Tribute to a journalist who has influenced the style of an entire genre

Awarding of the Axel Eggebrecht Prize 2018 to radio feature journalist Alfred Koch

Leipzig, 19 June 2018. On 26 June 2018, Sparkasse Leipzig Media Foundation will present its Axel Eggebrecht Prize 2018 to Austrian radio journalist Alfred Koch in Leipzig. Alfred Koch will receive the award in recognition of his life's work as the author of numerous radio features. The award is endowed with 10,000 euros. The award ceremony will be held during the Media Foundation's summer reception at the Mediencampus Villa Ida, the Foundation’s headquarters. Stephan Seeger, Managing Director of the Foundation and Director of the Sparkasse Foundations, recognizes the laureate's achievements: "Alfred Koch introduced German-speaking listeners to the world of literature and its creators. His work has often influenced the style of the whole field of radio features."

"Alfred Koch is worth every credit he gets," explains Swedish poet, critic and translator Steve Sem-Sandberg in a video portrait on Alfred Koch, which was produced by the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation ORF for the award ceremony. Koch enables us to experience 'magic moments of listening', as described in the decision of the Axel Eggebrecht Prize jury, which is led by chairman Richard Goll - who had been head of ORF's radio feature editorial department for many years. His work is an alternative to today's takeaway information culture, he says: "The world is broken down into parts of a puzzle, in order to understand what holds it together. What the listener gets from Koch, are psychological and philosophical insights."

Alfred Koch was born in 1957 in Graz and began his radio career in 1976, first working on radio channel OE3's youth programme Musicbox. He studied philosophy, history and logistics in Vienna on the side - a career that helped him become the "man who helps us understand Wittgenstein" on the cultural radio station OE1 in the 1980s. At the end of the 1980s Koch became the presenter and author of the series Diagonal - Radio für Zeitgenossen (Diagonal - radio for contemporaries) on OE1 and in 1995 a member of ORF's radio feature editorial department.

Koch is the producer of the series Tonspuren - Hörbilder zur Literatur (Soundtracks - aural pictures on literature). Thanks to his work as editor and author of this series, he helped the literature feature attract international attention - his feature on Raymond Carver became the ORF's most successful feature, with numerous adaptations in other countries. Alfred Koch has always shared his experience as a feature author in workshops for young journalists.

The Axel Eggebrecht Prize, which remembers the eponymous radio feature pioneer, does not hon-our one particular programme but a whole outstanding oeuvre in the field of German-speaking radio features. It alternates every year with the Günter Eich Prize for outstanding German radio play authors. Previous laureates were: Helmut Kopetzky (2008), Richard Goll and Alfred Treiber (2010), Friedrich Schütze-Quest (2012), Paul Kohl (2014) as well as Margot Overath (2016).

Save the date:
Axel Eggebrecht Prize award ceremony for Alfred Koch
on 26 June 2018, 5:45 p.m. (Admission: 5:30 p.m.)
in the Schillersaal room of the Mediencampus Villa Ida
(Menckestrasse 27, 04155 Leipzig).

Alfred Koch will accept the award in Leipzig in person. The award ceremony will be hosted by Thomas Bille, MDR. Journalists are welcome to cover the event.

At 6:30 p.m., following the award ceremony, the Sparkasse Leipzig
Media Foundation's summer reception will be opened, and we warmly invite you to join us.

2018 - Axel Eggebrecht Prize