Statement in Support of Evan Gershkovich of the Wall Street Journal

April 07, 2023

We, students, fellows, staff, and faculty of the Columbia Journalism School, are writing to urge immediate action in the case of Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, recently detained by Russian authorities.

We are deeply concerned about his safety and well-being in custody, particularly given Russia's poor record of protecting the rights of detainees.

As members of the journalism community, we strongly believe in the freedom of the press and the importance of journalism in holding governments accountable — and helping all of us better understand other countries, cultures, and points of view. That is exactly what Evan Gershkovich, as one of the few Western reporters traveling extensively across Russia over the last year, was doing. His stories on the mood in Moscow, Russia’s regions, its military, and the Kremlin provided invaluable guidance to all of us seeking to understand that country in a time of war.

Now he is in Moscow’s Lefortovo prison. We urge the United States government to use all diplomatic channels available to secure Evan Gershkovich's immediate release. We call on you to make his case a top priority.

We stand with Evan and all journalists who risk their lives doing their jobs. We urge you to take swift and decisive action to secure his release and to send a strong message to the world that the United States will not tolerate the persecution of journalists. Thank you for your attention to this matter.


Jelani Cobb, Dean of Columbia Journalism School

Andrea Palasciano, Knight-Bagehot Fellow

Keith Gessen, George T. Delacorte Assistant Professor of Magazine Journalism

Samuel G. Freedman, professor of journalism

Sally W. Herships, Director, Audio Program

Jonathan Weiner, professor of journalism

Jane Eisner, director of academic affairs

Nina Alvarez, Assistant Professor of Journalism

Issac Bailey, Laventhol Visiting Professor

Nina Berman, Professor of Journalism

Amy Singer, Adjunct Professor & Deputy Director, Knight-Bagehot Fellowship

Alisa Solomon, Professor

Azmat Khan, Birch Professor & Director Li Center for Global Journalism

Bill Grueskin, Professor of Professional Practice

Alexander Stille, San Paolo Professor of International Journalism

Ari L. Goldman, Professor

Daniel Alarcón, Professor

Joseph Bak-Coleman, Associate Research Scholar

Jonathan Soma, Knight Professor of Data Journalism

Susan Farkas, adjunct journalism professor

Sara Ganim, James Madison visiting professor on First Amendment issues

June Cross, Fred Friendly Professor of Media and Society

Haley Willis, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Journalism

Melanie Huff, Senior Associate Dean of Student Life

Bruce Shapiro, Senior Executive Director, Dart Center for

Journalism & Trauma

Andie Tucher, H. Gordon Garbedian Professor & Director, Communications PhD Program

Daniel Rivero, Chief of Staff

Duy Linh Tu, Associate Professor of Journalism

Howard W. French, Professor of Journalism

Winnie O’Kelley, Academic Dean and Professor Journalism

Thor Neureiter, Director, Video Journalism

Gabby Miller, Senior Fellow, Tow Center for Digital Journalism

Jem Bartholomew, Reporting Fellow, Tow Center for Digital Journalism

Michael Krisch, Program Director, Brown Institute for Media Innovation

Jennifer Streeter, M.S. Candidate

Camillo Barone, Journalist and M.A. Candidate

Alexander Borodikhin, M.A. Candidate

Jemima Denham, M.S.

Laura Esposito, M.S. Journalism Candidate

Ariana Cobb, M.S. Journalism Candidate

Jordan Gonsalves, M.S. Journalism

Jake Bolster M.S. Journalism

Maria Sole Campinoti, M.S Journalism Candidate

Luis A. Gómez, M.S. Journalism

Jordan Coll M.S. Journalism

David Pangilinan, M.S. Journalism

McKenna Leavens, M.S. Journalism Student

Tamia Fowlkes, M.S. Journalism

Lina Fansa M.S.Journalism

Meghan Morris, Knight-Bagehot Fellow

Anna Mutoh, M.S. Stabile Fellow

Ani Freedman, M.S Journalism

Allie Wong, PhD student

Mihika Agarwal, M.A. Candidate

Aaron Simon Gross, M.S. Candidate

Daniel Shailer, M.S. Student

Aysha Esmatullah, M.A Student

Heather Smith, M.A. Student

Anisha Dutta, Journalist & MA Candidate

Babette Stolk, M.S Journalism

Shahrzad Rasekh, M.S. Journalism

Annika Grosser, M.S. Journalism

Jordan Allbrooks, M.S. Journalism

Lauren Sagnella, M.S. Journalism

Debadrita Sur, M.S. Journalism

Aayushmita Bhattacharjee, M.S. Journalism

Pete McKenzie, M.A. Journalism

Ivy Nyayieka, M.S. Data

Anna Gruszczyńska, M.S Documentary

Irish Christianne Dizon, M.S. Journalism

Asta Kongsted, M.S. Journalism

I Gusti Ayu Prima Wirayani, M.A. Candidate

Ben Moore, M.S. Journalism

Hannah Cho, M.S. Journalism

Kevin Lind, M.S. Journalism

Sarah Aoyagi, M.S. Journalism

Andrea Quezada, M.S. Journalism

Isak Hüllert, M.S. Journalism

Monica Montero, M.S. Journalism

Jessica Nix, M.S. Journalism

Ayodeji Rotinwa, M.S. Journalism

Khier Casino, M.S. Journalism

Henry Zeris, M.S. Journalism

Erum Salam, M.S. Journalism

Anna Westerberg, M.S. Journalism

Mitchell Black, M.S. Journalism

Vi Tran, M.S. Journalism

Emma Forgione, M.A. Journalism

Willow Higgins, M.A. Journalism

Vivienne Nunis, Knight-Bagehot Fellow

Hangyu Fan, M.S. Journalism

Abdullah Ayasun, Journalism M.A. candidate

Anvita Patwardhan, M.S. Journalism

Leslie A. Zukor, M.S. Journalism candidate

Brawley Benson, M.S. Journalism

Christina Previte, M.S. Journalism

Ahan Penkar, M.S Journalism

Shalaka Shinde, MS Journalism

Huaqing Ma, M.A. Journalism

Allison Doluisio, M.S. Journalism

Devashri Bhujbal, M.S. Journalism

Anne Whiting, M.A. Candidate

Lindsey Choo, M.S. Journalism

Akanksha Saxena, M.A Journalism

Jake Conley, M.S. Journalism

Anna Gratzer, M.S. Candidate

Noelle Videon, M.S. Journalism

Yuanhao Zhang, M.S. Journalism

Nina R. Dietz, M.S. Stabile Fellow

José Maria Del Pino, Journalist and M.A. Candidate

Inci Sayki, M.S. Journalism

Mike Davis, M.S. Journalism

Jana Cholakovska, M.S. Stabile Fellow

Giuseppe Guerandi, M.S. Candidate

Roy Stephen Canivel, M.A. Journalism

Vaidik Trivedi, MA in Business & Economics Journalism

Emma Rose, M.S. Stabile Fellow

Cynthia Helton, Associate Dean of Alumni and Development

Pete Brown, Research Director, Tow Center for Digital Journalism

Dolores Barclay, Adjunct Professor and Manager the Ira A. Lipman Center for Journalism and

Civil and Human Rights

Michael Schudson, Chair, Communications PhD Program

Dale Maharidge, Professor

Claire Caulfield, Journalist and M.A. Candidate

Matthew Pressman, adjunct journalism professor

Ryan Kailath, Knight-Bagehot Fellow

Carlos José Jijón, M.A. Candidate

Isabella Garcia-Mendez, M.S. Journalism

Pamela McKelvin, Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Sean Gregory, Adjunct Professor

Lisa R. Cohen, Director, The duPont-Columbia Awards

Yana Mulder, M.S. Journalism

Sophie Chew, M.S. Journalism

Claire Brown, Knight-Bagehot fellow

Shaye Areheart, Director, The Columbia Publishing Course

Sam Dean, Knight-Bagehot Fellow

Emma Skeels, Associate Director, Columbia Publishing Course

Emily Schmidt, Journalism and Government Information Librarian

Abi Wright, Executive Director, Professional Prizes

Dorian Benkoil, Adjunct Professor

Kate Black, Program Director, Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma

Helen Benedict, professor, Graduate School of Journalism, Columbia

Sheila S. Coronel, professor and director, Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism

Susie Marples, program manager, Professional Prizes