Russia US Detained Reporter

Evan Gershkovich, a reporter for The Wall Street Journal, stands inside a glass cage in June at a courtroom at the Moscow City Court. Dmitry Serebryakov/Associated Press file

WATERVILLE — The 71st Elijah Parish Lovejoy Award for Courage in Journalism is to be presented Friday at Colby College in honor of Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, who is jailed in Russia on espionage charges.

The 4 p.m. event is planned for the new Gordon Center for Creative and Performing Arts on the Colby Campus in Waterville.

The Lovejoy Award presentation is scheduled to include a discussion of Gershkovich’s work with Gordon Fairclough, The Wall Street Journal’s world coverage chief, and is to be moderated by Mindy Marques Gonzales, vice president and executive editor at Simon & Schuster, who also is former editor of the Miami Herald.

The award will be presented by Colby President David A. Greene, who is also scheduled to speak.

Gershkovich, a 2014 Bowdoin College graduate, was detained in March while on a reporting trip to the city of Yekaterinburg, about 1,200 miles from Moscow. Russia’s Federal Security Service alleges Gershkovich was acting as a spy for the United States, which U.S. officials and The Wall Street Journal have denied.

Gershkovich’s parents are expected to accept the award on his behalf Friday.


The Lovejoy Award has been presented by Colby annually since 1952 to honor journalists for courage and commitment to freedom of the press.

The award is named for the Albion native and 1826 Colby graduate and valedictorian who was a crusading abolitionist writer and editor before he was shot dead by a mob in Alton, Illinois, in 1837 for his anti-slavery editorials.

According to John Quincy Adams, Lovejoy was America’s first martyr to freedom of the press.

Past Lovejoy Award recipients include Katharine Graham, former publisher of The Washington Post; Leonard Pitts, a columnist with the Miami Herald; Alec MacGillis of ProPublica; Alissa Rubin of The New York Times; and Katherine Boo of The New Yorker.

New York Times reporter Matt Apuzzo, a 2000 Colby graduate and former reporter for the Morning Sentinel, was among eight journalists who received the award in 2021. Bob Woodward of The Washington Post received the award in 2012.

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