Teodora Trifonova

Doctoral Student

Teodora Trifonova is a doctoral student, a research and teaching assistant at the School of Journalism, University of Missouri-Columbia.

She studies global media from a qualitative perspective, focusing on the cultural labor of foreign correspondents. Her other area of research is focused on media and press freedom in Eastern-Central Europe. Trifonova has been studying the roles and professional practices of foreign correspondents from East-Central European countries covering the war in Ukraine. For that study, Trifonova and Dr. Joy Jenkins were awarded the highly competitive Collaborative Scholars Grant by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC). Trifonova presented the preliminary findings of the research in the annual conference of AEJMC in August, 2023 in Washington D.C.

Trifonova teaches a Multimedia reporting course, which she designs as practical, hands-on experience, and brings the latest trends in digital media in class. In the course she also implemented a workshop on Mobile Journalism.

Trifonova is dedicated to building bridges — internationally and professionally, between scholars and practicing journalists, and across disciplines. She executed a successful grant for an international symposium focused on the war in Ukraine. The event brought together leading U.S., and Ukrainian correspondents for multidisciplinary discussions with students and faculty at the University of Tennessee in the spring of 2023, where Trifonova served as a doctoral student before joining the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Trifonova is a senior reporter for bTV, the leading media and TV network in Bulgaria. She has more than 15 years of professional experience as a broadcast journalist. For the past 13, she has been one of the main reporters of bTV’s Central Evening News, covering breaking news in Bulgaria and abroad. Through the years, she covered international stories across Europe and more specifically the Balkan region, specifically from Greece and Romania. In 2016 and 2020, she was a special correspondent for the U.S. presidential election, as well as midterm elections in 2022. She is an author of more than 20 short documentaries, most of them investigative and on social and health care topics as part of the bTV Reporters Program. Trifonova is an award winning journalist, she is a recipient of the “Radostina Konstantinova Award” in 2013 and 2020, which is the most prestigious recognition for investigative journalism in Bulgaria.

Trifonova has also experience from leading media organizations in the U.S. She was a fellow for the PBS NewsHour based in Washington DC, where she served in their foreign desk back in 2021. The same year she also was a fellow for Axios, where she was an author of articles on Balkan politics and Eastern Europe.

As a Fulbright scholar from 2020-2021, she studied at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University as a fellow of the Hubert H. Humphrey Program of the U.S. Department of State. Trifonova was a fellow of the Thomson Reuters journalism program in 2017; and was among the 10 selected journalists around the globe to participate in the 2015 World Press Institute International Program based in the U.S.


Trifonova, T., Jenkins, J. Getting the Truth Out: The Professional Practices and Roles of Central-Eastern European Foreign Correspondents Covering the War in Ukraine, AEJMC, 2023, Presented

Trifonova, T., Identifying trend of rising verbal and physical violence against journalists globally,
presented, BEA, 2022, Presented


Demystifying and Diversifying the Grant Process for Young Scholars and Graduate Students: Integrated Approaches and Best Practices, AEJMC, 2023, Panelist

Awards & Grants

2023 International Reporting Symposium: War in Ukraine. Global Catalyst Program, University
of Tennessee-Knoxville, Grant

2022 Collaborative Scholar Grant, Getting the Truth Out: The Professional Practices and Roles of Central-Eastern European Foreign Correspondents Covering the War in Ukraine, AEJMC, Grant

Updated: October 6, 2023