"An alternative to today's takeaway information culture"

Axel Eggebrecht Prize 2018 for radio feature journalists goes to Alfred Koch.

Leipzig, 23 January 2018. The Sparkasse Leipzig Media Foundation's Axel Eggebrecht Prize 2018 goes to Austrian radio journalist Alfred Koch. "In over 40 years of working as an author, editor and presenter, especially for the Austrian national broadcaster ORF, Koch has made a major contribution to radio journalism," explains Stephan Seeger, Managing Director of the Media Foundation and Director of the Sparkasse Leipzig Foundations: "We honour him for his work in the field of radio features, which has often influenced the style of the whole genre, introducing German-speaking listeners to the world of literature and its creators." The award is endowed with 10,000 euros. The award ceremony will be held during the Media Foundation's summer reception in Leipzig on 26 June.

Alfred Koch was born in 1957 in Graz. After moving to Vienna in 1976, Koch began his radio career at the age of 19, first working on OE3's youth programme Musicbox. At the same time he studied philosophy, history and logistics in Vienna - an academic background that helped him become "the man who helps us understand Wittgenstein" on the cultural radio station OE1 in the 1980s. In the late 1980s Koch became a presenter and author of the series Diagonal - Radio für Zeitgenossen (Diagonal - Radio for contemporaries) on OE1 and in 1995 he was made 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; he has assisted several radio festi-vals by working as a jury chairman. Alfred Koch has been honoured for many of his individual works, earning both national and international awards.  

"The pivotal point of Alfred Koch's work is the conveying of literature and its creators. But anyone expecting to hear old-fashioned educational radio won't believe their ears," says Richard Goll, chairman of the award jury, explaining why Alfred Koch was selected for the award: "He enables us to experience 'magic moments of listening' - as someone said during the jury's discussion - something that even top-class radio productions can't always guarantee," Goll adds. "His wisely assembled portraits offer genuine acoustic design. Literature is conveyed to the listeners in a way that befits the quality of the works and their authors." Koch's 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. A toolbox for their own life. What literature is in the best sense," the jury's decision continues.

The Axel Eggebrecht Prize, which remembers the eponymous radio feature pioneer, does not honour 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 ceremony for Alfred Koch:
26 June 2018, 5:45 pm (Admission: 5:30 pm) in the Schillersaal room of the Mediencampus Villa Ida (Menckestrasse 27, 04155 Leipzig).

2018 - Axel Eggebrecht Prize