press conferences, Dziuba patted his famous hairstyle, they sent him a box with a new uniform from Moscow. The question now is how he will continue to study at school. But Prokhor's mother and I are on a short footing, she tells me that everything is very good with his academic performance.

In general, of course, I feel a huge responsibility for each hero. Especially when your hero leaves forever. And when you work for a long time, this happens from time to time. You drink in the evening, review your materials about him. You are sad.
Deleting news is generally the last thing you can do. If you crap - give a rebuttal
Does Krasnoyarsk have its own, local patriotism? It blooms in Yekaterinburg, unnoticed in Novosibirsk ...
- I don't know how it is in Novosibirsk with this, but here, in the capital of Siberia, everything is fine with patriotism. This is a joke, of course - Siberians have nothing to share with each other. Once in a foreign land, we hold on to each other, because Siberians are a little smarter mentally than Europeans, it's cold here, we need to think faster, do better.

In general, I think that all these exclusives, stories, hype, citation are second things. The main thing is people and relationships between them. Because we live one life, and if at the end of your life you remain an incomprehensible fool who was investigating and investigating something, but at the same time he made a bunch of enemies and didn't make real friends, it's not very cool. When there are disputes about work in some editorial office - so it's straight up a war, I always say: "Guys, our exclusives are complete bullshit. Let's go to the bar, have a beer."

We have an editorial chat with representatives of various media - these are just friends and comrades who can help with content and lend money until payday. We are good in this sense.
Interview: Aleksandr Zhirov
Photo: Christina Kryzhanovskaya
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