Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Nutshell: Ulf Köhler

It is time for documentary makers to come out of the niche of cultural radio.

The time for documentaries in the range of analogue radio is fading out. Making documentaries is so expensive that it's no longer viable to broadcast solely through the traditional airwaves, only to be listened to once - we must be looking for multiple platforms for our pieces.

Let's use the internet (podcast, download, streaming) in order to provide the pieces to more listeners.

But it is not helpful to use the worldwide web only as an additional distributer of our labour of love.

In these times the paradigm has to be changed.

Let's move over to a certain production of documentaries and sound scapes as well as for the worldwide web. In this harsh time of coping with different opinions and burning issues it is necessary to offer the user trustful information, more additional facts, more stuff coming from the background. I also mean biography of the author, slideshows, facsimiles, etc.

Nothing increases the circulation figures more than a good offer of burning issues, good sound and good stories. That's our business!

The user wants to share the author's experiences as well.

Many ARD-Broadcasting stations are using the digital radio recorder and they are having there own platforms for documentaries. In many cases an upload is also available or the user will get the piece via podcast.

The MDR Broadcasting station accompanied a lot of documentaries and essays with texts, photos, slideshows, sometimes with blogs as well.

To take part in public discussion as a documentary maker it is necessary to change our own customs and habits.

Let's create a feature community!

We can go this way because we believe in our skills and the craftsmanship of making documentaries.

Now the ship is lying in the roads."

Ulf Köhler, MDR, head of radio feature, Germany

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