Prof. Darina Sarelska on the Journey That Matters

May 04, 2023 Frantsiska Kutevska
Prof. Darina Sarelska on the Journey That Matters

Coming from years of experience in Bulgarian TV stations, Professor Darina Sarelska received her Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. 

“Being able to tell stories and to connect to people and audiences in an emotional and compelling way, I think is key.”

Listen to or watch the interview with Prof. Darina Sarelska to learn more about the obstacles that media freedom faces and the importance of media literacy.  

“We should live each day fully and that doesn’t mean just for pleasure, but live for what really matters.”

On Learning and Teaching 

This is exactly what she does in her classes Digital Storytelling and Making Journalism with a Mobile Phone, part of the Journalism and Mass Communication department. She also believes that university is more than teaching and learning. “I believe these relationships we are establishing at college are long-lasting and really guide our journeys,” she said. 

It was one such relationship with her mentor that eventually led her to the path of a Ph.D. graduate and a Journalism professor. 

“I always knew that eventually, I will be teaching journalism.” 

Coming to AUBG and more precisely back to the Bulgarian context, Professor Sarelska is able to combine her professional experience and teaching skills. 

“That’s been always the way I like to teach journalism. Bringing the newsroom into the classroom, and it feels like now I am doing it using…my whole toolkit.” 

On Media Literacy 

Professor Sarelska is also passionate about the idea of media literacy taught at schools. 

“The thing is they don’t teach you at school how to discriminate fact from opinion. They don’t teach you at school how to recognize if on Instagram it’s an advertisement that you are scrolling over or it’s actually valid verified journalistically sound information.” 

She believes that children and young adults are not prepared well enough for the world of social media. 

“We send [children] unequipped to recognize and to have basic skills, survival mechanism for that for that world.” 

On How to Enjoy the Journey 

The high moral and professional standards made Sarelska a competitive journalist. 

“I was ready to work abusive hours, to put it directly, I had the same expectation from others, but that was a choice for me and I’m not sure that I recognize that it has to be a choice for everyone because I wanted to work the crazy hours.” 

Now Professor Sarelska is learning to enjoy the journey to the goal more than the goal itself. 

“I was always somebody who was very much goal oriented. Getting to a place was my thing. Now it’s the journey…I am trying to appreciate the journey and not the destination. But AUBG has been a pretty fun destination for me this far.”