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MU Professor hosts tabling event for reporter detained in Russia

A poster encourages students to support Gershkovich in the Reynolds Journalism Institute in Columbia, Mo., Wednesday, May 3, 2023.

Evan Gershkovich was detained by the Russian Government on suspicion of espionage. May 3 is World Press Freedom Day and many are using it as a way to bring attention to his situation.

“Unfortunately, 5 weeks ago on March 29 our reporter, Evan Gershkovich, was detained by Russia. The Wall Street Journal, the Biden Administration, we vehemently deny [the allegation] against him” Madison Conte said, an Audience Interaction Producer for the Wall Street Journal.

Gershkovich is one of the first correspondents to be held by Russia since the Cold War, and brings into question the freedom of the press and journalists’ safety on a global scale.

To spread awareness of this MU Professor Kathy Kiely, set up a tabling event in the Reynolds Journalism Institute. Kiely is also the Lee Hills Chair of Free Press Studies and hoped it would bring student’s attention to Gershkovich’s plight and the similar situations of other journalists around the world.

“It’s really important, I think, both for our students to understand sometimes the sacrifices you have to make as a journalist, but also for our students to understand that we will not forget them. We journalists will stand up for each other when we’re in trouble. We help each other out.” Says Kiely.

At the event, people sent letters to Gershkovich and his family. It is one of the ways to show support for the cause.

“Last week, Evan was able to make a brief statement from the prison where he is being detained in Russia, just stating his gratitude for all the letters he’s received so far. I can’t speak for Evan, but I can imagine that it would be encouraging to hear words of support from future journalists,” Conte said.

To show your support, the link to sent messages to Evan can be found at https://www.wsj.com/articles/show-your-support-for-evan-gershkovich-73b77140

Yasha Mikolajczak is a junior at the University of Missouri School of Journalism.