Karen Shainyan

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Karen Shainyan
Карен Шаинян
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Born (1981-01-01) January 1, 1981 (age 43)
Irkutsk, Russia
EducationMasters Degree in journalism
Alma mater
  • Russian State Medical University
  • Mississippi State University
  • Journalist
  • Producer
Years active2009-Present

Karen Shainyan (Russian: Карен Шаинян, born 07.01. 1981, Irkutsk, Russia). Russian journalist and producer.

Shainyan graduated from Russian State Medical University, majoring in biochemistry, and later completed a Masters Degree in journalism at Mississippi State University.

Shainyan's major writing focus areas have been science and entrepreneurship. In 2009-2011 he served as chief editor for the website ‘Zhivi!’ (Live!), in 2014-2016 — as chief editor of the online publication ‘Republic’. Shainyan was involved with the ‘Snob’ media. His work was published in Vokrug Sveta magazine and Radio Liberty web site. He anchored a TV-show on Dozhd called "Health Kitchen".

In 2016, together with Mikhail Zygar, he co-founded and headed the multimedia history project “1917. Free History”[1]. The project was a finalist of the Shorty Award[2] and won the Webby Award in 2019[3].

In 2017 Shainyan and Zygar founded the ‘Future history’ production studio that specializes in creating ‘infotainment’ style content for mobile devices. Shainyan was the CEO and producer of "Future history", he has been an executive producer of the documentary series "1968.digital"[4], digital edutainment projects "Mobile theatre", "Democracy Museum"[5] and "History Map"[6].

In November, 2019 Shainyan, among the few openly gay Russian journalists, participated in Kseniya Sobchak’s talk show: the episode was called "Coming Out, the Gay Lobby and Ban on Propaganda: Sobchak and the Six Gays". Shortly thereafter Shainyan launched his own YouTube channel "Straight Talk With Gay People",[7] where he posts interviews with prominent openly LGBT people. The interviews are being posted both in English[8] and in Russian[9]. Shayinyan describes the project: "What really makes us stand out from all the other online shows are these two things: our heroes are not local celebrities, they are well-known all over the world. They are writers, musicians, olympic athletes, designers, — the people that handcraft modern culture. And second, they are openly gay"[10].

By April 2020, among the guests of "Straight Talk With Gay People" have been Michael Cunningham, Odin Biron, Billy Porter[11], Garrard Conly, Masha Gessen, Anthony Roth Constantso, Martina Navratilova, Cynthia Nixon, Bruce Cohen.


Eyewitness 1917: The Russian Revolution through Eyewitness Accounts (together with Mikhail Zygar). 2018[12].


  1. "About. Project1917". project1917.com. Retrieved 2020-04-16.
  2. "1968.DIGITAL / Future History 1968 - The Shorty Awards". shortyawards.com. Retrieved 2020-04-17.
  3. "Future History 1968 / 1968.DIGITAL -- The Webby Awards". Retrieved 2020-04-16.
  4. "1968digital: The year that created world as we know it. Mobile documentary series". 1968.digital. Retrieved 2020-04-16.
  5. "Музей Рождения Демократии в Современной России". democracymuseum.ru (in русский). Retrieved 2020-04-17.
  6. "Карта истории". kartaistorii.ru. Retrieved 2020-04-17.
  7. "Karen Shainyan ENG". YouTube. Retrieved 2020-04-20.
  8. "Karen Shainyan ENG". YouTube. Retrieved 2020-04-16.
  9. "Открытый разговор с веселыми людьми".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. Назарова, Нина (2020-02-01). ""Музыка, секс и радость жизни": зачем в России запустили YouTube-шоу с гей-звездами". BBC News Русская служба (in русский). Retrieved 2020-04-16.
  11. ""Billy Porter appears on 'Straight Talk with Gay People' in his first interview for a Russian audience". meduza.io. Retrieved 2020-04-16.
  12. "Eyewitness 1917 by Mikhail Zygar, Karen Shainyan | Waterstones". www.waterstones.com. Retrieved 2020-04-16.

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