Ewan Larkin
Oct 31, 2023

How Dow Jones supported detained WSJ reporter Evan Gershkovich on his birthday

The Wall Street Journal reporter marked his 32nd birthday in a Russian prison, where he has been incarcerated for more than six months.

Gershkovich has been detained for 212 days. (Photo credit: Getty Images).
Gershkovich has been detained for 212 days. (Photo credit: Getty Images).

Publisher Dow Jones called on its employees to celebrate the birthday of detained Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich by participating in a running challenge and other initiatives, according to an email seen by PRWeek. 

Gershkovich, who has been detained since March, turned 32 on Thursday. He has spent 212 days incarcerated in a Russian prison on an allegation of espionage, which he, the Journal and the U.S. government vehemently deny. 

In her latest weekly email update on Gershkovich, WSJ chief digital editor, international, Gráinne McCarthy, encouraged staffers to honor his birthday by participating in the #IRunForEvan running challenge.

The effort launched on September 25 with the goal of symbolically covering the 4,707 miles separating Gershkovich’s hometown in Princeton, New Jersey, from Lefortovo prison in Russia. Dow Jones employees can join a dedicated running club on the activity app Strava to track their progress. 

While the club has hit its mile target, Dow Jones on Thursday set up group runs at locations including its offices in London, New York, Barcelona, Tokyo, Singapore and Hong Kong. 

The Wall Street Journal parent asked its employees to wear clothing and badges it has designed to support Gershkovich and to share #IRunForEvan on social media after they finished their runs. 

Members of our WSJ Hong Kong bureau participated in #IRunForEvan tonight to mark our colleague Evan Gershkovich's 32nd birthday. He remains in prison in Russia for doing his job. It's now been *30 weeks.* He should be released immediately. #IStandWithEvan pic.twitter.com/yQDwMdpRm4

— Newley Purnell (@newley) October 26, 2023

WSJ senior video journalist Eve Hartley posted a thread on X, formerly known as Twitter, highlighting colleagues’ runs. 

In the months since Gershkovich’s detainment, the Journal has organized what it calls “social storms,” or designated times where members of its newsroom and others post on social media about Gershkovich. They often promote events and developments about the reporter’s case.

The outlet held its weekly social storm on Thursday at 10:30 a.m. EST, but McCarthy also encouraged staffers to share posts about Gershkovich throughout the day to mark his birthday and “our outrage that he is spending it in prison.”

“The noise you make counts,” McCarthy said in her email update. 

On the eve of Gershkovich's birthday, WSJ also hosted his parents, Ella Milman and Mikhail Gershkovich, on The Journal podcast to discuss their efforts to free their son.

The company used internal channels, including email and Slack, to notify employees about Gershkovich’s birthday and the coordinated social storm.


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