The President

Biden addresses journalists detained abroad at Correspondents' Dinner

The president delivered a firm message that "journalism is not a crime."

Biden addresses journalists detained abroad at Correspondents' Dinner
Carolyn Kaster / AP

While the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner is normally known for its laughs, it was a little more serious this year.

On Saturday night in Washington, President Joe Biden acknowledged the journalists under attack and currently detained around the world, including Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich. The WSJ journalist has been imprisoned in Russia since March on espionage charges, which the U.S. Government and his employer strongly deny.

The president also spoke about Austin Tice, who has not been seen or heard from since disappearing at a checkpoint in Syria in 2012.

"Tonight our message is this — journalism is not a crime. Evan and Austin should be released immediately, along with every other American held hostage or wrongfully detained abroad," said President Biden.

The president and First Lady Jill Biden met privately with the Gershkovichs at dinner. Austin's mother Debra Tice also attended the dinner.

Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich is escorted by officers in Russia.

Family of WSJ reporter detained in Russia speaks out for first time

Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich was detained by Russian authorities March 29 and remains in a Moscow prison on espionage charges.

LEARN MORE