Podcasting has been exploding in popularity worldwide for quite a while now. In Central and Eastern Europe, podcasts are playing catch-up, allowing for media in this region – where press freedom is under threat – to experiment with the format and expand its audience reach.
The Association of European Journalists in Bulgaria, AEJ-Bulgaria, is moving ahead with its plan to hold Sofia’s first podcast festival this month. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the format would be different. What was meant to be a one-day, in-person event will now be a five-day-long online celebration of podcasting and storytelling.
Thе festival, which includes talks, discussions, and workshops, will take place from November 18 to 22 and give you a chance to meet some of your favorite international podcast creators.
Each evening, the audience will have a chance to attend webinars and panel discussions with prominent international podcast hosts and producers. Over the weekend, participants can join workshops and gain hands-on tips and tricks about how to create their own podcast or, if they already have one, get better at it.
Let’s experience the power of podcasting together.
Latif Nasser is co-host of the award-winning WNYC Studios show Radiolab, where he has reported stories on everything from snowflake photography to medieval robots to a polar bear who liked to have sex with grizzly bears. Earlier this year, he hosted the miniseries The Other Latif, about his Moroccan namesake who happens to be Detainee 244 at Guantanamo Bay.
Gregory Warner is the host of NPR’s Rough Translation, and the former East Africa correspondent for NPR. His work has won a Peabody, Overseas Press Club awards and others. He is a 2019/20 Yale Poynter Fellow in Journalism and has taken his accordion to unlikely places, like Afghanistan.
Tracie Hunte is a reporter for Radiolab. She was born in Barbados, grew up in Miami and got her Masters in Media Studies at the New School in New York City. Before Radiolab, she worked in WNYC’s newsroom as a local producer for All Things Considered and Morning Edition. She also worked for ABC’s 20/20 and Primetime news magazines – where she (kinda, by accident) won an Emmy.
Ana Blagova is one of the creators and hosts of The Urban Detectivе – a Bulgarian narrative podcast investigating urban myths and how the visual and cultural identities of cities come into being. Formerly she worked as a reporter at Dnevnik, a news website. She’s an alumna of Sofia University.
Katy Lee is a reporter based in Paris and co-host of The Europeans, an award-winning podcast about politics and culture around the continent. She has written for publications including The Guardian, Politico and Foreign Policy, and teaches podcasting at French university Sciences-Po.
Andrew Gray is EU Editor at POLITICO Europe and host of their weekly podcast, EU Confidential. Based in Brussels, Andrew commissions, edits and occasionally writes stories from around the continent. Andrew worked at Reuters as a correspondent and bureau chief for 15 years. In recent years, Andrew has contributed to outlets including the British Journalism Review and BBC radio’s From Our Own Correspondent.
Zornitsa Stoilova is an editor and podcast producer at Capital Weekly, a leading newspaper in Bulgaria. She also hosts the weekly podcast The Voice of Capital. Her prior experience is in the fields of social issues and human and civil rights journalism. She was granted an award by the Balkan Network for Investigative Reporting in 2015.
Paul Caruana Galizia is a reporter at London-based Tortoise, a slow journalism publication, and the host of My Mother’s Murder, a four-part podcast investigating the death of his. He won New Journalist of the Year at the British Press Awards in 2019. He is from Malta and is Daphne Caruana Galizia’s youngest son.
Maeve McClenaghan is a journalist, writer and podcaster. She works for the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and is the creator and host of The Tip Off podcast. A multi-award winning journalist, Maeve has produced investigations for BBC radio, UnEarthed, the Guardian and Buzzfeed UK.
Aleksandar Brezar is a journalist currently serving as Southeast Europe/Western Balkans Network Lead at Democratic Society. He is also co-host of Sarajevo Calling, a podcast about Southeast European affairs, focusing in particular on the contemporary politics of the Western Balkans.
Nikola Bajanova is a podcast host and producer in the audio department of Slovak daily newspaper Dennik SME. Her podcasting career started in 2018 when she began hosting Index, a podcast which covers economic and business-related topics. She also joined the team of the most popular news podcast in Slovakia, Dobre rano (Good Morning). Previously, Bajanova worked as a radio journalist for Slovakian public broadcaster.
Peter Georgiev is a freelance journalist covering sports, technology and international politics. With his documentary podcast Victoria, Georgiev explores social issues and the relationships between diverse communities through the lens of football. He previously worked for Bulgarian National Television where he hosted a weekly program about the European Union.
Karolis Vysniauskas is a journalist based in Vilnius, Lithuania. He hosts and produces NARA, a pioneering podcast in Lithuania which focuses on the topics of social inequality, politics and cultural issues. In three years of running that podcast, Karolis and his team raised 50,000 euros on Patreon for their journalistic work. Karolis’ work has been published at DW and Lithuania’s National broadcaster LRT.
Jorge Caraballo Cordovez is a journalist and currently growth editor at Radio Ambulante, where he leads online and offline engagement initiatives. He holds a master’s degree in Media Innovation from Northeastern University. He’s a Fulbright Scholar and a Google News Initiative Fellow.
Amira al Madami is co-producer and co-host of Oh, Yes! – a podcast for sex ed and pleasure. She works in the area of digital education and, when she isn’t talking about sex, she works with health startups as a UX advisor and accessibility advocate. Her gang of indoor plants is ever growing.
Polina Paunova is an award-winning political reporter based in Sofia, Bulgaria. She has worked for a number of Bulgarian publications, including news site Mediapool.bg and the Bulgarian Service of Deutsche Welle. She currently works at the Radio Free Europe bureau in Sofia, which resumed operations in 2019 as a digital platform. There, Paunova hosts a weekly podcast about politics and writes a column on current affairs.
Georgi Nenov is the founder and host of one of Bulgaria’s most popular podcasts, The Superhuman. He tells the stories of inspiring people from all walks of life – entrepreneurs, business leaders, activists, artists, athletes, etc.