I'm Alexey Kovalev, an investigative reporter from Russia. I'm here to answer your questions about being a journalist in Russia, election meddling, troll farms, and other fun stuff.
My name is Alexey Kovalev, I've worked as a reporter for 16 years now. I started as a novice reporter in a local daily and a decade later I was running one of the most popular news websites in Russia as a senior editor at a major news agency. Now I work for an upstart non-profit newsroom http://www.codastory.com as the managing editor of their Russian-language website http://www.codaru.com and contribute reports and op-eds as a freelancer to a variety of national Russian and international news outlets.
I also founded a website called The Noodle Remover ('to hang noodles on someone's ears' means to lie, to BS someone in Russian) where I debunk false narratives in Russian news media and run epic crowdsourced, crowdfunded investigations about corruption in Russia and other similar subjects. Here's a story about it: https://globalvoices.org/2015/11/03/one-mans-revenge-against-russian-propaganda/.
Ask me questions about press freedom in Russia (ranked 148 out of 180 by Reporters Without Borders https://rsf.org/en/ranking), what it's like working as a journalist there (it's bad, but not quite as bad as Turkey and some other places and I don't expect to be chopped up in pieces whenever I'm visiting a Russian embassy abroad), why Pravda isn't a "leading Russian newspaper" (it's not a newspaper and by no means 'leading') and generally about how Russia works.
Fun fact: I was fired by Vladimir Putin's executive order (okay, not just I: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-25309139). I've also just returned from a 9 weeks trip around the United States where I visited various American newsrooms as part of a fellowship for international media professionals, so I can talk about my impressions of the U.S. as well.
Here are a few links to my stories in English:
How Russian state media suppress coverage of protest rallies: https://themoscowtimes.com/articles/hear-no-evil-see-no-evil-report-no-evil-57550
I found an entire propaganda empire run by Moscow's city hall: https://themoscowtimes.com/articles/the-city-of-moscow-has-its-own-propaganda-empire-58005
And other articles for The Moscow Times: https://themoscowtimes.com/authors/2003
About voter suppression & mobilization via social media in Russia, for Wired UK: https://www.wired.co.uk/article/russian-presidential-election-2018-vladimir-putin-propaganda
How Russia shot itself in the foot trying to ban a popular messenger: for Washington Post https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/democracy-post/wp/2018/04/19/the-russian-government-just-managed-to-hack-itself/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.241e86b1ce83 and Coda Story: https://codastory.com/disinformation-crisis/information-war/why-did-russia-just-attack-its-own-internet
I helped The Guardian's Marc Bennetts expose a truly ridiculous propaganda fail on Russian state media: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/08/high-steaks-the-vladimir-putin-birthday-burger-that-never-existed
I also wrote for The Guardian about Putin's tight grip on the media: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/mar/24/putin-russia-media-state-government-control
And I also wrote for the New York Times about police brutality and torture that marred the polished image of the 2018 World Cup: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/20/opinion/world-cup-russia-torture-putin.html
This AMA is part of r/IAmA’s “Spotlight on Journalism” project which aims to shine a light on the state of journalism and press freedom in 2018. Come back for new AMAs every day in October.