"Award for a brilliant life's work and personality"

Feature author Paul Kohl received the Axel-Eggebrecht-Prize in Leipzig

Leipzig, 14 May, 2014. Today, the Media Foundation of Sparkasse Leipzig awarded its "Axel-Eggebrecht-Prize" 2014 to 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", said the Foundation's Managing Director Stephan Seeger. The award ceremony took place at a ceremony on the occasion of the "40th International Feature Conference". During the conference, approximately 140 radio journalists from around the world discussed the perspectives of the radio feature.

Paul Kohl is one of the most renowned German radio feature authors. His work now includes 15 radio plays and more than 80 radio features that were broadcast by nearly all ARD-stations. From the jury's statement: His great narrating talent and the wide range of subjects is what makes Paul Kohl’s radio work unique. Kohl had prevailed among nine candidates proposed by WDR, MDR, RBB, Swiss Radio and Television SRF and the Free Academy of Arts Hamburg.

In his eulogy, Jens Jarisch, feature editor from Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg RBB, emphasized Kohl’s special view from today on stories ranging from German history to contemporary issues and to biographical pieces: "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."

In his words of thanks, Paul Kohl explained his preference for the genre of radio feature: "What fascinated me more and more about the feature: the concrete issue, the discipline of form. In short: the severity. While researching you are throwing out the large fishing net. In interviews and for atmosphere sounds you are recording anything that passes your microphone. But in the selection of interview passages, the atmosphere sounds, when writing the text: the dissection takes place. There, you are exposing the core, the bones of the issue...The more unnecessary and deviant you leave off, the more compelling, the more beautiful the acoustic product 'feature' gets. Incredible how renunciation improves the product." He thanked the Media Foundation, the chairman of the jury Richard Goll and the jurors Linde Rotta, Gisela Corves, Jens Jarisch and Dr. Wolfram Wessels, but especially the editors, directors and sound engineers: "They have all contributed to this prize. Salute to all."

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. Paul Kohl is the fifth laureate after Helmut Kopetzky (2008), Richard Goll and Alfred Treiber (2010) and Friedrich Schütze-Quest (2012).

The recording of this year’s award ceremony will be transmitted by MDR FIGARO on 22 May at 10 p.m.

2014 - Axel Eggebrecht Prize