Issue 55 of the scientific e-journal “Rhetoric and Communications” continues its tradition of offering in-depth research by Bulgarian and foreign scholars and experts on current topics in the field of rhetoric and communications. The focus is on the theoretical reflection on three important topics – media credibility and PR communication; European cohesion policy and the manifestations of media deficits in a virtual environment; the role of media in the educational process and trends in doctoral education. Included in the issue are the results of research on the rhetoric of trust as a stimulus for regional news media in the Netherlands; the features of discourse on PR strategy and principles of behaviour as a condition for building and maintaining relationships between organisations and society. Conclusions are drawn from an analysis of discussions of Euro-Atlanticism in virtual environments and of the communication of European cohesion policy. To researchers of the educational process, we offer articles on strategy and reform in Serbia, and on doctoral education in Germany and Bulgaria.

A.W.M. (Willem) Koetsenruijter and J.C. (Jaap) de Jong from Leiden University in the Netherlands thematise proximity as a unique advantage for regional media, which differentiates them from national news organisations and is an incentive to avoid the rhetoric of exclusion, regionalism and xenophobia. This article provides a theoretical context for the rhetoric of trust in regional news media and proximity as a quintessential news quality. In the study, the researchers thematise the notion of proximity as a rhetorical device and analyse 52 interviews with journalists from regional Dutch news media to explore how they argue for trust in their media.

Dimitrina Stefanova explores trust as the component structure of PR strategy and as a condition for successfully building and maintaining relationships between organisations and society at large. The basis for the analysis is expert research and special reports from the past four years of the Edelman Trust Barometer and Edelman Data & Intelligence. The findings are related to the specifics of the discourse on PR strategy and principles of conduct.

Desislava Antova examines the discussions on Euro-Atlanticism that are realised on a verbal and visual level in a virtual environment, in particular on the social network Facebook. She uses the method of rhetorical analysis, which focuses on messages and their effects in a specific political context and in an election campaign and situation. It provides opportunities to identify some manifestations of Euroscepticism and Euro-Atlanticism in a virtual environment. The article is an occasion to discuss media deficits, the need for legal regulations regarding fake news and especially the misuse of terms without embedding specific content in them.

Communicating European cohesion policy is the topic of Aseniya Dimitrova’s article. She provides a theoretical overview and review of the academic literature related to media coverage and communication of the European Union (EU) cohesion policy. Publications in English and Bulgarian (from scientific journals) and results of research projects that are related to communicating the cohesion policy are examined. The aim is to highlight the main approaches, themes and gaps in scientific knowledge on the topic to date. Aseniya Dimitrova analyses the relationship between the funds and support for the European Union as a whole, as well as its impact on the sense of European identity.

Ivan Cvetanović examines the new education process in Serbia. He raises the issue of academic honesty and the legal system in education. Ivan Cvetanovic reviews best practices of US scholars and analyses examples of negative manifestations in the structure and organisation of educational institutions in Serbia. He mainly discusses perspectives on the relationship between all parties responsible for successful education, the role of democratic media in education, and making education a “specific form of cultural memory.”

Adriana Toneva presents a study of the legal framework and strategic documents of doctoral education in Germany. The paper presents a content analysis and secondary data analysis and specifies the requirements for admission and doctoral studies in three different federal states. Practices of collaborative research in the framework of a common research work and trends of internationalisation at all levels in German higher education institutions are summarised.

Nadia Birezakli analyses doctoral education in Bulgaria in the light of the Bologna Process and the European Education Area. The article outlines the perspectives and challenges for doctoral education and provides recommendations for optimising the educational and research process within the framework of doctoral education in Bulgaria. The paper concludes that there is a gradual harmonisation in the practices and quality of doctoral training.

Under the rubric of “Book Review” Prof. Ivanka Mavrodieva presents the books by Ventsislav Bondikov “PR as an object of knowledge. Towards a Philosophy of Public Relations” and “Critical Debates on PR”.

Брой 55 на сп. „Реторика и комуникации“, април 2023 г. се издава с финансовата помощ на Фонд научни изследвания, договор № КП-06-НП4/72 от 16 декември 2022 г.

Issue 55 of the Rhetoric and Communications Journal (April 2023) is published with the financial support of the Scientific Research Fund, Contract No. KP-06-NP4/72 of December 16, 2022.

Rhetoric and Communications Journal, issue 55, April 2023

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