My long essay on the future of acoustic storytelling has finally been translated into English. You can read and download the full text on my website. Here is the tl;dr version:
Radio plays, features, radio art, reportages and literary readings are acoustic storytelling. Acoustic storytelling is the art of radio. With its production of acoustic narratives, radio generates cultural assets whose lasting value is expressed in the currency of attention. In a changing media landscape, linear broadcasting models become the enemy of attentive listening. The only place listeners can choose when to listen is online. The internet is not a supplementary medium to accompany radio programming. It is becoming the medium and the technical infrastructure through which radio is received. Media convergence has rendered the concept of broadcasting obsolete. In response to changing listening habits, acoustic narratives must be made available via the internet: on demand and forever. This requires a central online portal for acoustic storytelling. Radio becomes a platform for creating contexts where listeners can put together their own programme. Content producers must be properly remunerated. The networked radio play is a form of acoustic storytelling that has yet to be invented, but which might be a timely response to the changing media world.
The text discusses the German radio landscape, where the federal structure of public-service broadcasting is in contrast to the anglo-american system. But nonetheless, my deliberations might pose some general questions about the challenges radio plays are confronted with in the digital age. The translation was accomplished by Nicholas Grindell. The text was also the basis for some sort of manifesto I developed together with Heiko Martens and presented at Berlin’s Akademie der Künste in March of this year. The “digital manifesto” can be listened to at this site, but only in German.