Photo of Dr Vera Slavtcheva-Petkova

Dr Vera Slavtcheva-Petkova BA (AUBG), MA (UEA), PhD (Loughborough University)

Reader in Global Journalism and Media Communication and Media


    Global and international journalism with a focus on Russia and Eastern Europe

    Research areas:
    1. Journalism and audiences in Russia and Bulgaria
    2. Global journalism, including cross-national comparative studies and journalists' safety

    Current projects:
    1. Worlds of Journalism study ( - Principal Investigator for Bulgaria and Central and Eastern Europe Coordinator (with Professor Alice Němcová Tejkalová). This is an academically driven project, which regularly assesses the state of journalism throughout the world. The third wave is currently under way. The Bulgarian survey is funded by the Bulgarian NGO Workshop for Civil Initiatives Foundation. The second wave included a representative survey with more than 27,000 journalists from 67 countries.

    2. Journalists' safety - a novel conceptual framework for its study. Vera led a group of researchers from the Worlds of Journalism study who developed a novel conceptual framework for the study of journalists' safety, published in Digital Journalism. They conceptualised safety as encompassing four dimensions: physical, psychological, digital and financial. They are currently working on developing a global index on journalists' safety.

    Past projects:
    1. Author of Global journalism: An Introduction (with Professor Michael Bromley, City University). The book explores three key topics:
    a. Contexts: The different journalistic cultures – ‘worlds of journalism’ (Hanitzsch et al., 2011) – across the world; the importance of context and the interactions between the global, national and local levels across a range of media.
    b. Theories: Key trends and theories in the field, including globalization of professional practices, transnational/global news flows and contra-flows.
    c. Journalistic Practices: The history and current state of international/foreign news reporting.

    2. Russia's liberal media - handcuffed but free - a semi-ethnographic study of three "independent"/liberal media organisations in Russia - Novaya Gazeta, Radio Free Europe/Liberty and Radio Echo of Moscow. The results of the project were published in a monograph in 2018. The project was funded by the Santander International Research Excellence Awards Scheme.

    3. Eastern European media moguls at war: Online readers' perspectives - this project investigated online commentators' views of journalism in Bulgaria by utilising a mixed methods approach (content and thematic analysis). The outcomes were published in two journal articles (see "Publications").

    Vera welcomes PhD enquiries in all of the above areas and would particularly welcome cross-national comparative studies, ethnographic studies in newsrooms and research into global journalism/international news reporting.

    Children, young people and the media

    Research areas (PhD inquiries welcome):
    1. Young people, politics and the media
    2. Young people's collective identities, including banal nationalism, banal Americanism and banal Europeanism
    3. Young people and the Internet - risks, harm and opportunities

    Current projects:
    Children, Europe and the media - a longitudinal study investigating the mass media's role in relation to young people's perceptions and knowledge of Europe and the EU as well as European identities also vis-a-vis other socialisation agents and social structures. The results of the first wave of the study were published in a number of journal articles (see "Publications"). The first wave included interviews with 174 children, a survey with their parents and teachers, and content analysis of TV news and textbooks. Two further waves were completed in 2017 and 2022. The results will be published in a forthcoming monograph, entitled Young People, Media and Politics in the Digital Age (Routledge, 2023).

    Past projects:
    Evidence on the extent of harm experienced by children as a result of online risks (together with Dr Victoria Nash and Dr Monica Bulger, project funded by the Oxford University John Press's Fell Fund, 2011-2012).

    The Internet’s role in relation to: a) risks and opportunities for young people, and b) democratic deliberative potential

    Past projects:
    1. Online comments about Donald Trump in the Russian, Chinese and Mexican Internet spheres. The outcomes of the project were published in a monograph entitled Discussing Trump’s America Online: Digital Commenting in China, Mexico and Russia (Palgrave, 2023).
    2. Media moguls at war - online readers' perspectives
    3. Evidence on the extent of harms experienced by children as a result of online risks

    Research Collaborations

    Researchers from 120 countries

    Project: Worlds of Journalism study

    The Worlds of Journalism study is an academically driven project that was founded to regularly assess the state of journalism throughout the world. The Study’s primary objective is to help journalism researchers, practitioners, media managers and policy makers better understand the worldviews and changes that are taking place in the professional orientations of journalists, the conditions and limitations under which journalists operate, and the social functions of journalism in a changing world. The study currently includes 120 countries. Vera is the principal investigator for Bulgaria as well as Central and Eastern Europe Coordinator (with Professor Alice Němcová Tejkalová) and chair of the journalists' safety working group . For more information -

    Professor Michael Bromley

    Project: Global journalism: an introduction
    External: City University

    Professor Michael Bromley and Dr Vera Slavtcheva-Petkova co-authored a book on global journalism that was published in 2018.

    Dr Victoria Nash and Dr Monica Bulger

    Project: Evidence on the extent of harms experienced by children as a result of online risks
    External: Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford

    This project undertook a critical synthesis of the evidence on the extent of harms experienced by children as a result of online risks from across social and medical sciences and including data from professional as well as academic sources. In reviewing the available research and data, we assessed the scope and scale of the actual harms, and the efficacy of existing interventions in limiting either children’s exposure to the risks associated with these harms, or even in limiting the harms themselves. The results of the study were published in a journal article in Information, Communication & Society.