Artificial Intelligence and emerging technologies are upending industries worldwide, particularly the news and journalism sector. The tools have incredible potential, but also plenty of risk.

On one hand, AI technologies have the potential to revolutionize journalism and the consumption of news. New technologies can analyze huge amounts of data, aiding journalists in research, fact-checking, and data-driven reporting. New AI tools can also assist organizations with audience engagement and boost productivity.

Yet, with any new technology, there are also plenty of concerns. These range from ethical use dilemas, to the increasing use of “deepfake” videos and false information. With the biggest question: how it may affect jobs in the journalism field.

In an extremely fast moving environment, it’s essential to come together and share knowledge, insight, and best practices. Join us as leading journalists and experts explore these topics and more at the 2023 New Horizons in Journalism Conference in Sofia, Bulgaria on November 8, 2023.


Astoria Grand Hotel, Sofia


November 8, 2023


(November 8)

9:00 – 9:30 Coffee & Registration

9:30 – 10:00 Opening Remarks 
Welcome by Nancy Schiller, President and CEO of the America for Bulgaria Foundation
Welcome by Irina Nedeva, Chair of the Association of European Journalists in Bulgaria
Welcome by David McDonald, Executive Director of the World Press Institute
Remarks by Milena Kirova, 2023 WPI Fellow, Bulgarian National Television (BNT)

10:00 – 11:00 Keynote
Kenneth Cukier, Deputy Executive Editor, The Economist (via video link)
Abby Bertics, Science Correspondent, The Economist (in-person)

11:00 – 11:15 Coffee Break

11:15 – 12:30 Panel 1 – Unlocking the Potential: Practical AI Uses for Journalists
Marina Tsekova (moderator) Journalist, NOVA TV & WPI Alumna
Venetia Menzies – Senior Data Journalist, The Times & Sunday Times
Ademola Bello – Editor, Newsroom Development and Support Team, The New York Times 
Alessandro Alviani – Product Lead for Natural Language Processing, Ippen Digital
Christopher Brennan – Co-founder & Chief Product Officer of Overtone

12:30 – 13:30 PM Lunch

13:30 – 14:30 Panel 2 – Generative AI: Risks, Responsibilities and Research
Darina Sarelska (moderator) – Asst. Professor in Journalism, American University in Bulgaria
Nikola Konstantinov – Researcher, Machine Learning Group, INSAIT
Maya Koleva – Director, Research & Insights, Commetric
Laurence Dierickx – Researcher University of Bergen

14:30 – 14:40 – Break

14:40 – 15:45 Panel 3 – Newsroom Innovation:  Opportunities in the Information Age
Ivan Georgiev (moderator) Journalist, bTV & WPI Alumnus
Kristina Stoitsova – Interim Director, Data Science, Financial Times
Ville Juutilainen – Head of Data Investigations, Finnish Broadcasting Company
Philip Hatcher-Moore – Journalist, BBC News Labs
Rune Ytreberg – Data Editor, Data Journalism Lab, iTromsø


(November 9)

9:30 – 11:00 From RAGs to Riches: The Hidden World of LLMs

In this session you’ll explore the inner workings of Large Language Models, get introduced to a few key ideas behind the basic architecture that powers them and open a window into what makes LLMs so capable of both brilliance and abject failure. Working all the way up to the concept of Retrieval-augmented Generation (RAG), you will learn about how the FT developed an LLM-powered Semantic Search to enable our subscribers to quickly find any valuable piece of insight or information they need from the FT’s journalistic treasure trove.

11:30 – 13:00 Swiss Army Knife for Journalists and Factcheckers

Digital disinformation of various types and forms (audio, video, images, and text) poses a serious threat to the functioning of open democratic societies, public discourse, the economy, social cohesion and more. Advances in technology are making the creation of manipulations and deceptions increasingly easier all the time, requiring less skills and expertise. At the same time, it is becoming more difficult to detect what has been digitally altered or manipulated without expert knowledge and skills.
The InVID-WeVerify verification plugin is used worldwide by investigative journalists, fact checkers, human rights defenders, academics, etc. It has been designed as a verification “Swiss army knife” helping journalists to save time and be more efficient in their fact-checking and debunking tasks on social networks especially when verifying videos and images.
The provided tools allow you to quickly get contextual information on Facebook and YouTube videos, to perform reverse image search on the main search engines, to fragment videos from various platforms into keyframes, to query Twitter more efficiently through time intervals and many other filters, to apply forensic filters on still images, etc.
The InVID-WeVerify verification plugin is now being developed within the EU-funded “” project (VERification Assisted by Artificial Intelligence), where media professionals and researchers cooperate to build trustworthy AI solutions. We will present the plugin tools as well as some of our new advancements and showcase some real-life investigation examples.

13:30 – 15:00 ChatGPT for News

Exploring and experimenting with the possibilities and challenges of generative AI to support journalism practices

Generative AI technologies have found a prominent place in the ever-evolving landscape of news production, offering a wide range of applications such as text summarisation, brainstorming, headline optimisation and news writing. These tools have the potential to support or enhance professional journalistic practices. However, it is important to recognise that these applications have their own limitations and challenges in the news ecosystem. This workshop is designed to provide a factual exploration of ChatGPT as a professional tool in journalism. Participants will engage in hands-on experimentation with the technology and gain practical experience of its capabilities. The workshop will also serve as a forum to foster a critical understanding of the use of generative AI in journalism.


Kenneth Cukier

Deputy Executive Editor, The Economist

Kenneth Cukier is deputy executive editor and the host of the weekly podcast on technology, Babbage. He is the coauthor of the New York Times Bestselling book “Big Data” with Viktor Mayer-Schönberger, which was translated into over 20 languages. Previously Kenn was the technology editor of the Wall Street Journal Asia in Hong Kong and worked at the International Herald Tribune in Paris. In 2002-04 he was a research fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. Kenn is a board director of Chatham House (the Royal Institute of International Affairs), a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and an Associate Fellow at the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School. His latest book is “Framers” on mental models and AI.

Abby Bertics

Science Correspondent, The Economist

Abby Bertics is a science correspondent for The Economist. She joined The Economist in 2022 and has reported extensively on artificial intelligence and emerging technology. Previously, she played volleyball professionally in Greece, did research on a Fulbright grant in Ekaterinburg, Russia, and did software engineering at Google. She holds a BS and an MEng in Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Marina Tsekova

TV journalist and presenter, NOVA

Marina Tsekova is a Bulgarian TV journalist and presenter of the weekend morning program “Wake up” on NOVA. She has worked at the media for 10 years as a reporter, news anchor, and producer. Prior to joining NOVA Broadcasting Group, she was a journalist at Deutsche Welle in Bonn, the Bulgarian National Radio and the L`Europeo magazine. She discovered the magic of TV journalism as an intern in the journalistic program “Panorama” on the Bulgarian National Television. Marina Tsekova has obtained her Bachelor’s and Master’s degree at FU Berlin and is a fellow of the World Press Institute Program in the USA. She has won several awards.

Christopher Brennan

Co-founder, Chief Product Officer of Overtone

After a career of reporting from more than a dozen countries for outlets such as the BBC, France 24 and NY Daily News, Christopher moved from covering technology to creating it with Overtone. He oversees the development of language models that create qualitative data on news, as well as the creation of products so that data can be used by newsrooms and those who analyze the news.

Dr. Laurence Dierickx

Researcher and Journalism Teacher, University of Bergen & University of Brussels

Dr. Laurence Dierickx researches fact-checking technologies at the University of Bergen (Norway). She is also a multimedia and data journalism teacher at the University of Brussels (ULB). She has a professional background in (data and computational) journalism. She holds a master’s degree in journalism and science and technology of information and communication. Her PhD focused on the integration of news automation within professional practices. She is still active in news information as a digital information consultant and trainer in Belgium and Africa.

Dr. Nikola Konstantinov

Researcher, Machine Learning Group, INSAIT

Nikola Konstantinov is a tenure-track faculty member at INSAIT, in Sofia, Bulgaria, where he leads the Machine Learning group. His research interests lie in the area of trustworthy machine learning and he is especially interested in providing mathematical guarantees for machine learning models, thereby making them provably robust and beneficial to society. Before INSAIT, Nikola was a postdoctoral fellow at the ETH AI Center, working under the supervision of Prof. Martin Vechev and Prof. Fanny Yang. He obtained his PhD at IST Austria, under the supervision of Prof. Christoph Lampert.

Maya Koleva

Director, Research & Insights, Commetric

Maya Koleva, PhD is a media researcher with 15+ years’ experience. She is Director of Research and Insight at Commetric, a leading UK-based media analytics company, and a board member of AMEC, the international industry body representing the communications measurement sector. With a background in journalism and a MA degree in Public Policy, Maya now specializes in innovative research techniques – in her doctoral research she applied network analysis to gauge stakeholder representation in global news media coverage, and in her current role uses a multitude of AI-based tools to answer tricky research questions posed by PR and media relations practitioners.

Philip Hatcher-Moore

Journalist, BBC News Labs

Philip is a journalist with a background in computer science. He joined BBC News Labs in 2022 following more than a decade as a freelance reporter and photographer, during which time he covered a wide range of stories across the globe ranging from conflict to elections to hill-sheep farming, and was based in Nairobi, Kenya, for five years. Prior to journalism, Philip was a researcher in knowledge management at the University of Sheffield and went on to spend three years working in industry at an internet company in France. At News Labs, he develops projects to bring innovation to the newsroom, both improving journalists’ workflows and enriching the audience experience.

Alessandro Alviani

Product Lead for Natural Language Processing, Ippen Digital

Alessandro Alviani is the Product Lead for Natural Language Processing at Ippen Digital in Germany. He leads a team dedicated to developing and building generative AI editorial tools. As a fellow in the 2022 JournalismAI Fellowship Programme, he worked with colleagues at The Times of London to develop a tool and methodology to assist journalists in tracking manipulated narratives, particularly those disseminated by state-run media. Before joining Ippen, he worked as the Editorial Coordinator at the Microsoft News Hub in Berlin. Prior to that, he spent around seven years as the German correspondent for the Italian newspaper La Stampa. He has been closely following the field of AI in journalism since 2020.

Ville Juutilainen

Head of Data Investigations, Finnish Broadcasting Company

Ville Juutilainen leads a team developing data-driven and computational methods for journalistic research at the Finnish Broadcasting Company (Yle).

Venetia Menzies

Senior Data Journalist, The Times & Sunday Times

Venetia Menzies is a senior data journalist at The Times and Sunday Times newspapers specialising in visual storytelling. She was a finalist for the Amnesty Media Awards for her reportage on domestic slavery in Britain. Last year, she completed a fellowship with LSE’s Journalism AI programme, developing a prototype tool to detect propaganda-like narratives disseminated by state-run media.

Rune Ytreberg

Data Editor, Data Journalism Lab, iTromsø

Rune Ytreberg is Data editor for the Data Journalism lab in the newspaper iTromsø, using artificial intelligence to produce investigative news stories and develop editorial tools for local newspapers in the Polaris Media Group. He was previously an awarded reporter in the investigative unit ‘Brennpunkt’ in the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK), and helped establish the data journalism unit in the national daily business newspaper Dagens Næringsliv. He teaches crossborder, investigative data journalism in Norwegian universities, and is a member of the AI Steering Committee in the Polaris media company.

Ademola Bello

Editor, Newsroom Development and Support Team, The New York Times

Ademola Bello is an Editor on the Newsroom Development and Support Team at The New York Times. Based in London, his work includes the training, development and transformation of the newsroom through collaboration with product teams. Prior to joining the NYT he worked as a Data Journalist at The Times and Sunday Times and as a Data Scientist for the UK Civil Service. In 2022, he took part in the JournalismAI Fellowship in collaboration with colleagues at The Times and Ippen Media prototyping a tool and methodology to assist journalists in tracking manipulated narratives disseminated by state-run media.

Ivan Georgiev

Journalist, bTV

Ivan Georgiev is news anchor and reporter with bTV Bulgarian television for the last eighteen years. As a journalist on the ground Ivan Georgiev has covered some of the leading international and regional events. He was granted the World Press Institute Fellowship in 2012. Author of numerous TV documentaries.

Dr. Darina Sarelska

Assistant Professor in Journalism and Communication at the American University in Bulgaria

Dr. Darina Sarelska is an assistant professor in Journalism and communication at the American University in Bulgaria, where she teaches digital storytelling, media literacy and MoJo (making journalism with a mobile phone). Previously she has taught a range of media-related courses at the University of Tennessee and Western Illinois University in the USA. Her professional background is in broadcast journalism. She has over 20 years in the news business, working with the two leading TV networks in Bulgaria. She has served as a news producer and executive producer at bTV (2003-2013) and news director at Nova Tv (2013-2017). Her research interests include sociology of news, professional ethics and media (dis)trust, as well as press freedom deterioration in Central and Eastern Europe.

Kristina Stoitsova

Interim Director, Data Science, Financial Times

Kristina Stoitsova is a technology leader with 20+ years of experience in the areas of product development, professional services and data. She has graduated Computer Science, has a major in E-Business and an MBA degree from the Vienna University of Economics and Business. Over the last 4 years she has been helping the Financial Times bring its subscription business model to the next level. She has been leading core platforms that handle users, content and data. She is currently leading the Data Science team at the FT.

David Djambazov

Senior Data Scientist, Financial Times

David Djambazov is a Senior Data Scientist at the FT. A graduate of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and UC Berkeley with degrees in Physics and Data Science. His career choices have taken him from the trading desks on Wall Street, in the role of bond trader, through the streets of New York, as a film production manager, to the Donbas region of Ukraine, as a journalist and filmmaker. Since embarking on a career in Data Science, he has focused on NLP, Remote Sensing and Computer Vision Machine Learning projects.

Valentin Porcellini

Software Engineer, Agence France-Press’s Medialab

Valentin Porcellini is a Software Engineer at Agence France-Presse’s Medialab. He designs and maintains tools for fact-checkers, including the InVID-WeVerify verification plugin. He participates in the EU-funded project (


Organized by

Supported by


Astoria Grand Hotel, Sofia


Ivan Radev, AEJ-Bulgaria


[email protected]