OLD Media Moves

Why an ex-Bloomberg reporter started The Defiant

May 12, 2021

Posted by Chris Roush

Camila Russo

Former Bloomberg News reporter Camila Russo spoke with The Business of Business about why she started The Defiant, which covers decentralized finance.

Here is an excerpt:

You started the site in 2019, and it seems that you have expanded very quickly into all these different mediums. It’s not just the newsletter, but there’s the site, you have video, and now you’re launching this new side of the business. So how important was it to you to get to all of those things very quickly? 

It’s a bit of an overwhelming undertaking, to be honest. I don’t know why I do this to myself. It felt very gradual. But then when you look back, it was like, “Oh my God.” All of a sudden I have all this stuff.

But it started as a newsletter, and then I wanted to do like a weekly interview. I was doing the interviews and recording them, and I was like, “You know, this should be easy enough to turn into a podcast, and I can reach a wider audience.” There’s so much that gets lost from an in depth interview when it’s in writing. Sometimes, you want to hear the person say those quotes. So I thought it was necessary to have a podcast of these interviews that I was doing. So that kind of naturally evolved into the podcast.

The YouTube channel came about because Robin Schmidt, who now is my head of video — he is just an extremely talented video producer — had interviewed me for a documentary he had done before. He was working at a blockchain project called Harmony, and they wanted to reach the DeFi audience. So he offered to do a sponsored content deal where he would produce content for The Defiant’s YouTube channel in exchange for placing the Harmony logo there. So I thought that was pretty sweet. We started the YouTube channel that way. So he was producing all of The Defiant’s YouTube content part-time. So that’s how the YouTube channel started. And then the website just came from having all these separate platforms — the newsletter, the podcasts, the YouTube channel — and I wanted them all to be in like one place.

That’s when I saw that The Defiant was becoming a media company with all these different media properties. I decided that it needed a home, so I made the website. I just had so much content. But the newsletter was becoming unwieldy. It was hard to read. So I decided it would be nice to have a website where some of these articles could live. That’s kind of how each piece unfolded.

Read more here.

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