Second Cohort of the English for Journalists Program Graduates

May 21, 2019 Dimana Doneva
Second Cohort of the English for Journalists Program Graduates

45 of Bulgaria’s distinguished media professionals successfully graduated the second edition of the English for Journalists Program in Sofia. The initiative, led by the American University in Bulgaria and sponsored by the U.S. Embassy in Bulgaria, offers English-language education and journalistic seminars over the span of 15 weeks.

AUBG President Dr. Steven Sullivan opened the graduation ceremony that was held in AUBG’s Elieff Center for Education and Culture April 6. “By completing the English for Journalists Program, you have become part of the AUBG family,” he said. “And you as journalism professionals will support us in our mission to help the region and Bulgaria in terms of democracy, in terms of economy and in terms of the quality of life of its citizens.”

By reaching out to journalists, the program aims to reinforce AUBG’s mission to create agents of positive change. “The U.S. embassy is proud to support media, journalists and the effort to promote freedom of speech,” said Drake Weisert, Public Affairs Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Bulgaria in his address to the journalists. “And you are critical people in the growth of democracy in Bulgaria and the region.”

Both AUBG’s department in Journalism and Mass Communication (JMC) and the university’s English Language Institute (ELI) played an important role in building the program. The first five weeks of the program were exclusively dedicated to English-language training taught by AUBG alumnus and prominent educator Milko Totevski (‘03).

The last 10 weeks featured media seminars led by top media professionals from near and far, including AUBG’s professors in JMC Lynnette Leonard, Laura Kelly, and Jason Murphy. What makes the English for Journalists program unique is precisely the combination between offering very practical language skills and knowledge on a wide array of topics in journalism, said Provost Emilia Zankina. “Now you are empowered to do more, to research more on your own.”

“The course was useful for all of us not only because of the language skills and insights in different professional areas but also because of the peer to peer learning and the networking opportunities,” said Lyubomir Martinov, a reporter at the Bulgarian News Agency and participant in the program. “We hope that we would be able to contribute to the main goal of the program: to create a community of responsible journalists in Bulgaria.”