Two of the winners – one obvious, one less so – out of just nine categories at last night’s German radio awards in Hamburg have strong connections to the jazz world.
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Programme of the Year: “Jazztime: Hören wir Gutes und reden darüber (let’s hear something good and talk about it)– Volume 7” . BR-KLASSIK Roland Spiegel, Beate Sampson und Ulrich Habersetzer
Jury Citation (original German at link below): “A broadcast reminiscent of an island. Instead of drowning in the maelstrom of daily crises, this excellent radio format gives people the space to let some other ideas unfold: because here, in the truest sense of the word, the music is playing. And here, people talk about music. And they do so so expertly, so cleverly, so invitingly, that you’re wishing it won’t ever come to an end. The entire programme impresses with its depth, its time, its respectful, intelligent exchange among equals, and a very special feeling warmth it conveys. The listener is offered the chance to refuel, to find her- or himself in a haven of peace. This is a celebration of music and music journalism, without which radio would simply be unthinkable.”
Comment: As a regular listener, I love, respect and admire this programme. The quality of the discussion which the presenters/ panel members reach is superb, and the way all of them listen not just to the music but also to each other is something very special. It would be great to see it emulated elsewhere. Congratulations!
Interview of the Year: “Pflege am Limit: Krankenschwestern auf einer Corona-Station” (Care at the limit: nurses on a corona ward) – SWR 1 Baden-Württemberg. Nabil Atassi
Jury Citation: “Good interviews are exciting in terms of content and at the same time emotionally stirring: As a listener, you learn something new and you get into a world of feelings that was previously unknown to you. To steer and conduct an interview or a conversation in this way requires journalistic finesse, human tact and empathetic powers of observation. This year’s award winner demonstrates all of these skills in masterly fashion: The courageous step of inviting an upset listener is the first step in a strong performance. The conversation itself is then suspenseful without being lurid, flows almost by itself without being arbitrary, and shows everything relentlessly without being voyeuristic. Nabil Atassi from SWR1 Baden-Württemberg shows us that great things can happen when a perfectly prepared interviewer conducts a conversation on a complex topic with perfect content and emotion. Stop listening? Absolutely impossible – and that’s a good thing!”
Comment: OK, I’ll admit it: the jazz connection here is far less obvious. I was on the Jury for the WDR Jazz Prize in 2013 when Nabil Atassi, as a very promising newcomer to broadcasting, shared the media award with Karsten Mützelfeldt. While working full-on as a hospital doctor (urologist), he has continued to broadcast, and to run his own podcast platform, with a major focus on jazz personalities, at Pop-Talk.de. He was in post as a doctor in Berlin until last year. He moved to Stuttgart to start his first full-time broadcasting job at SWR as recently as October 2021. This award is so well deserved!!
(*) For Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee, Nabil’s sartorial choice was to channel Paddington Bear.