Vera  Slavtcheva-Petkova Author of Evaluating Organization Development

Vera Slavtcheva-Petkova

Senior Lecturer in Communications and Media Studies
University of Liverpool

Dr Vera Slavtcheva-Petkova is Senior Lecturer in Communication and Media Studies at the University of Liverpool, UK. She is the author of Global Journalism: An Introduction (with Professor Michael Bromley). Her expertise is in global journalism; journalism in Russia and Eastern Europe; children as media audiences; young people, Europe and the media; online comments. She is the Principal Investigator for Bulgaria in the ground-breaking Worlds of Journalism Study (


Dr Vera Slavtcheva-Petkova is Senior Lecturer in Communications and Media Studies at the University of Liverpool, UK. She 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 from the Department of Media.

Vera is the author of two books - Global journalism: An Introduction (Palgrave; with Professor Michael Bromley) and Russia's Liberal Media: Handcuffed but Free (Routledge). She has published her research in some of the leading journals in the field such as Ethnicities; Information, Communication & Society; 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 has also presented her findings at a number of conferences organised by the leading media associations such as the International Communication Association; Media, Communication & Cultural Studies Association; the European Communication Research and Education Association, and the International Association for Media & Communication Research. She is also the principal investigator for Bulgaria in the Worlds of Journalism study - an academically driven project that regularly assesses the state of journalism throughout the world currently in 67 countries (

Vera also has industry experience. She worked as a European editor at 24 Chasa (24 Hours) – a Bulgarian national daily newspaper, second in circulation in the country. Her duties involved mainly political editing and reporting, including the coverage of international events such as European summits at the top and official ceremonies. As part of her job 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. Vera still publishes articles on EU-related issues for the newspaper.

Vera is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. She is also a peer reviewer for a number of journals and book publishers in the fields of journalism, media and communication studies and sociology. She is the Book Review Editor of the European Journal of Communication.

Areas of Research / Professional Expertise

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

    Research methods: quantitative content analysis, qualitative thematic analysis, interviews, online and paper surveys, and newsroom ethnography.


Featured Title
 Featured Title - Russia's Liberal Media; Slavtcheva-Petkova - 1st Edition book cover


Journalism Studies

“Post-Truth” Politics, Journalistic Corruption and the Process of Self-Othering: The case of Bulgaria

Published: Jul 24, 2018 by Journalism Studies
Authors: Vera Slavtcheva-Petkova

The poorest EU member-state Bulgaria also has the lowest press freedom ranking. While “a laggard” in many respects, the country has leadership potential in “post-truth” politics. A 2016–2017 survey as part of the Worlds of Journalism study shows journalists have grappled for years with the kind of issues their Western colleagues have been lamenting about over the past few months. A resilience technique adopted by journalists is that of self-othering.


Fighting Putin and the Kremlin’s grip in neo-authoritarian Russia: The experience of liberal journalists

Published: May 16, 2017 by Journalism
Authors: Vera Slavtcheva-Petkova

Russia is one of the most dangerous countries for journalists. This article presents empirical evidence on the range of tactics used by the Russian authorities as well as the coping strategies adopted by journalists. It questions the applicability of Western-centric normative media systems. It presents the findings of a semi-ethnographic study of liberal news outlets – Novaya Gazeta, Radio Echo of Moscow and Radio Free Europe/Liberty.

Journal of Applied Journalism and Media Studies

The British local and regional press after Leveson

Published: Mar 01, 2017 by Journal of Applied Journalism and Media Studies
Authors: Vera Slavtcheva-Petkova

This is the introductory article to a special issue on the future of local and regional journalism in the United Kingdom after the Leveson Inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the press.

The International Journal of Press/Politics

“We Are Not Fools”: Online News Commentators’ Perceptions of Real and Ideal Journalism

Published: Oct 29, 2015 by The International Journal of Press/Politics
Authors: Vera Slavtcheva-Petkova

This study investigates a subset of Bulgarian online newspaper readers’ perceptions of the state of journalism. It focuses on 178 comments that discuss the role of journalists. Readers differentiate between “ideal journalism” and “real journalism.” A reconceptualization of Habermas’s public sphere is needed if we are to more clearly understand how vibrant online spaces contribute to democracy even if they fall short of his normative ideal.

Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly

Are Newspapers’ Online Discussion Boards Democratic Tools or Conspiracy Theories’ Engines? A Case Study on an Eastern European “Media War”

Published: Oct 23, 2015 by Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly
Authors: Vera Slavtcheva-Petkova

This article analyzes quantitatively and qualitatively 1,583 comments by national newspapers’ online readers in Bulgaria. It investigates readers’ reactions to articles discussing the media war between the biggest press groups—one owned by a Member of Parliament known as “the Murdoch of the East.” The study explores how these stories influence the relationship between newspapers and their readers, and whether they enhance the democratic potential of online discussion.


Towards a Sociology of the EU: The Relationship between Socio-economic Status and Ethnicity and Young People’s European Knowledge, Attitudes and Identities

Published: Jul 26, 2015 by YOUNG
Authors: Vera Slavtcheva-Petkova
Subjects: Sociology

This article explores the relationship between social backgrounds—socio-economic status and ethnicity—and European knowledge, identities and attitudes to European Union (EU) membership in two member states—Bulgaria and the United Kingdom. It draws upon 174 individual interviews with 9-/10-year-old primary school pupils. European identity is largely elite and racialized and those at the margins of society are not at all involved in the European project.

Information, Communication & Society

Evidence on the extent of harms experienced by children as a result of online risks: implications for policy and research

Published: Jul 08, 2014 by Information, Communication & Society
Authors: Vera Slavtcheva-Petkova, Victoria Nash, Monica Bulger

Intense media and policy focus on issues of online child protection have prompted a resurgence of moral panics about children and adolescents' Internet use, with little reference to empirical evidence of actual harm. This article makes a key contribution to the field by reviewing available evidence about the scale and scope of online harms. t is based on a review of 148 empirical studies. The main types of harms discussed were health-related harms, sex-related harms and cyber-bullying.

International Journal of Communication

Rethinking banal nationalism: Banal Americanism, Europeanism, and the missing link between media representations and identities

Published: Jan 01, 2014 by International Journal of Communication
Authors: Vera Slavtcheva-Petkova

This article questions some tacit assumptions underpinning Michael Billig’s banal nationalism concept. It demonstrates that the taken-for-granted link between banal flaggings of nationalism in the media and national identities is highly problematic. Drawing on a content analysis of seven TV news and current affairs programs and a study with 174 children in Bulgaria and the United Kingdom as well as Eurobarometer survey data on adults, it explores banal Europeanism and banal Americanism.


Europe – a default or a dream? European identity formation among Bulgarian and English children

Published: Nov 21, 2012 by Ethnicities
Authors: Vera Slavtcheva-Petkova, Sabina Mihelj

This article examines the formation of European identity among children in the United Kingdom and Bulgaria. It demonstrates that children who identify as European are more likely to see Europe in geographic terms, which facilitates the perception of the European identity as ‘default’. In contrast, children who refuse to describe themselves as European see Europe as an exclusive political entity, associated with high standards and distant elites.

Journal of Children and the Media

“I'm from Europe, but I'm Not European”: Television and children's identities in England and Bulgaria

Published: Nov 05, 2012 by Journal of Children and the Media
Authors: Vera Slavtcheva-Petkova

This article examines the role television (TV) plays in the development of primary school children's European knowledge and identities in England and Bulgaria. It compares the media coverage on Europe and the European Union with pupils' European perceptions and identities. The article reports data from 174 qualitative interviews with children and the content analysis of seven TV programmes. It concludes that TV plays a strong role in collective identities when a topic is salient on the agenda.


New book out on global journalism

By: Vera Slavtcheva-Petkova

Providing a truly comprehensive overview of international journalism and global news reporting in the digital age, this new introductory textbook surveys the full variety of contexts that journalists around the world operate in; the challenges and pressures they face; their journalistic practices; and the wider theoretical and social implications. Analysing key scholarship in the field, Vera Slavtcheva-Petkova and Michael Bromley explore not just journalism as a single entity, but equally the multiple cultures which host journalism and the variety of journalisms which exist across the world.

Clear and accessible, this is an ideal companion for undergraduate and postgraduate students of international and global journalism on Journalism or Media and Communication Studies degrees.



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