Anfang des Jahres wurde bekannt, dass die rechtsliberale Minderheitskoalition im Schulterschluss mit der rechtpopulistischen Dänischen Volkspartei die Finanzierung des öffentlich-rechtlichen Rundfunks in Dänemark von einem Beitrags- auf ein Steuermodell umstellen und gleichzeitig 20 % der Mittel (420 Mio. Dänische Kronen, das sind umgerechnet ca. 56 Millionen Euro) einsparen will. Um dieses Ziel zu erreichen müssen knapp 400 Mitarbeiter entlassen werden. Ab 1.1.2019 werden drei von sechs Fernsehkanälen und drei von acht Hörfunkwellen eingestellt. Die Hörspielabteilung wird geschlossen.
Hier ein offener Brief der Jury der „Radio Fiction“-Kategorie des Prix Europa an das Management von Danmarks Radio (DR). Erstunterzeichner sind 156 internationale Rundfunkexperten.
Open letter to Danish Radio Management
Dear Mrs. Maria Rørbye Rønn,
With serious concern, we have heard about the decision to close the radio drama derpartment in Danish Radio. As international producers of audio fiction, we would like to stress the importance of this unique art form for the medium of radio as well as for society and cultural life.
During the jury sessions at Prix Europa in Berlin, we have experienced again how powerful and efficient radio drama is at reaching large audiences and relating subjects of major interest. As opposed to TV fiction, radio drama is able to adress a very wide range of topics at comparatively low costs. For this power to unfold, however, it is crucial that the present level of professional expertise, budget and production facilities are being maintained. The Danish productions in the competition have shown that the quality level in your country is setting standards throughout Europe. It would be a great loss not only for Denmark but for the whole of Europe if this unique sound world would disappear.
Current media developments are showing a clear trend towards audio storytelling. Even private companies such as Amazon, Audible, Google and Marvel are heavily investing into high quality storytelling. As public broadcasters, we have a head start in this race for listener’s attention due to our long standing experience in this field and our existing distribution system. We can easily fulfil our mission to sustain culture, education, and democracy by building up on this expertise. Shutting down the radio drama department on the other hand, would cut short a well of professional expertise that is essential for the sustained flourishing of an art form.
In this context, we want to stress the particular importance of fiction as a tool for the analysis and reflection of cultural, historical, and political processes. It can open up perspectives and thoughts way beyond fact-bound documentary storytelling. At the same time, it is not prone to complaints about unfair competition from newspapers and other journalistic formats.
Finally, Radio Drama is a unique cultural heritage that has more potential than ever to enter into a creative dialogue with large audiences. Many other public broadcasters (e.g. in Sweden and Norway) are registering huge public interest in audio fiction and consequently stepping up their production and marketing of radio drama. Therefore, we are urging you to reconsider your decision, and we offer our support and advice for developping Danish Radio Drama production further.
The Radio Fiction Jury of Prix Europa, 19.10.2018.