Monday, January 23, 2012

Nutshell: Edwin Bries

(pumpkin sized nutshell)

Some remarks:
  • On the internet you find a lot of literature about the position and challenges of radio within the digital universe and multimedia environment.
  • Radio seems to remain a device that still defends itself well and the number of web radio’s is overwhelming.
  • This interest in radio might be based basically on commercial grounds, on the social and cultural mission of public broadcasting organizations and on the mission of community radios.
  • In the debate about radio in the multimedia context radio feature does not to seem a frequent topic.
Basic assets of the traditional radio feature :
  • oral history
  • the voice of the citizen
  • reports on changes in people and society (social relevance)
  • marriage between information and aesthetics
  • using the stylistics and grammar of the medium radio
New possibilities since multimedia applications:
  • increased access to programmes ( when and where you want)
  • worldwide distribution
  • on a lot of different devices (Arte-radio)
  • meta information about topic, people, place via endless amount of links.
  • adding visuals, now-playing information, latest news-headlines, etc
  • creation “communities” around broadcasters, programmes and programme makers
  • interactivity / active input and feedback from media users
  • reaching new audiences for audio through the other media ( Le Monde –website presents the highlights of the main morning radio news shows)
  • radio could invest more time and energy to catch extra audiences through other devices
  • radio feature makers could offer more formats adapted to other channels and slots than the traditional ones ( many already do but do not present this shorter and more humble part of their work to international competitions such as Prix Europa)
  • there seems to be a lack of reflection and initiative on these new challenges from the part of the broadcasting managers , and therefore,
  • radio feature makers do not feel the urge to explore new ways of production, programming and distributing, as their managers do not ask them for
  • one consolation : the best programmes or formats have been invented by creative people, not waiting for demands from the management, but with a great feeling for innovation, originality and the often not outspoken wishes and interests of the public.
  • We could more often offer excerpts of our features to other media
  • Via the web, your radio documentary isn’t any more a stand alone programme, but is linked to a lot of other media production on the same topic, target group, etc.
  • Features from the past can be updated anytime via links on internet
  • Producing a radio series ( like VPRO Radio in 7 parts on new China), feedback from listeners can influence the next episodes.but:
  • immense choice and freedom for media use versus media user who expects professionals to offer well ready made, relevant, pleasant programmes (propose me, inform me, seduce me). “I cannot seduce myself”. - internet is a chaotic jungle. Please guide me.
  • the aim is not re-inventing existing media ( ex. radio on the web, with some pictures video’s = re-inventing television, at its worst)
  • any merge of media into a new multi-media production should be based on the professional qualities of the makers. Don’t expect a talented radio maker to get the same excellent results as a television maker. At least , this is not obvious.- quotation from ? : “broadcast radio delivers mass audiences. Do the small niche stuff on the internet”
  • aren’t there any limits to the capacity of consumption for the media user?
  • we should take care not to move from a personal story , told by the programme maker, to a a jungle of links and feeds (Wikipedia)
  • one medium might be more suitable to tell a story, another to facilitate collective gathering of information.
  • radio is excellent for storytelling, but too linear and too instant consuming for dee contextualization. The encyclopedia function fits much better to internet.
  • radio over the television is more popular than over the internet
  • another quote: “ there is no time for nostalgia”, “there’s always a step backward”
Edwin Bries, EBU, head of EBU master school, Belgium

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