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Evan Gershkovich has spent a year behind bars. The Wall Street Journal’s top editor hopes it will be his last

Sign up for the daily digest chronicling the evolving media landscape here. New York CNN  —  Emma Tucker is hopeful that by next year Evan Gershkovich will be free. The Wall Street Journal boss, who spoke with me by phone this week, said that she believes “there are enough pieces in place” and “enough goodwill for that to happen.” Tucker, however, acknowledged that the U.S. is dealing with an unpredictable regime in Russia, making it difficult to offer a precise timeframe for when Gershkovich will be released. “But my expectation and sincere hope is that this time next year, he will not be imprisoned in Russia,” Tucker said. Tucker’s remarks come as Friday marks the one-year anniversary of Gershkovich being detained by the Vladimir Putin-led country. The accredited Journal reporter was arrested last March while reporting from the Russian city of Yekaterinburg and has since been held at the notorious Lefortovo prison in Moscow. His imprisonment, which has been vociferously denounced by free press advocates across the world, has been repeatedly extended as he awaits trial. While Gershkovich sits in a Russian cell, his colleagues at The Journal have done everything in their power to keep his story alive in the press. This week, the newspaper marked the one-year anniversary, raising awareness by holding a read-a-thon, “Swim for Evan” events, and several global runs. On Friday, it will lead a social media storm where people are encouraged to raise awareness of his case by posting online with the ”#IStandWithEvan” hashtag. “What people can do is keep Evan front of mind because that keeps the pressure up on the governments involved, that this is a situation that is completely outrageous and needs to be resolved,” Tucker told me. “But the other thing I would say is, I think that it is really important for all of us … to remind people how important a free press is,” Tucker added. “I think it’s something that sometimes gets taken for granted.” Tucker said that Gershkovich’s detention has not changed The Journal’s editorial stance on Russia, given the paper’s lengthy record of tough reporting on the country’s oppressive government. But she said it has certainly influenced her and the newspaper in other ways. The front page marking the one year anniversary of Evan Gershkovich's detainment in Russia. from The Wall Street Journal “It’s heightened the need to speak out not just about Evan and his particular plight, but the wider assault on the ability of journalists to be able to do their jobs,” Tucker said. “It’s also made us think very hard about, not that we weren’t before, but you think about all your journalists in dangerous situations. Something like this does focus the mind.” While reality-dwelling free press advocates have condemned Putin for his crackdown on journalism, some popular right-wing media personalities like Tucker Carlson have praised the authoritarian state in recent months. Carlson, in particular, visited Russia earlier this year and sat for a chummy interview with Putin. While he did press the Russian authoritarian on Gershkovich’s case, he left room for the possibility that The Journal reporter broke the law (it goes without saying that Carlson’s remarks didn’t play well in The Journal newsroom, given that reporting is not a crime). And Carlson recorded a series of propaganda-like videos in Moscow, glorifying the country. Asked about the disturbing trend of right-wing media figures extolling Russia as something of a utopia, all while Gershkovich sits in a Russian cell for the crime of reporting from the country, Tucker acknowledged its “unusual” nature and said it underscored the need for accurate reporting from the region. “What goes through my head is that it’s our job at The Journal to double down on good reporting about what’s actually happening there,” Tucker told me, describing reporting from Putin’s Russia as “really bloody hard these days” but as important as ever. “That’s where we have to put our energy,” Tucker added. “We can’t be worrying about what others are doing.” As Gershkovich awaits the day that he can walk out of prison and embrace his family and friends, Tucker told me he remains “resilient” and is doing his best to remain in positive spirits. But Tucker noted that she doesn’t think “anyone after a year in a Moscow prison designed to hold political prisoners is going to be in a terribly good frame of mind.” “I think a lot of what you see, and his parents acknowledge this, he is protecting them,” Tucker said. “He knows that this is a terrible ordeal for them.” “And when he puts on a good front, it’s partly to make his parents feel better,” Tucker added. “He knows that his mom and his dad are pouring over images of him … and I think he knows that. And because he is the kind of person he is, he is trying to protect them.”