May 3, 2024 - Business

WSJ, WashPost, NYT run joint ad calling attention to missing, detained journalists

An add on Evan Gershkovich from the WSJ, NYT and WashPost.
Photo: The Wall Street Journal

The publishers and top editors at the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and New York Times on Friday ran a joint letter as an ad in all three of their papers, calling attention to journalists around the globe who are being persecuted for doing their jobs.

Why it matters: The ad, coinciding with World Press Freedom Day, comes as Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich marks more than 400 days detained in a Russian prison on espionage charges that the Journal and U.S. government have vehemently denied.

Details: "Today marks 401 days since Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich was wrongfully detained in Russia," the letter reads. "Today also marks 4,281 days since freelance journalist and Washington Post contributor Austin Tice was abducted while reporting in Syria."

  • "We have not forgotten them. We remain united in this cause and continue to urge the U.S. government to do everything in its power to bring Evan, Austin and all unjustly detained journalists home safely."
  • It's the second time these news leaders have come together for an ad urging solidarity around press freedoms.
  • The publishers ran a joint message urging support from the Biden Administration in fighting for the release of Gershkovich last April, just weeks after he was detained.

The big picture: The joint ad represents a rare moment for the leaders of rival news organizations to come together to address a growing challenge within the news industry.

  • More journalists are being killed and imprisoned globally, making factual, on-the-ground reporting harder to access.
  • That's especially true in conflict zones, such as Russia, Ukraine, Israel and Gaza, but also in areas where autocrats are using punitive measures to silence the press, such as Hong Kong, Turkey and Hungary.
  • According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, as noted in the joint ad, 19 journalists have been killed already this year and 320 others were imprisoned in 2023.
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