Friday, March 03, 2006
This is a perfect example of a conference which has gone on too long - and is now wrapped up in self congratulatory nostalgia. In the early days I supported such a conference of radio documentary makers, held every two years in Amsterdam in the Balie theatre. We even invited guests over from Canada and Australia. But Dutch radio has been cutting documentary budgets for radio for years - and now most are hidden away on Radio 747, the 25 million Euro network that no-one listens to. (I am not kidding - audience research in the evening consistently show a reach of 0.0. 40,000 is the peak). Because documentaries are being made to "fill airtime", there are simply too many - and the style is very old fashioned compared to what you hear in the US or UK. So, now the conference is populated by middle aged grumblers, complaining it ain't what it used to be....when you had 3 months to make a 60 minute documentary - and 3 weeks fiddling around in the studio. Get over it - those days have gone.