Vera joined the University of Liverpool in September 2017 after having worked at the University of Chester and the University of Oxford. Her undergraduate degree is in Journalism and Mass Communication from the American University in Bulgaria and her MA is in the European Union: Media, Politics and Society from the University of East Anglia. She completed her PhD studies in the Social Sciences at Loughborough University in 2011 where she also taught on the undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in Communication and Media Studies. Her PhD thesis was about Children, Europe and the media. After completing her PhD studies, she went on to work at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford, as a researcher on a project investigating the evidence on the harm experienced by children as a result of online risks (with Dr Victoria Nash and Dr Monica Bulger). She then joined the University of Chester in February 2012 as a Lecturer, then Senior Lecturer, in Journalism. At Chester, Vera taught and led a range of undergraduate modules in Journalism and supervised PhD students. She was also the Faculty of Arts and Media Research Co-ordinator and organised three international trips to Brussels, Berlin and Prague for students.
Vera is the author of four books - Global journalism: An Introduction (Palgrave, 2018; with Professor Michael Bromley, City University); Russia's Liberal Media: Handcuffed but Free (Routledge, 2018), Discussing Trump's America Online: Digital Online Commenting in China, Mexico and Russia (Palgrave, 2023) and Young People, Media and Politics in the Digital Age (Routledge, 2023). Her research areas are: 1. Global and international journalism with a focus on Russia and Eastern Europe and journalists' safety. 2. Children, young people and the media. 3. Nationalism, banal Europeanism and the media. 4. The Internet’s role in relation to: a) risks and opportunities for young people, and b) democratic deliberative potential with a focus on online comments. The research methods she has utilised so far include quantitative content analysis, qualitative thematic analysis, interviews, online and paper surveys and newsroom ethnography. She welcomes inquiries from prospective PhD students with interests in the above areas. Vera has published her research in some of the leading journals in the field such as Digital Journalism; Ethnicities; Information, Communication & Society; Digital Journalism; International Journal of Press/Politics; International Journal of Communication; Journalism Studies; Journalism: Theory, Practice and Criticism; Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly; Journal of Children and Media; and YOUNG. She is also the principal investigator for Bulgaria and Ukraine in the Worlds of Journalism study - an academically driven project that regularly assesses the state of journalism - in 67 countries in the second wave (2012-2016) and in 120 countries in the current third wave (http://worldsofjournalism.org/). She is the Regional Coordinator for Central and Eastern Europe and chairs the WoJ Working Group on Journalists' Safety. She has also been collaborating with UNESCO on this issue. Vera leads the Safety of Journalists' one-stop platform (https://safetyofjournalists.org) - a joint initiative between the University of Liverpool and the Worlds of Journalism Study in co-operation with UNESCO. She is also the Central and Eastern Europe Regional Co-Lead in the Journalism Research Safety Network.
Vera also has industry experience. She worked as European editor at 24 Chasa (24 Hours) – a Bulgarian national daily newspaper, second in circulation in the country. Her duties involved political editing and reporting, including the coverage of European summits and official ceremonies. Vera has interviewed (either exclusively or during press conferences) European Commissioners, Members of the European Parliament, European Prime Ministers and government ministers as well as the Bulgarian President and Prime Minister.