The conference was livestreamed in English for free for those who couldn’t travel to Sofia. Watch below.

This year’s primary conference themes were Disinformation & Propaganda, How to Navigate SLAPP Lawsuits, and Ways to Support Local Journalism with a keynote by Brian Beutler, editor in chief at Crooked Media.

A number of WPI alumni and board members spoke at the conference including Camilla Bath (class of 2014), South African-based freelance journalist and media trainer; Alexey Kovalev (class of 2018), investigative editor at Meduza; and Michael Montgomery (WPI Board member), senior reporter and producer at Reveal.


Note: all times are noted in EET. To view the time conversion to your local timezone, click on the time.

9:00 – 9:30  Opening Remarks
David McDonald, Executive Director of the World Press Institute
Lenko Lenkov, Program Director Business Enabling Environment, America for Bulgaria Foundation
Irina Nedeva, Chair of the Association of European Journalists in Bulgaria

9:30 – 10:30  |  Keynote: Disinformation and the Role of the Journalist
Brian Beutler, Editor-in-Chief of Crooked Media

10:45 – 11:45  |  Combating Disinformation & Propaganda
Alexey Kovalev, Investigative Editor, Meduza
Sophie Vériter, Researcher at ISGA
Venelin Petkov, Independent Journalist
Michael Montgomery (Moderator), Senior Reporter/Producer from the Center for Investigative Reporting

13:00 – 14:15  Examining SLAPP Lawsuits and Their Threat to Press Freedom
Flutura Kusari, Senior Legal Advisor, ECPMF
Alexander Kashumov, Human Rights Lawyer
Lora Georgieva Mateeva – Legal Program Coordinator, Anti Corruption Fund
Stoyana Georgieva, Editor-in-Chief,
Maria Cheresheva (Moderator), Vice-President of the Association of European Journalists-Bulgaria

14:15 – 15:30  Exploring the Future of Local Journalism
Brian Beutler – Editor-In-Chief, Crooked Media
Dean Starkman – Senior Editor, ICIJ
Emiliya Dimitrova – Publisher and Editor, Sevlievo Online
Camilla Bath (Moderator), Journalist, Editor and Media Consultant