Joe Bergantino, executive director of the New England Center for Investigative Reporting and a long-time Boston television reporter, was detained in Russia Thursday while conducting a training session for fellow journalists, according to a release from the New England First Amendment Center.
Bergantino and Randy Covington of the University of South Carolina were leading a workshop with Russian journalists when authorities interrupted the session and took the two men away, the release states, citing Beth Daley, a reporter for NECIR who has spoken with Bergantino.
Daley said the men were accused of “teaching an educational workshop illegally because they were using the wrong visas,” according to the release. The men were then taken to a Russian court and ordered to halt the workshop and leave the country.
Bergantino, a former reporter for WBZ-TV and ABC News, co-founded the non-profit New England Center for Investigative Reporting in 2009.