9 May 2023

Saving Public Broadcasting Audio Dramas - Open Letter to Kai Gniffke, ARD Chairman, and All of the ARD’s Artistic and Programme Directors

Together with other cultural organisations, the Akademie der Künste has addressed an open letter to the chairman of the ARD, Kai Gniffke, and all of the ARD’s artistic and programme directors.

The artistic audio drama is an important form of cultural heritage needing protection. The letter’s intent demands transparency and participation in restructuring editorial teams and programme content. It’s more than a matter of securing archives of the most extensive kind; it is also about creating a living production network of authors, composers, directors and actors. Artistic audio dramas, the successors of radio plays, represent an original broadcasting art form that deserves special protection. Further, the letter states: “As much as we acknowledge the need for the ARD to remain competitive within the media industry context, it must be insisted that public service broadcasting remain an essential instrument of democracy. Broadcasting is a producer of culture …. Its task and responsibility are to produce more in-depth forms and content, and specifically, to practice the democracy for which it stands.”

In addition to the Akademie der Künste, the institutions that have signed the open letter are the Verband der Theaterautor:innen (VTheA), the Verband Deutscher Bühnen- und Medienverlage (VDB), the Verband der Hörspielregie (VdHR), the Deutsche Drehbuchverband (DDV), the Bundesverband Schauspiel (BFFS) and the Hans-Flesch-Gesellschaft.