Welcome to the Justice for Journalists Foundation January 2024 Newsletter


In the new episode of Trouble with the Truth, Lana talks to the Financial Times correspondent Polina Ivanova about the arrest of the Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich on espionage charges by Russian authorities, and the inspiring campaign for his release.
It has been ten months since the arrest of the US citizen Evan Gershkovich, whose parents emigrated from the Soviet Union in the 1970s. Evan is being held at the notorious Lefortovo pre-trial detention centre, isolated from his loved ones and awaiting a trial date. He has been charged with espionage, a ludicrous claim denied by Evan and everyone close to him. His only ‘crime’ is writing the objective truth about Russian politics – from Covid and corruption to the full-scale invasion of Ukraine. 


2024 marks the completion of the JFJ’s five-year-long investigative grant programme that has supported over 80 media outlets, independent journalists, and media freedom NGOs from 40 countries. All existing grant agreements remain valid through their termination date. In 2024, we will focus on fundraising to further develop what we do best: research, analysis, increasing media safety, and advocating for remedies. 

On January 30, Frontline Club hosted the screening of Crossfire, a documentary investigating the circumstances around the first two journalists killed during the war in Ukraine: Andrea Rocchelli and Andrej Mironov.  The screening brought to life the events that took place in Donbas, Eastern Ukraine, on 24 May 2014, as well as the following attempts by the Italian and Ukrainian legal specialists and activists to unveil the truth and find justice. During the post-show discussion, the panel of experts that included the film director, a relative of one of the journalists, JFJ director, and ex-BBC foreign correspondent, touched upon the role of the Kremlin propaganda efforts and the plight of journalists who are paying the ultimate price in reporting the true facts on this destructive conflict.  On February 13, Crossfire will also be presented in the cultural centre Polo del ‘900 in Turin, Italy. The documentary was released with the contribution and support of the JFJ Investigative Grant Programme. 

The Justice for Journalists Foundation launched a partnership with 2402 Foundation to provide HEFAT and HEAT training to 1,000 journalists in Ukraine throughout the year and train at least 10 new trainers through the capacity building program. . The initiative will address the issue of safety of journalists and media workers operating in hostile environments to ensure their ability to report from the war zones. The experts will provide advanced safety training using the immersive VR component for those who already have an experience of working in the hostile environment and who had been previously trained. Trainers will upscale the skills of tactical medicine, mental well-being and risk mitigation.


On January 14, JFJ submitted an input to the UN Special Rapporteur’s on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression report addressing key trends, threats and challenges for media and media workers in exile and recommendations that Special Rapporteur should make to governments, companies, the media and civil society to address or mitigate the detrimental impact. 

On February 26, 2024, the Index on Censorship, the University of Glasgow and the Justice for Journalists Foundation will hold the Scottish Anti-SLAPP Summit in Glasgow, Scotland. It will bring together lawyers, journalists, experts and campaigners to discuss the SLAPPs landscape in Scotland, identify the gaps in Scots Law and explore what needs to be done to protect Scotland’s courts from abuse. 


In December 2023, a three-day-long psychological retreat for Russian-speaking media workers in exile took place in Potsdam, Germany. 18 participants learnt to overcome stress caused by relocation, went through physical practices and met colleagues who are facing the same challenges. 

A comprehensive Media Safety online course for 15 young media workers from Russia was conducted in December 2023. The course lasted for six days and consisted of three educational blocks: risk assessment, digital and legal security. 

In December and January, 12 independent Russian journalists participated in the online legal safety training. Under the lead of the Russian human rights lawyer and advocate, students studied their rights during arrest and search, dos and don’ts, law enforcement practice, as well as got a detailed information about “foreign agent” law, consequences of the “undesirable” status, and the proposed new law of seizure of assets in Russia.
If you are a media worker and require safety training of any kind, please do not hesitate to write a request to