Sophia Smith Galer is an award-winning Visual Journalist for the BBC World Service.
Fluent in Spanish and Arabic, Sophia has covered art, music, science and religion around the world for the BBC. She is the BBC World Service’s first ever Visual Journalist dedicated to producing digital content on faith and ethics, where she covers the complexities of contemporary beliefs around the world. She has reported on the rise of halal tourism to the Ahmadi Muslims risking their lives to perform Hajj; from the women breaking the glass ceiling at the Vatican to the prisoner who sang for freedom in Eritrea; and from the Buddhist monk who moonlights as a make-up artist to the Jews demanding more relaxed marriage laws in Israel. Sophia shoots and produces her items herself, and regularly repackages her videos for both BBC television and radio reports.
As well as her video reporting, Sophia pitched, launched and now single-handedly runs @bbcworldservice on Instagram. She has also become a regular on World News’ Outside Source programme, giving live analysis on religion stories.
Her pioneering social media and video skills have won her a Webby for Social Media in Arts and Culture, a Telly award and an XCity Award from City University. She won the BJTC Best Radio News Documentary 2017 for her radio documentary ‘White Othello: Does British opera have a diversity problem?” In 2016 she was selected as a Many Languages, One World essay contest winner for her essay written in Arabic in praise of multilingualism; the prize was a trip to New York, where she gave a speech at the United Nations Headquarters in Arabic on climate change.
Sophia has written extensively for BBC.com, covering everything from the accidental invention of the Illuminati conspiracy to the Arab poet who worshipped wine. She also led #LikeMinded, a series on BBC Future that examined social media’s impact on mental health, for which she wrote several stories about social media addiction.