Media Award Laureates 2014

Nekzad, Farida_1 (Independent Election Commission Afghanistan)

Farida Nekzad
(Photo: Independent Election
Commission Afghanistan)

Farida Nekzad is one of the most renowned journalists in Afghanistan. After returning to her home country from exile in Pakistan and a short course study in India in 2002, she has been news director and editor-in-chief of the largest independent Afghan news agency “Pajhwok News” between 2004 and 2009. After that, she has been editor-in-chief of “Wakht News Agency”, which is especially dedicated to the reporting about women and women’s rights in Afghanistan. Until June 2014, she has been an elected member and director of the “Media Commission” within the Afghan “Independent Election Commission”, which should ensure a balanced media coverage of the parties standing for election in the context of the Afghan elections in 2014.

Farida Nekzad trained young journalists in Afghanistan and is also active as an honorary board member of the transnational organisation “South Asian Women in Media”. Her commitment and journalistic activities made ​​her a respected voice in the fight for women’s rights and to freedom of the press – and also the target of multiple death threats, a bomb attack and an attempted kidnapping in the past. Currently, Farida Nekzad lives in Germany as a guest of the „Hamburg Foundation for Politically Persecuted People“ (www.hamburger-stiftung.de).

Jahn, Roland_1 (BStU Ronny Rozum)

Roland Jahn
(Photo: BStU/
Ronny Rozum)

Radomski, Aram_3 (Berlintapete)

Aram Radomski
(Photo: Berlintapete)

Wonneberger, Christoph_1 (privat)

Christoph Wonneberger
(Photo: private)

Aram Radomski, Siegbert Schefke, Roland Jahn and Christoph Wonneberger are essential actors of the “Peaceful Revolution” of 1989 in former East Germany as well as of the oppositional movement in advance of the events. Christoph Wonneberger, who has been a protestant pastor in Dresden (1977 to 1984) and Leipzig (since 1985), coordinated the Monday’s peace prayers in Leipzig’s St. Nicholas Church since 1986 and participated in the work of oppositional movements from within the church. In 1989, he maintained a “Demo-Telefon” (“protest phone”), where western journalist could inform themselves about the events in Leipzig. On the evening of 9 October 1989, Wonneberger gave an interview to ARD “Tagesthemen” (West German news broadcast) and reported about the peaceful demonstration in Leipzig with 70.000 protestors.Roland Jahn was expelled from the university because of his criticism of the expatriation of the famous East German songwriter Wolf Biermann in 1977. He was a co-founder of the “Friedenskreis Jena” (“peace circle Jena”) and was politically persecuted because of his commitment for freedom of expression. In 1982, he was remanded in custody, sentenced and prematurely released because of protests in West Germany. In June 1983, he was then thrown out of East Germany against his own will.

Based from West Berlin, he supported the East German opposition financially and logistically e.g. by procuring printing machines or video cameras. As a journalist, he produced numerous contributions for ARD broadcasting (First German Television) about the East German opposition, violation of human rights and environmental pollution and thus essentially contributed to the formation of an opposing public. Since March 2011, Roland Jahn is Bundesbeauftragter of the Stasi-Unterlagen-Behörde (Federal Commissioner for the Stasi Records).

Siegbert Schefke was one of the founders of the Berlin based “Umweltbibliothek” (“environment library”) where he met Aram Radomski. Together they worked as freelancers for different West German media and particularly documented the decline of historic city centres, the destruction of the environment in East Germany and the burgeoning oppositional movement. From the tower of Leipzig’s Reformed Church near the city centre, they recorded the Monday Demonstration of October 9 with a camera provided by Roland Jahn. West German media published their significant material on October 10 where it was spread into the world and especially reflected back into the GDR. Until today, Schefke works as a TV-editor at Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk (Central German Broadcasting). Radomski is CEO of Berlintapete GmbH (Berlin Wallpaper Ltd.).

25.07.2014


Press release 24 July 2014: “Prize for the Freedom and Future of the Media” 2014 goes to fighters for a pluralistic society from yesterday and today

Leipzig, 24 July, 2014. Four actors of the “Peaceful Revolution” of 1989 in East Germany and an Afghan journalist will be honoured with the Leipzig “Prize for the Freedom and Future of the Media” 2014. Aram Radomski, Siegbert Schefke, Roland Jahn and Christoph Wonneberger are honoured for their struggle for freedom of the press in former East Germany. Farida Nekzad will be awarded the prize for her commitment for a pluralistic society in Afghanistan. With this award, the Media Foundation of Sparkasse Leipzig public savings bank honours five individuals who have committed their work for an independent reporting in different ways but always under great personal commitment and with danger to their personal health. The award is endowed with 30.000 Euros and will be handed over personally to the laureates in Leipzig on 8 October.

Farida Nekzad fights a similar struggle for the freedom of the press in today’s Afghanistan. Since many years, but especially within the last months and in the advance of the presidential elections, she gives a voice to the Afghan public and especially the Afghan women with her reporting and her institutional work e.g. by founding an independent news agency. She puts up with attacks which even culminated in death threads, although she was offered to leave her home country several times”, Seeger added.

“The 25th anniversary of the ‘Peaceful Revolution’ of 1989, which – starting from Leipzig – led to significant changes not only in Germany but in whole Europe, prompted the jury to honour four actors of those events as a group with the Leipzig Media Award vicariously for the thousands of protestors. The demand for an independent reporting, for free media and a pluralistic society were key demands of the civil rights activists and protestors during the Leipzig Monday Demonstrations. Aram Radomski, Siegbert Schefke, Roland Jahn and Christoph Wonneberger were amongst those who formulated these demands and provided them publicity by their courage and intelligence. Thereby, they contributed to an opposing public in former East Germany which undermined the monopoly of opinion of the ruling communist party SED”, said Stephan Seeger, Managing Director of the Foundation.

The laureates:

Farida Nekzad is one of the most renowned journalists in Afghanistan. After returning to her home country from exile in Pakistan and a short course study in India in 2002, she has been news director and editor-in-chief of the largest independent Afghan news agency “Pajhwok News” between 2004 and 2009. After that, she has been editor-in-chief of “Wakht News Agency”, which is especially dedicated to the reporting about women and women’s rights in Afghanistan. Until June 2014, she has been an elected member and director of the “Media Commission” within the Afghan “Independent Election Commission”, which should ensure a balanced media coverage of the parties standing for election in the context of the Afghan elections in 2014.
Farida Nekzad trained young journalists in Afghanistan and is also active as an honorary board member of the transnational organisation “South Asian Women in Media”. Her commitment and journalistic activities made her a respected voice in the fight for women’s rights and to freedom of the press – and also the target of multiple death threats, a bomb attack and an attempted kidnapping in the past. Currently, Farida Nekzad lives in Germany as a guest of the „Hamburg Foundation for Politically Persecuted People“ (www.hamburger-stiftung.de).

Aram Radomski, Siegbert Schefke, Roland Jahn and Christoph Wonneberger are essential actors of the “Peaceful Revolution” of 1989 in former East Germany as well as of the oppositional movement in advance of the events. Christoph Wonneberger, who has been a protestant pastor in Dresden (1977 to 1984) and Leipzig (since 1985), coordinated the Monday’s peace prayers in Leipzig’s St. Nicholas Church since 1986 and participated in the work of oppositional movements from within the church. In 1989, he maintained a “Demo-Telefon” (“protest phone”), where western journalist could inform themselves about the events in Leipzig. On the evening of 9 October 1989, Wonneberger gave an interview to ARD “Tagesthemen” (West German news broadcast) and reported about the peaceful demonstration in Leipzig with 70.000 protestors.
Roland Jahn was expelled from the university because of his criticism of the expatriation of the famous East German songwriter Wolf Biermann in 1977. He was a co-founder of the “Friedenskreis Jena” (“peace circle Jena”) and was politically persecuted because of his commitment for freedom of expression. In 1982, he was remanded in custody, sentenced and prematurely released because of protests in West Germany. In June 1983, he was then thrown out of East Germany against his own will. Based from West Berlin, he supported the East German opposition financially and logistically e.g. by procuring printing machines or video cameras. As a journalist, he produced numerous contributions for ARD broadcasting (First German Television) about the East German opposition, violation of human rights and environmental pollution and thus essentially contributed to the formation of an opposing public. Since March 2011, Roland Jahn is Bundesbeauftragter of the Stasi-Unterlagen-Behörde (Federal Commissioner for the Stasi Records).
Siegbert Schefke was one of the founders of the Berlin based “Umweltbibliothek” (“environment library”) where he met Aram Radomski. Together they worked as freelancers for different West German media and particularly documented the decline of historic city centres, the destruction of the environment in East Germany and the burgeoning oppositional movement. From the tower of Leipzig’s Reformed Church near the city centre, they recorded the Monday Demonstration of October 9 with a camera provided by Roland Jahn. West German media published their significant material on October 10 where it was spread into the world and especially reflected back into the GDR. Until today, Schefke works as a TV-editor at Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk (Central German Broadcasting). Radomski is CEO of Berlintapete GmbH (Berlin Wallpaper Ltd.).

Since 2001, the Media Foundation of Sparkasse Leipzig awards its “Prize for the Freedom and Future of the Media” to journalists, publishers and institutions who show a strong personal commitment to the freedom and future of the media. The prize is also intended to keep alive the memory of the Peaceful Revolution of October 9, 1989 in Leipzig, when protesters demanded “a free press for a free country.”

24.07.2014


(German) Sommerfest 2014

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.

10.07.2014


(German) Medienstiftung der Sparkasse Leipzig gratuliert „Günter-Eich-Preisträger 2013“ Jürgen Becker zum Georg-Büchner-Preis 2014

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.

31.05.2014


Press release 16 May 2014: The 40th International Feature Conference ended in Leipzig

“The radio feature has accepted the digital challenge”

Leipzig, 16th of May 2014. On Thursday, the 40th International Feature Conference which took place at the “Media Campus Villa Ida” Leipzig ended. More than 140 experts from radio stations, Internet companies, print media and universities from around the world discussed about the future of the radio feature. The conference was jointly organised by the Media Foundation of Sparkasse Leipzig, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and the Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk (MDR).

The focus of the conference laid on the transition of radio features on digital platforms and the link to the interactive and audio-visual possibilities of the Internet: “The radio feature has accepted the digital challenge”, said Ulf Köhler, head of feature of MDR Figaro. This was evidenced by controversial discussions during the conference which were fuelled by presentations on the digital strategy of the British daily The Guardian, on the interactive radio project “People of M10” of Rundfunk Berlin Brandenburg or on the world’s largest online audio platform “SoundCloud”. “It became clear: The digital world is looking for content – even for sophisticated content provided by the radio feature,” said Köhler. It was also the task of the Feature Conference to inspire the authors for new technical possibilities of storytelling and reporting. Wolfram Wessels, radio feature author, editor and radio historian, who is responsible for the “Doku-Blog” of Südwestrundfunk (SWR), stressed the need to use the Internet as distribution platform: “But it must not be forgotten that additional technical and financial costs occur, which radio authors can not always cope alone.”

Beside the controversial debates on the “new” radio feature, “conventional” radio features by authors from around the world were analysed during the 40th International Feature Conference as well: “The quality of the works is consistently high, but the style differs substantially,” said Wolfram Wessels, SWR. Different traditions of storytelling are effective here. Additionally issues of topic selection, dramaturgy and acoustic design were discussed. “The International Feature Conference always serves the exchange between and the networking of radio creators from around the world – this goal was also achieved during the 40th IFC in Leipzig,” said Ulf Köhler who was part of the organisational team.

Gruppenfoto_1 (MDR, Bernd Cramer)

Participants of the IFC in front of the “Villa Ida” (Photo: MDR/Bernd Cramer)

One of the highlights of the 40th International Feature Conference was the award ceremony of the Axel-Eggebrecht-Prize of the Media Foundation of Sparkasse Leipzig to German radio feature author Paul Kohl on 14th of May. “We are pleased that we can award the prize in its fourth edition in this particular context and in the presence of so many experts,” said Stephan Seeger, Director Foundations of Sparkasse Leipzig. Paul Kohl was honoured for his life’s work of more than 100 radio features. In his eulogy, Jens Jarisch, feature editor from Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg RBB, praised the laureate: “Paul Kohl examines the world in detail without explaining it to us. He researches so diligently like no one else by asking questions, by suggesting – by practicing criticism – but he never says: the world is like this or that. He also is distinguished by another attribute, said Jarisch: “Paul Kohl has an attitude towards the world, the story, the people; an attitude that creates trust, that includes a sense of timing and propriety, that is interwoven with every layer of his radio features…Because of that, we are awarding the Axel-Eggebrecht-Prize not only for a brilliant life’s work, but to and for: a personality.”

16.05.2014


Foundation

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.

Nikolaisäule (Andreas Lamm)

Sculpture “Nikolaisäule” as symbol of the “Prize for the Freedom and Future of the Media” (Photo: Andreas Lamm)

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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 16 May 2014: The 40th International Feature Conference ended in Leipzig

“The radio feature has accepted the digital challenge”

Leipzig, 16th of May 2014. On Thursday, the 40th International Feature Conference which took place at the “Media Campus Villa Ida” Leipzig ended. More than 140 experts from radio stations, Internet companies, print media and universities from around the world discussed about the future of the radio feature. The conference was jointly organised by the Media Foundation of Sparkasse Leipzig, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and the Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk (MDR).

The focus of the conference laid on the transition of radio features on digital platforms and the link to the interactive and audio-visual possibilities of the Internet: “The radio feature has accepted the digital challenge”, said Ulf Köhler, head of feature of MDR Figaro. This was evidenced by controversial discussions during the conference which were fuelled by presentations on the digital strategy of the British daily The Guardian, on the interactive radio project “People of M10” of Rundfunk Berlin Brandenburg or on the world’s largest online audio platform “SoundCloud”. “It became clear: The digital world is looking for content – even for sophisticated content provided by the radio feature,” said Köhler. It was also the task of the Feature Conference to inspire the authors for new technical possibilities of storytelling and reporting. Wolfram Wessels, radio feature author, editor and radio historian, who is responsible for the “Doku-Blog” of Südwestrundfunk (SWR), stressed the need to use the Internet as distribution platform: “But it must not be forgotten that additional technical and financial costs occur, which radio authors can not always cope alone.”

Beside the controversial debates on the “new” radio feature, “conventional” radio features by authors from around the world were analysed during the 40th International Feature Conference as well: “The quality of the works is consistently high, but the style differs substantially,” said Wolfram Wessels, SWR. Different traditions of storytelling are effective here. Additionally issues of topic selection, dramaturgy and acoustic design were discussed. “The International Feature Conference always serves the exchange between and the networking of radio creators from around the world – this goal was also achieved during the 40th IFC in Leipzig,” said Ulf Köhler who was part of the organisational team.

Gruppenfoto_1 (MDR, Bernd Cramer)

Participants of the IFC in front of the “Villa Ida” (Photo: MDR/Bernd Cramer)

One of the highlights of the 40th International Feature Conference was the award ceremony of the Axel-Eggebrecht-Prize of the Media Foundation of Sparkasse Leipzig to German radio feature author Paul Kohl on 14th of May. “We are pleased that we can award the prize in its fourth edition in this particular context and in the presence of so many experts,” said Stephan Seeger, Director Foundations of Sparkasse Leipzig. Paul Kohl was honoured for his life’s work of more than 100 radio features. In his eulogy, Jens Jarisch, feature editor from Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg RBB, praised the laureate: “Paul Kohl examines the world in detail without explaining it to us. He researches so diligently like no one else by asking questions, by suggesting – by practicing criticism – but he never says: the world is like this or that. He also is distinguished by another attribute, said Jarisch: “Paul Kohl has an attitude towards the world, the story, the people; an attitude that creates trust, that includes a sense of timing and propriety, that is interwoven with every layer of his radio features…Because of that, we are awarding the Axel-Eggebrecht-Prize not only for a brilliant life’s work, but to and for: a personality.”

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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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