photo credits: Reuters

The Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing condemns the arrest of Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich. This is the latest in a series of threats to journalism in post-Cold War Russia.

We join other journalism organizations in demanding the speedy release of Gershkovich, who was detained some 900 miles east of Moscow. According to Reporters Without Borders, he may have been reporting on Wagner Group activities.

Gershkovich’s detention on espionage charges marks the first time in decades that an American reporter has been arrested for spying in Russia. It comes at a time when many news organizations have pulled back from Russia or sharply reduced staff out of concern for the safety of reporters.

The ability of journalists to report without fear or favor from countries that are not friendly to the United States, or any other country is at the heart of our ability to learn the truth. Understanding what is going on inside Russia is particularly important to readers worldwide.

The arrest of Gerschkovich may signal a broader crackdown on the remaining Western reporters in Russia, which already has made it a crime for its citizens to criticize the unlawful invasion of Ukraine.

We support efforts by all parties, including Wall Street Journal owner Dow Jones, to seek Gerschkovich’s release.

The Wall Street Journal is a SABEW member organization and SABEW advocates for press freedom through our First Amendment Committee. For more information, contact Kathleen Graham, SABEW Executive Director, at