As a child, Christopher Karadjov lived near Moscow in the former Soviet Union, where he started school. He still counts Russian as his second language, even though today he uses professionally almost exclusively English. Karadjov went on to become a journalist in his native Bulgaria at the time when the Berlin Wall fell (1989), and the country, along with the rest of the Eastern Europe, went into a rapid and unprecedented transition from totalitarianism to democracy, and from a state-run economy to free market.
Karadjov completed his master’s in journalism/mass communication in Sofia University (Sofia, Bulgaria) in 1994-1995, with a thesis on the birth and development of professional public relations in his country. By that time, he was already working full-time in Bulgaria’s largest daily, 24 Hours, becoming a senior government reporter for the publication. As a part of his professional duties, Karadjov traveled extensively with various government officials and witnessed some high-stakes negotiations, including the talks with Russia’s then Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin and Gazprom’s Rem Vyahirev, both of whom he interviewed.
In 1995, Karadjov assumed the position of domestic news editor for Standart News, another Sofia-based daily. He coordinated the newspapers coverage of Bulgarian political and social developments.
Karadjov received a Washington-based fellowship as an international journalist in June 1996 and spend the next six months working as a reporter for the Dallas Morning News. Even though he concentrated his efforts on adopting the routines of U.S. journalists, Karadjov still accomplished a number of stories related to Eastern Europe. In November 1996 he interviewed Baylor University’s Dr. DeBakey, who had just overseen Boris Yeltsin’s heart surgery; he also talked to Poland’s anti-communist legend Lech Valesa.
Upon his return from the United States in late 1996, Karadjov accepted a job with Sega – a renowned weekly political magazine in Sofia – becoming its deputy editor-in-chief in charge of reporting. He oversaw numerous stories related to Bulgarian, Eastern European and world politics. At the time, Bulgaria was starting negotiations to join the European Union, all the same trying to maintain mutually beneficial relationships with traditional partners like Russia. By virtue of his professional duties, Karadjov followed closely the developments in the region, traveling extensively and interviewing officials, business representatives and common people, who took the brunt of hardships during this transitional period.
Karadjov quit full-time journalism and began a doctorate in mass communications at the University of Florida in August 1997. He completed his course work in August 2001. During this period, he continued to be an active contributor to Bulgarian media, but also worked for international outlets such as BBC’s World Service and Prague-based magazine Transitions Online. Karadjov’ maintained his active interest in Eastern European and Russian developments. Research projects he accomplished at this time were also almost exclusively devoted to studying Eastern European media.
His dissertation researches Bulgarian journalists’ attitudes toward neighboring Macedonia, a problem of not just theoretical, but also practical importance to the regional stability. Karadjov attended numerous research conferences to present his papers and commenced scholarly publishing of his work while still in graduate school. He also worked on various research projects, such as Florida Kids Against Tobacco (1999-2000), and as an outside survey analyst for the then Georgia governor Roy Barnes (2001).
In 2001, Karadjov was appointed as an assistant professor of journalism at the State University of New York at Oswego. He taught numerous reporting and writing classes, creating new courses in global news media, and media and politics. Karadjov maintained his research interest in Eastern Europe. He received grants to study Bulgarian journalism practices and established cooperation with Eastern European and Russian scholars.
Karadjov joined the Journalism Department at California State University, Long Beach, in August 2005. He teaches Global News Media, Reporting and Information Gathering, Investigative Reporting, Mass Communication Research Methods, Mass Communication Theory, and continues his involvement with studying Eastern European media through lectures, grants, conference papers and publications. A particular interest of Karadjov’s are comparative studies that juxtapose journalism practices and media influences in Eastern Europe with those in other parts of the world.
Karadjov is actively involved in the International Communication Association, especially its Journalism Interest Group; he is a member of AEJMC and several other professional organizations, including American Association for Public Opinion Research, which reflects his interest in surveys and political communication.
In 2008-2009, Karadjov has been co-teaching a seminar on Eastern Europe with Dr. Vlatka Velcic, Comparative Literature, and Dr. Dmitrii Sidorov, Geography. At the end of the course, the professors hope to take Cal State students to Bulgaria, Russia and Croatia for a few weeks of exploration in the summer of 2007.
Office Location: LA4-101B
Office Hours: Mondays and Wednesdays, 10-11:30am, or by appointment
JOUR 311 – REPORTIN INFORMATION GATHERING – MW – 10-11:50AM – SPA-206 – Karadjov C
JOUR 494 – RESEARCH METHODS MASS COMM – TuTh – 11-12:15PM – SPA-104
For syllabi for these and all Department of Journalism & Mass Communication classes, click here.