Dr. Vera Slavtcheva-Petkova

Senior Lecturer in Journalism

Vera joined the Department in February 2012 as a Lecturer in Journalism. Prior to that she worked at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford.


BA Journalism and Mass Communication (American University in Bulgaria, magna cum laude)

MA The European Union: Media, Politics and Society (University of East Anglia, distinction, Chevening scholar)

PhD (Loughborough University, examiners: Prof David Buckingham and Prof Máire Messenger Davies)

PGCert Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (University of Chester, distinction)

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy


Vera joined the Department of Media in February 2012. After completing her PhD studies at Loughborough University in 2011, she went on to work at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford, as a researcher on a project investigating the evidence about the harm experienced by children as a result of online risks. She has published her research in international academic journals and 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 was also a member of the Panel Selection Committee of the Children, Adolescents and Media Division of the International Communication Association.

Vera also has industry experience. She was 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.

In November 2014 Vera convened a conference on the future of local media, supported by the MeCCSA Policy Network conference. Vera is also the Department of Media's timetabling coordinator. She organised two international trips for Media students - to Brussels in 2014 and Berlin in 2015.


Prior to joining Chester, Vera taught undergraduate and postgraduate modules in Communication and Media studies at Loughborough University. She currently teaches both practical and theoretical modules in Journalism and she also delivers lectures for new colleagues as part of the MA/PGCert in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education.

Modules she leads:
ME4715 Comparative International Journalism
ME5711 The Politics of Social Media
ME5716 Research for Professions, Practice and Academic Purposes
ME6715 From Watergate to Hackgate: Journalistic Ethics and Issues
ME7237 Journalism Dissertation

Other modules she teaches on include:
ME4717 Journalism Regulation
ME4718 The News Today
ME5712 Specialist Journalism
ME6121 Dissertation
HE7101 Designing and Delivering for Effective Learning

PhD Students:
Nancy Mbaya

Vera welcomes enquiries from prospective MPhil and PhD students in the following areas:

  • International and global journalism with a particular focus on journalism in Eastern and Central Europe
  • Children as media audiences
  • Children and adolescents’ political socialization
  • Online risks, potential harms and opportunities
  • The role of the media vis-à-vis national and European identities, banal nationalism and banal Europeanism
  • Users’ engagement with online media


Recent research projects

Handcuffed but free: a semi-ethnographic study of Russia’s independent news outlets (Project funded under the Santander International Research Excellence Awards Scheme)

Eastern European media moguls at war: Online readers' perspectives (2013 – ongoing)

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)

Children, Europe and the media (2008-2011) - outcomes under “published work”

Published work

Vera’s recent published work includes:

(2015). “We Are Not Fools”: Online News Commentators’ Perceptions of Real and Ideal Journalism. International Journal of Press/Politics. doi:10.1177/1940161215612203

(2015). Are Newspapers’ Online Discussion Boards Democratic Tools or Conspiracy Theories’ Engines? A Case Study on an Eastern European “Media War”. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly. doi:10.1177/1077699015610880

(2015). Towards a Sociology of the EU: The Relationship between Socio-economic Status and Ethnicity and Young People’s European Knowledge, Attitudes and Identities. Young: Nordic Journal of Youth Research, Volume 23, Issue 3, 222-239.

(With Victoria Nash and Monica Bulger). (2015). 'Evidence on the extent of harms experienced by children as a result of online risks: implications for policy and research.' Information, Communication & Society. Volume 18, Issue 1, 48-62.

(2014). Rethinking Banal Nationalism: Banal Americanism, Europeanism and the Missing Link between Identities and Media Representations. International Journal of Communication, Volume 8, 43-61.

(2013). “I’m from Europe, but I’m not European”: Television’s and Children’s Identities’ in England and Bulgaria. Journal of Children and Media. Volume 7, Issue 3, 349-365.

(With Sabina Mihelj). (2013). ‘Europe – a Default or a Dream? European Identity Formation among Bulgarian and English Children’. Ethnicities, Volume 13, Issue 5, 565-583.

For more information on the Media Department, our staff, our programmes, our news and our latest research, please click on these links, or email us at media@chester.ac.uk