The Bliss to Be a Video Journalist
Mariya Savkova, a video journalist for one of the biggest private media in Bulgaria, BTV, visited AUBG this Wednesday, April 22. She talked about the difficulties and blessings of her career
and gave examples of the challenges every journalist goes through. The presentation is one of the series of events organized by the SPJ Chapter at AUBG.
Savkova is known for her news packages about health care and social issues in Bulgaria. Although at the beginning of her career she was covering stories from different fields, today Savkova makes video news packages mainly in the sphere of healthcare. In journalists’ slang, one will say “Healthcare is her beat.”
Although today Savkova is a prominent video journalist, she had never imagined working in this sphere. She majored in english philology and got a job as a translator. Six years ago she lost her job. Pushed by her internal desire to get away from home and be active, Savkova applied for an internship program in BTV. This was the start of her career in the News Department of the television.
“I fell in love with this profession. It became my vocation and addiction,” Savkova said.
Before looking at the advantages and disadvantages of being a video journalist, Savkova showed her 15-minute documentary about Kenya, “One Country with No Dreams.” This is the first such project Savkova has undertaken but it will not be the last because, as she said, “I love documentaries and I this is what I would like to do.” Her film shows the brutal reality of life in Kenya: the poverty, hunger, lack of education, and abuse of power over women.
Unlike other professions, journalism requires one to be expert in different areas. While in Kenya for two weeks, Savkova was the reporter, producer, editor, and director of the documentary. She was the only video journalist among a group of international media representatives.
“It is a one-man show,” Savkova said. “One person should have the capacity to do every single step in the process.”
Video journalism, according to Savkova, is a time-consuming, stressful and responsible job. Every fact and name have to be checked, every story has to be supported by videos, every video has to be diverse and unique at the same time. On top of that, everything has to meet the assigned deadline. Yet, for Savkova, video journalism gives the opportunity to “bring change to society and also to the world.”
The most stressful part of her job are the live streams. Savkova shared how once she had to do a live report on a topic she wasn’t well prepared for.
“The voice of the producer was repeating on the headphone ‘Talk for two more minutes’ and I didn’t know what to say,” Savkova said.
Third-year student Daniel Penev has been in contact with Mariya Savkova for a few months now. Penev took the same six-week online training course Savkova had taken. The course is for Eastern European journalists and is organized by Minority Rights Groups (MGR). Penev asked her for help and this is how their journalistic fellowship began. In February, Savkova
accepted his invitation to come to AUBG and share her experience.
“I invited her to deliver a presentation at AUBG for two main reasons: first, Mariya is one of the youngest, yet already quite experienced talents in BTV and second, she is a super cool and positive person,” Penev said.
“The most inspiring thing is that she is so confident and persistent. She doesn’t seem to get tired at all,” said Rumyana Kercheva, first-year student.