Why Press Freedom Matters: Exploring Evan Gershkovich’s Case

This free webinar for educators, presented by the News Literacy Project and hosted by edWeb, explores the importance of protecting press freedoms around the world.

Wednesday, May 1, 2024
5:00 PM ET

Join the News Literacy Project and The Wall Street Journal for an important conversation ahead of World Press Freedom Day (May 3).

Press freedoms, the legal and/or constitutional protections that journalists have in order to do their jobs, are fundamental to democracy. Without press freedoms and the standards-based reporting they enable, we risk the further spread of misinformation, disinformation, and declining trust in institutions.

In this edWebinar, we’ll look at a high-profile example of the denial of press freedoms: the case of Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, who was wrongfully detained in Russia last year on bogus charges of spying. Wall Street Journal Assistant Editor Paul Beckett, who leads the Journal’s efforts at securing Gershkovich’s release, will discuss the case with New Literacy Project’s Brittney Smith.

Topics to be covered include:

  • How press freedoms impact newsgathering around the world
  • Strategies for teaching about press freedoms, from a news literacy lens
  • Best practices for teaching about standards-based journalism
  • How to use journalistic practices to uncover and expose mis- and disinformation

Attendees will also learn about free News Literacy Project resources, including the Misinfo 101 course and classroom resources and the “Press Freedoms Around the World” lesson, offered on the News Literacy Project’s free  Checkology®️ virtual classroom.

This edWebinar will be of interest to middle and high school teachers, librarians, and school and district leaders. There will be time for questions at the end of the presentation.

Don’t miss this unique opportunity – reserve your spot today!

(Can’t make it at this time but still interested? Register anyway, and we’ll email you the recording.)


About the speakers

Paul Beckett headshot
Paul Beckett is Assistant Editor at The Wall Street Journal, where he focuses on the efforts supporting Evan Gershkovich, the WSJ reporter who has been wrongfully detained by Russia since March 2023. Previously, Paul was the Journal‘s Washington D.C. bureau chief, responsible for news across politics and government, economics, national security, the Supreme Court, financial regulation and the intersection of business and Washington. Before taking the helm of the bureau in 2017, Paul served in multiple overseas postings, including postings in Hong Kong and India.
Brittney Smith headshot
Brittney Smith is a Senior Manager of Education Partnerships (East) at The News Literacy Project. Brittney joined NLP in July 2022 after eight years of teaching life science in Cincinnati, Ohio. She was a high school teacher to diverse populations of students, including English language learners. In her tenure as science department chair, she focused on building partnerships with community stakeholders to enrich and improve students’ educational experiences.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in biological science from the University of Cincinnati and a master’s degree in teaching science to adolescents and young adults from Mount St. Joseph University. She is currently pursuing her doctorate in educational practice and innovation with a STEM focus at the University of South Carolina.