Tonya Ruseva, Bulgarian journalist.

Bulgarian TV Anchor Learns About U.S. Media Coverage Of Politics

Bulgarian journalist Tonya Ruseva spent three days at the University of Georgia in mid May  discussing the outcome of the November 2016 presidential elections and examining how the U.S. media have covered the first 100 days of the Trump administration.

Ruseva is an international news editor and anchor of prime time news for Bulgarian National Television. A journalist since 1999, she specializes in international news and has covered the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Presidency of Bulgaria.

Her program in Athens, organized by the James M. Cox Jr. Center for International Mass Communication Training and Research, was part of a two-month Transatlantic Media Network fellowship, coordinated by the Atlantic Council in Washington.

The Cox International Center is a unit of the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia and partnered with the Atlantic Council for this program.

While at the University of Georgia, Ruseva met with David Hazinski, Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor. Hazinski specializes in digital and broadcast news and is a former NBC correspondent who has helped launch a dozen international networks.

“You should always show respect while covering the presidential institution as a journalist, but you should also be treated with respect,” Professor Hazinski told the Bulgarian guest.  “Now we have a president who watches a lot of TV and tends to immediately react, which makes the life of his surrogates difficult.”

Ruseva visited the Center for International Trade and Security, a unit of the School of Public and International Affairs, and had a meeting with Dr. Sara Kutschesfahani, executive director. The discussion focused on security issues related to nuclear weapons in the light of the rocket tests by North Korea and the staunch criticism of the Iran nuclear deal by the current White House administration.

During a meeting with Dr. Rusty Brooks, director of the International Center of the Carl Vinson Institute of Government, Ruseva and Brooks discussed the similarities in the processes that are taking place in the American society and in some of the Balkan countries. They also talked about the  clash between two major trends in the world--globalism on one hand, and the drive to preserve cultural identity on the other.

“One of the highlights of my stay in Athens was a meeting of the Planning Commission of Oconee County,” said Ruseva. “For the first time in my life, I had the chance to witness how citizens participate in the decision-making process of local authorities regarding granting permit for a change of a property zoning. This experience was an incredible example of active citizenship and control of the citizens over the decisions of the authorities.”

Dr. Lee Becker, the director of the Cox International Center, organized the visit to Watkinsville and accompanied the guest to the Planning Commission meeting.

In the Grady College, the Bulgarian visitor had meetings with Dr. Charles Davis, dean of the Grady College, who talked about curricular changes designed to reflect the new developments in the media industry, and with Dr. Janice Hume, head of the Journalism Department, who gave the visitor a historical perspective of media coverage of politics in the United States.

Dr.Tudor Vlad, associate director of the Cox International Center, talked with the guest about the Center's international projects and about the impact of new communication technologies on U.S. journalism and mass communication education.

Prior to the visit to the University of Georgia, Ruseva traveled to Ohio, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, California, and Louisiana. Following the stop in Athens, she was to travel to Mississippi and Washington D.C.