Press release 11 February 2014: “Axel-Eggebrecht-Prize” 2014 goes to Paul Kohl

Leipzig, 11 February 2014. The Media Foundation of Sparkasse Leipzig awards the “Axel-Eggebrecht-Prize” 2014 to the feature author Paul Kohl.

“We congratulate Paul Kohl on this deserved award and are happy that a new renowned feature author completes the league of our laureates” says the Foundation’s Managing Director Stephan Seeger. “Apart from that, we’d like to express our gratitude to our jury and it’s chairman Richard Goll. I congratulate the jury members Richard Goll, Gisela Corves (WDR Western Broadcasting), Dr. Wolfram Wessels (SWR South Western Broadcasting), Linde Rotta and Jens Jarisch (RBB Berlin-Brandenburg Broadcasting) on this wise decision.”

From the jury’s statement: His great narrating talent and the wide range of subjects is what makes Paul Kohl’s radio work unique. Since the mid 1980s he has been dealing with historical subjects (Steh auf, es ist Krieg./ Stand up, we’re at war. About the German invasion of the Soviet Union, 1986); biographies (Der Fall Herbert Häber./ The Herbert Häber case. About the Politburo and psychiatry, 1999); contemporary history (Wer ermordete Alfred Herrhausen/ Who killed Alfred Herrhausen, 1997; Ground Zero New York, 2002) but he is also interested in ecological topics (Strom vom eigenen Dach: Sonnenenergie/ Electricity from your own roof: solar energy, 1994) and general cultural phenomena (Volles Rohr: Kampfbahn Autobahn/ Full throttle: racing arena Autobahn, 1992).

Paul Kohl does not give to much priority to himself or the results of his intense research, which he rather uses as the basis of his insistent questions. He unexcitedly renders statements and arguments into a precise language, carefully opposes them to counterarguments and arranges the outcome in a brilliant dramatic composition. The author never hides his own view on the subject. However, this careful arrangement of different elements still gives enough space for the listener to form his own opinion. Paul Kohl does not want to propagate the one and only right “truth”, he rather tries to enlighten his audience with the help of information.

The Axel Eggebrecht Prize which remembers the Leipzig radio pioneer does not honour one particular program but a whole outstanding artwork in the field of German-speaking radio features and finds a deserved laureate in Paul Kohl: a stylist who never pushes himself to the fore but still remains perceptible and tangible as a person.

The jury had to work through a whole list of strong competitors. The extensive submissions of 9 candidates had to be considered, recommended by WDR, MDR (Central German Broadcasting), RBB, Swiss Radio and Television SRF and the Freie Akademie der Künste (Free Arts Academy) in Hamburg among others.

This year’s “Axel-Eggebrecht-Prize” 2014 award ceremony will take place in a special setting. The 40th International Feature Conference will take place in the “Media Campus Villa Ida”, the seat of the Leipzig Sparkasse Foundations. The award ceremony will be held within the context of the conference on Wednesday, 14 May 2014 on the Media Campus.

11.02.2014


Press release 3 November 2013: DOK Leipzig: Media Foundation of Sparkasse Leipzig sponsors award for outstanding documentary

Leipzig, 3 November 2013. This year´s “Talent Dove” sponsored by the Media Foundation of Sparkasse Leipzig goes to Kaveh Bakhtiari (France/ Switzerland) for his film “L’Escale” (“Stop-Over”). The Media Foundation endows the award with 10,000 euros for the purpose of serving as a start-up financing for the award winners’ next documentary film project. The award ceremony took place on Saturday during the 56th International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film.

Stephan Seeger, Managing Director of the Media Foundation, congratulated Kaveh Bakhtiari on winning the ‘Talent Dove’. Mr. Seeger feels the aim of the Foundation´s commitment to be achieved: “The way in which ‘Talent Dove’ price winners develop gives us justified reason to believe that we will see and hear more of our award winners in the future – which is the second important motivation to donate this award besides the appreciation of their achievements.”

Just two days after being awarded the “Talent Dove” of the Media Foundation of Sparkasse Leipzig, “L’Escale” (“Stop-Over”) has been nominated for the European Film Awards. The Swiss-French co-production is one of three films nominated by the European Film Academy in the category “European Documentary 2013″. “The Media Foundation is very happy for our laureate Kaveh Bakhtiari and congratulates him with all our heart. Last year, our Talent Dove laureate Ilian Metev won the ‘France 4 Visionary Award’ of ’51. Semaine de la Critique’ in Cannes for his film ‘Sofia’s Last Ambulance’. Now the nomination of ‘L’Escale’ (‘Stop-Over’) and Kaveh Bakhtiari for the European Film Awards.”, said Seeger.

About the film (by Lars Meyer): “What is a human being without a passport? The question B. Traven discussed in his classic novel “The Death Ship” is still disturbingly topical. The death ship that director Kaveh Bakhtiari finds is called Athens. This is where he happens to run into his Iranian cousin Mohsen. But while he himself has had a Swiss passport from childhood, is able to move freely and cross borders, Mohsen is an illegal immigrant. He spent three months in prison for this and is now stuck in Athens – like thousands of others for whom Greece was to be no more than a stop-over. He shares a flat with curtained windows with other “illegals”. Kaveh decides to move in and share their life.

For almost a year he accompanies their daily life, which looks like the life in an ordinary flat-share only at first glance but is essentially marked by fear, claustrophobia and deprivation. The days move past the curtains like a shadow-play, while every day people risk their lives for their hopes, put themselves at the mercy of smugglers or wait years for fake passports. The film registers directly how their hopes crumble – an intense experience for the audience, who are “locked up” with the protagonists at least for the duration of the film. A courageous film that brings to light what is otherwise concealed by the shadow of the European crisis.”

Link to the film/text

03.11.2013


Leipzig Media Award 2013 handed over to Alan Rusbridger (Guardian)

London, 21 October 2013. During his stay in London, Burkhard Jung, Lord Mayor of the city of Leipzig and Chairman of the Foundation Council of Media Foundation of Sparkasse Leipzig, symbolically handed over the “Prize for the Freedom and Future of the Media” 2013 to Alan Rusbridger, editor-in-chief of the British daily newspaper The Guardian. The official award ceremony took place on 8 October at the “Media Campus Villa Ida” in Leipzig. The Berlin correspondent of the “Guardian”, Philip Oltermann took over the prize on behalf of Alan Rusbridger.

Beside the two journalistic teams Jörg Armbruster/Martin Durm and Brigitte Alfter/Ides Debruyne and journalist Tongam Rina, The Guardian and Glenn Greenwald received this year’s “Prize for the Freedom and Future of the Media”.

Foto OBM - The Guardian 21.10.2013 LONDON_bearb

Alan Rusbridger, editor-in-chief of The Guardian (left) and Burkhard Jung, Lord Mayor of Leipzig

The Guardian and Glenn Greenwald informed the international public in an excellent and journalistically independent manner about the dimension of global surveillance of digital communication networks. Against opposition and despite direct interventions, they continued this work unperturbed. Because of his research and publications, Glenn Greenwald is also suspended to unacceptable personal limitations, threats and hazards.

21.10.2013


(German) Pressefotos der Preisträger

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.

14.10.2013


Press release, 8 October 2013: Leipzig Media Award 2013 honors journalists from Europe, USA and India as well as the newspaper The Guardian

Leipzig, 8 October 2013. The media foundation of Sparkasse Leipzig gave its “Prize for the Freedom and Future of the Media” to journalists and institutions that dedicate themselves to ensuring and developing the freedom of the press around the world with courage and strong personal commitment. This year’s laureates are: the journalist Tongam Rina from India; Brigitte Alfter (Denmark) and Ides Debruyne (Belgium), the initiators of journalismfund.eu that supports cross-border investigative journalism; the German Middle East correspondents Jörg Armbruster and Martin Durm as well as the lawyer and journalist Glenn Greenwald (USA) and The Guardian represented by Philip Oltermann, the Berlin correspondent of the British newspaper.

In this year´s Leipzig Speech on Freedom of the Media and the Press during the award ceremony, Hans-Ulrich Jörges, member of the editorial board of the Stern magazine and chief editor for special tasks at Gruner + Jahr, reflected the current revelations of global intelligence agency monitoring practices: “We journalists in Europe have to criticize ourselves, because we have been too credulous. (…) We were not able to imagine the scope of complex and permanent control of media communication by intelligence agencies of democratic states. Today we have to imagine it.” Therefore he demanded an amendment of the European Charter for Press Freedom by adding a ban on systematic monitoring, but reminded at the same time: “We have to ensure the protection of these rules.” In 2010 the idea of a European Center for Freedom of the Press and the Media came up in Leipzig, he said. Journalists and politicians have supported this idea but putting it into practice now becomes difficult despite the approved financing by the EU parliament. Jörges demanded to fight for the project: “Here in Leipzig we should, we must and we will create the European Center for the Freedom of the Press and the Media.”

Since 2001, the Leipzig Media Foundation honors journalists from around the world every year with the Prize for the Freedom and Future of the Media who commit themselves to independent journalism despite high personal risks to their work and lives during research and in their articles and reports. The Lord Mayor of Leipzig and chairman of the Sparkasse Leipzig Media Foundation council Burkhard Jung pointed out during the award ceremony: “Since it was created, the Leipzig Prize for the Freedom and Future of the Media has aimed for an international audience. It is meant to support people who are convinced of the indispensability of a worldwide public. (…) We want to support people around the world for whom freedom of expression is one of the foundations of democracy or even the ideal means
to provide a democratic atmosphere.”

This year’s Leipzig Prize for the Freedom and Future of the Media has been endowed with 40,000 euros for the first time – an exceptional proceeding. Dr. Harald Langenfeld, chairman of Sparkasse Leipzig and the media foundation said during the press conference: “Press freedom is threatened in many countries, unfortunately more and more in countries, where we wouldn’t expect it in the first place because press freedom seems to be protected there by laws and constitutions.” The Leipzig media award is concerned with current threats to press freedom too. According to the foundation council and the board this concern justifies the fact that the award is given to four laureates the first time and the endowment was increased as a result of the revelations of worldwide intelligence monitoring practices by Glenn Greenwald and The Guardian.

See the full Leipzig Speech to the Freedom of Media and Press by Hans-Ulrich Jörges (in German).

08.10.2013


Foundation

Nikolaisäule
Sculpture “Nikolaisäule” as symbol of the “Prize for the Freedom and Future of the Media”

The media industry has become an important branch of the economy both nationally and internationally. This is also evident in Leipzig, where it has played an important role in the reconstruction of the region.

Whoever wants to support and sponsor this development has to consider more than the mere economic and employment-oriented aspects. A media center becomes especially important and attractive when it represents a climate where the media’s great responsibility towards society is recognized as a duty as well as a challenge.

The Media Foundation of the Sparkasse Leipzig wants to contribute to this climate. One of its key commitments is the fostering of training and further education possibilities for young people in the media field. This involves scholarships (e.g. through the Leipzig Media Award), targeted project support, and the organization of civic education events, such as for the commemoration of the fall of 1989 in Leipzig.

The Foundation projects are financed by the Foundation itself as well as third party contributions and donations.

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Teaching and Research

The Media Foundation of Sparkasse Leipzig is particularly committed to education and training in the media sector. Therefore, the Foundation cooperates closely with local universities and other educational institutions and founded institutes, launched initiatives and projects and created the necessary infrastructure for media-related activities. The respective core institutions are:

  • the “Leipzig School of Media” (LSoM) with its part-time academic master’s degree programs and seminar programs,
  • the “Institute of Practical Research on Journalism and Communication” (IPJ) with four basic research fields: journalism, communication management, media management and media informatics,
  • the Radio Workshops “Feature” and “radio play” as think tanks for the content-related and methodological training of authors and media experts,
  • the “Media Campus Villa Ida” as a multifunctional venue.

Discover these areas by visiting the related web pages and learn more about the funding spectrum of the Media Foundation.

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Press

Press release 11 February 2014: “Axel-Eggebrecht-Prize” 2014 goes to Paul Kohl

Leipzig, 11 February 2014. The Media Foundation of Sparkasse Leipzig awards the “Axel-Eggebrecht-Prize” 2014 to the feature author Paul Kohl.

“We congratulate Paul Kohl on this deserved award and are happy that a new renowned feature author completes the league of our laureates” says the Foundation’s Managing Director Stephan Seeger. “Apart from that, we’d like to express our gratitude to our jury and it’s chairman Richard Goll. I congratulate the jury members Richard Goll, Gisela Corves (WDR Western Broadcasting), Dr. Wolfram Wessels (SWR South Western Broadcasting), Linde Rotta and Jens Jarisch (RBB Berlin-Brandenburg Broadcasting) on this wise decision.”

From the jury’s statement: His great narrating talent and the wide range of subjects is what makes Paul Kohl’s radio work unique. Since the mid 1980s he has been dealing with historical subjects (Steh auf, es ist Krieg./ Stand up, we’re at war. About the German invasion of the Soviet Union, 1986); biographies (Der Fall Herbert Häber./ The Herbert Häber case. About the Politburo and psychiatry, 1999); contemporary history (Wer ermordete Alfred Herrhausen/ Who killed Alfred Herrhausen, 1997; Ground Zero New York, 2002) but he is also interested in ecological topics (Strom vom eigenen Dach: Sonnenenergie/ Electricity from your own roof: solar energy, 1994) and general cultural phenomena (Volles Rohr: Kampfbahn Autobahn/ Full throttle: racing arena Autobahn, 1992).

Paul Kohl does not give to much priority to himself or the results of his intense research, which he rather uses as the basis of his insistent questions. He unexcitedly renders statements and arguments into a precise language, carefully opposes them to counterarguments and arranges the outcome in a brilliant dramatic composition. The author never hides his own view on the subject. However, this careful arrangement of different elements still gives enough space for the listener to form his own opinion. Paul Kohl does not want to propagate the one and only right “truth”, he rather tries to enlighten his audience with the help of information.

The Axel Eggebrecht Prize which remembers the Leipzig radio pioneer does not honour one particular program but a whole outstanding artwork in the field of German-speaking radio features and finds a deserved laureate in Paul Kohl: a stylist who never pushes himself to the fore but still remains perceptible and tangible as a person.

The jury had to work through a whole list of strong competitors. The extensive submissions of 9 candidates had to be considered, recommended by WDR, MDR (Central German Broadcasting), RBB, Swiss Radio and Television SRF and the Freie Akademie der Künste (Free Arts Academy) in Hamburg among others.

This year’s “Axel-Eggebrecht-Prize” 2014 award ceremony will take place in a special setting. The 40th International Feature Conference will take place in the “Media Campus Villa Ida”, the seat of the Leipzig Sparkasse Foundations. The award ceremony will be held within the context of the conference on Wednesday, 14 May 2014 on the Media Campus.

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Leipzig Media Award

The Media Foundation of Sparkasse Leipzig is committed to the memory of the “Peaceful Revolution” that took place in East Germany in 1989. Freedom of speech and unrestricted gathering of information through a free and independent press were key demands of the civil rights activists and demonstrators during the Leipzig Monday demonstrations at that time.

Through the annual awarding of the “Prize for the Freedom and Future of the Media”, the Media Foundation of Sparkasse Leipzig supports the freedom of press and with it the memento of the fall of 1989.

The defense of the freedom of press is more important than ever. Even in free societies it is endangered: the patterns of suppression of information are becoming more subtle. The “Leipzig Media Congress”, which was organized by the Media Foundation in October 2010 and which formed the thematic framework of last year’s award ceremony, was dedicated to this issue.

By awarding further prizes – such as the “Talent Dove” for the best documentary of a talented newcomer at the International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film, the “Günther-Eich-Prize”, the “Axel-Eggebrecht-Prize” and the “Promotion Prize of Bibliology”, the Foundation promotes culturally and qualitatively sophisticated work in text, sound and film.

All awards of the Media Foundation are summarised under the generic term “Leipzig Media Award.”

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Media Campus

The Media Campus in the Leipzig district of Gohlis was erected by the Media Foundation. Together with the historic Villa Ida building where the actual seat of the Foundation is located it forms an interesting ensemble and thus literally combines old and new.

The building includes a large hall for events with a capacity of up to 280 seats, which can be divided by a movable partition wall. This room can also be used as a lecture hall. On the first floor you find two seminar rooms with 25 seats each, a training room for video editing with ten seats and an audio recording studio. On the top floor there is a PC room with 23 seats and offices for lecturers. In addition, the building accommodates a small public bistro, which also supplies the Media Campus and four apartments for scholars/guest lecturers.

Media Campus Villa Ida

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Contact

Media Foundation of Sparkasse Leipzig

Menckestraße 27
D-04155 Leipzig
Germany

Phone: +49 341 – 5629 661
Fax: +49 341 – 5629 663
info(at)leipziger-medienstiftung.de

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