Problem is: there is no money! In France, only France Culture and ARTE Radio do actually pay for radio creations. I personally receive three to five demands every day, and can only produce about 120 sound pieces a year… So yes, webdoc is an important gateway for crafted sound (and I agree with Thomas Weibel, "Nowhere Safe" which we helped to produce is a pefect example: www.a-l-abri-de-rien.com)
Because we must be true and straightforward: not a lot of people do actually care for crafted radio ! I know my bosses don't... It is a long process, expensive, requires craftmanship and is not very flashy or glamorous. Facebook may be cool for promotion, but you don't listen to a 50 minutes-long radio feature on it. So, here are a few personal thoughts:
- public events like listening sessions are cheap to organize, fun and successfull in the long run. It is a slow but guaranted way to promote our art.
- time is essential: you can have the craft and ethics of a documentary in a three-minutes piece, and THAT goes well on Facebook. Formats don't work on the web. Traditional radio formats are killing creation, and they are killing us.
- the audience is king, not the author: down with the boring, self-serving, 70's avant-garde höspiel, narcissistic monologues ! We have to be challenging, interesting, funny, provocative through the course of a short or a long piece. Not selling our soul : that can mean time, silences, beautiful voices, strong characters BUT ALSO noises, brutal editing, changes of rythms, multitracks mixing, etc.
- we have to learn from new tools: I now agree with hidden microphones, which were against my ethics at first. We can blend well-crafted"classic" recordings and impure, brutal sounds from telephones or personal devices. We have to find new ways of telling stories. And we can only hope that a new generation will shock us with a "crafted radio" that is not the one we grew up with, or the one we actually produce."