We have been deeply concerned by the detention of Evan Gerskovich, and we hope you have been too. From 8 a.m. today until 8 a.m. tomorrow, July 20, Gerschkovich’s colleagues from The Wall Street Journal as well as Press Club members from other media outlets, and family members, are reading from Gerskovich's work in The Wall Street Journal, Agence France-Presse and Moscow Times. Each reader will take a 15-minute slot.
I hope you will take a few minutes to listen to the reading here.
The read-a-thon began at the National Press Club’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., and will move on later to The Wall Street Journal’s London and Singapore bureaus. It is being streamed live on the club’s website, YouTube channel, and Twitter.
Those who want to show support for Gerschovich have been encouraged to share the livestream of the read-a-thon and to use the hashtag #IStandWithEvan.
Organizers want to show that Gerschkovich’s large body of work is a testimony to who he is and what he does — journalism. They also want to underscore just how long a day is. “Evan has been held 112 days. One day is too long. He must be released. We will call on Russia to release him immediately and without conditions,” the statement read.
From the Catholic News Agency:
Gerschkovich was arrested in March during a reporting trip in Russia and accused of espionage — the first time since the Cold War that an American journalist has been detained in Russia on such charges. The Wall Street Journal has denounced these charges and the U.S. government, as well as news organizations around the world, have called for Gerschkovich’s immediate release.
The National Press Club has hosted this kind of event before, such as in the case of the Washington Post’s Jason Rezaian, who was unjustly held in Iran for 544 days.
Across the globe, journalists are regularly arrested and detained for doing their job. According to the U.K.’s Press Gazette, the Committee to Protect Journalists reports that nearly 400 journalists have been detained worldwide, while Reporters Without Borders (RSF) says it’s more than 500. In 2022, 68 journalists were killed, according to a report by the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ).
Joel Whitaker, Editor and Publisher, Kane's Beverage News Daily