The Axel-Eggebrecht-Prize, first announced in 2008, goes to the feature author Helmut Kopetzky, who lives in Fulda. The author and publicist Axel Eggebrecht (1899-1991), who was born and grew up in Leipzig, was the patron saint of the prize. After the end of the Third Reich, he played a decisive role in the reconstruction of Deutsches Rundfunk and set the standards for the triumphal march of the then new programming form from Hamburg's NWDR. He is one of the great men of the German feature and therefore a demanding name for the very first award of the "Axel-Eggebrecht-Prize" for the life's work of a radio man. The Chairman of the Board of the Media Foundation and Chairman of the Board of Sparkasse Leipzig, Dr. Harald Langenfeld, sees the award not only as an important sign for the further positioning of Leipzig as a media location but also as a signal that Sparkasse Leipzig is aware of its social responsibility despite necessary restructuring measures. "There are hardly any comparable sponsorships in this field and that is why our two annually changing awards in connection with the 'Schreibwerkstatt Radio' in Germany, Austria and Switzerland are associated with the name Leipzig. This is good for the reputation of our city and what is good for the city is good for all of us".
The jury had 11 candidates, proposed by ARD, Schweizer Rundfunk and the Association of German Writers. The jury was most impressed by Helmut Kopetzky's oeuvre. His catalogue of works comprises well over 100 features and documentaries and spans a period of 35 years.
Kopetzky, born in 1940 in Mährisch-Schönberg, initially working as a journalist for daily newspapers in West Berlin and elsewhere, has repeatedly tackled hot issues in his radio work since 1972, be it the "peace movement", the "rocket summer", National Socialism, the newly strengthened Christian fundamentalism, the fate of the Sudeten Germans, the career of the People's Republic of China, the Middle East conflict or German reunification. The morality of his broadcasts does not remain superficial or bold; it is a personal attitude. That is why he proves to be subversive in the best sense of the word in his successful productions. This backbone of his existence as an author is complemented by great formal talent and the will to pass on his skills and knowledge in workshops on all continents. Kopetzky is an unerring formulator and a colourfully narrative radio man with an excellent feel for relevant topics, the jury judged. The jury praised the commitment of the Sparkasse Leipzig Media Foundation to the radio feature: "First and foremost, the prize-giver is to be praised. Sparkasse Leipzig's Media Foundation has now turned its attentive funding policy to radio. From the daily ocean of its programme offering, the Media Foundation has chosen the most ambitious form of broadcasting for this medium. The feature, i.e. the radio documentary or the acoustic art form of information". In addition to Chairman Peter Leonhard Braun (RBB, PRIX EUROPA), the jury included Dr. Peter Klein (Head of the Feature, Features, Literature and Radio Play Department at ORF, Vienna), Heinz Klunker (Head of Feature Deutschlandfunk 1977-1997) and Linde Rotta as representatives of the Leipzig Media Foundation.