Media News

WSJ editor Tucker on upcoming Gershkovich trial

June 25, 2024

Posted by Chris Roush

Evan Gershkovich

Wall Street Journal editor in chief Emma Tucker wrote the following letter to readers about the upcoming trial of reporter Evan Gershkovich in Russia:

Dear WSJ Reader,

Russian authorities said recently that our colleague, Evan Gershkovich, will face trial in a court in Yekaterinburg after 15 months of pretrial detention in Moscow.

To even call it a trial, however, is unfair to Evan and a continuation of this travesty of justice that already has gone on for far too long.

Let us be very clear, once again: Evan is a staff reporter of The Wall Street Journal. He was on assignment in Russia, where he was an accredited journalist.

But the Kremlin has clamped down severely on independent reporting, effectively turning journalism into a crime. Evan was seized by Russia’s security services, falsely accused of being a U.S. spy and thrown in prison.

When his case comes before a judge this week, it will not be a trial as we understand it, with a presumption of innocence and a search for the truth.

Rather, it will be held in secret. No evidence has been unveiled. And we already know the conclusion: This bogus accusation of espionage will inevitably lead to a bogus conviction for an innocent man who would then face up to 20 years in prison for simply doing his job. And an excellent job he was doing, at that.

Even covering the case presents challenges to us and other news organizations over how to report responsibly on the proceedings and the allegations.

We pride ourselves on our impartial and accurate reporting that doesn’t take sides and avoids bias.

Nor would we repeat baseless allegations that we know categorically to be untrue lest we amplify the slander against Evan.

We will state the facts clearly as we know them, as we did in our headline and story earlier this month when news of his indictment was announced: WSJ Reporter Evan Gershkovich, Falsely Accused of Espionage, Is Indicted in Russia.

As we pledged earlier this year, we will continue to tell Evan’s story until he can tell his own.

The proceedings, however, will not slow down or stop U.S. efforts to free Evan, according to Roger Carstens, the top U.S. hostage diplomat.

We hope very much that means Evan and other U.S. detainees in Russia will return home soon. It cannot be soon enough.


Emma Tucker, editor in chief, The Wall Street Journal

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