Questions for ingo bruggenjurgen on 10 years of this site

On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of this site, Funkkorrespondenz from Bonn conducted an interview with this site editor-in-chief Ingo Bruggenjurgen:

Mr. Bruggenjurgen, you have been editor-in-chief of this site of the Archdiocese of Cologne from the very beginning. When you think back today to the beginnings of the station, what do you remember first?? Bruggenjurgen : To the words of our Cologne cardinal: " With babies I don't have the necessary experience – but to them as a family father I gladly entrust our this site baby!"A Christian man, for whom children are always a gift from God, can hardly say "no". Especially since the archbishop of Cologne had written the following in the this site baptismal register: "All who listen to this site should become more joyful from the heart!" and at the same time, with his blessing of incense, which set off fire alarms, he still acted as a successful PR birther.
Moreover, we were mighty proud of the date of birth: Pentecost 2000 – is there a better date for a station that wants to loudly proclaim the Good News from the rooftops?

FK Can you tell us something about the history of this site and how it came about?? Why did the station come into being, who had the idea? If the Catholic Church missed something specific in the radio landscape, they saw a gap in the market? Was the Christian offer at the public radio programs and in front of the door at the WDR no longer satisfactory?

Bruggenjurgen As is well known, success always has many fathers: In addition to the Cardinal, there was a far-sighted Vicar General Feldhoff, who, as the current Provost of the Cathedral, is still happy about his this site and presents his own classical music program on high holidays. The diocese's own media managers Joachim Zoller, Erwin Muller-Ruckwitt, and Dr. Manfred Becker-Huberti set an important course at that time and made sure that we could start successfully and grow. In addition, there was a very well-functioning media-pedagogical radio program in the diocesan citizens' radio studios of the Archdiocesan Educational Institute. We could build on this. We knew that everything could work after our first 14 test broadcast days – where we sent our first event radio "on air" on the FM frequency 100.0 here in Cologne for the 750th anniversary of the cathedral.

FK Did you ever fear that the station might not be able to stay afloat in the long term, because it would not be able to hold its own with the audience on the radio market?? How is the financial security of the station now and in the future??

Bruggenjurgen According to biblical experience, he who constantly looks to the wind never sows – and he who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is not fit for the kingdom of God. No, we all went to work here with a lot of enthusiasm and joy. When we had our problems with the broadcast computers late at night, we would squint into the neighboring brightly lit broadcast studios of the WDR and encourage ourselves, saying, o.k, what they can do, we can do too. Only that we have always been in the role of David against Goliath and still are today – also with regard to the big private media moguls. We were not granted a frequency for eight years – and then only after much toing and froing a modest 30 watt Cologne city center frequency, which gives up its ghost under every bridge. But we discovered the Internet much earlier than others and made a virtue out of necessity. The overheard diocesan station this site quickly became our site – a multi-media platform that is catching the ears of German-speaking Christians around the world.

FK But you haven't answered the financial question yet. What about the financial security today and tomorrow – especially in times of decreasing church tax revenues?.

Bruggenjurgen Do you know an editor-in-chief who is fully satisfied and happy with his financial framework?? But there is nothing to hide: Year after year, our sponsor, the Bildungswerk der Erzdiozese Koln, invests approx. 2 million in the spreading of the Good News. If you consider that today 90 percent of church taxpayers use our church services or other church offerings only very rarely, the church tax money is excellently invested with our open and barrier-free media offerings. our site – the "good wire to the top" works worldwide 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. In addition to FM, our program is broadcast throughout NRW in the cable network and can be heard throughout Europe via the ASTRA satellite. Our media work in the vineyard of the Lord can be checked daily by every church tax payer!

FK How would you outline the tasks, so to speak the broadcasting mission of the catholic this site?? Most people listen to the radio mainly for the music.

Bruggenjurgen Without question – radio is switched on first and foremost because of the music. But whoever chooses our station from the abundance of offers in our difficult reception situation, also expects from us that this site is inside, where this site is written on it. We try to bring the Christian message into the daily dialogue. Unfortunately, other church media often only come up with their classification a week or more later. In the fast information and media world it is often too late. We're filling a big gap there. If z.B. In Afghanistan there is an attack, you can hear and see it everywhere, but the military chaplain who reports on the worries and needs of the soldiers and their families usually only gets a word in edgewise.
A radio with a connected internet platform is an optimal medium to amplify the abundance of Christian voices and to bring them into the society. Church leaders and decision-makers may not always be able to chat or blog – they can make phone calls – and we take care of the necessary media preparation: from the text message to the right original sound on the radio to our daily video news on the Internet.

FK In Berlin, the evangelical radio station Paradiso is unexpectedly facing the end of its existence because the media supervisory authority does not want to renew the station's license. The reason is obviously that in the program of Radio Paradiso the share of words has decreased disproportionately and this does not correspond to the license. One could also say: The station appears more commercial than the police allow. Now Radio Paradiso in Berlin has to hold its own in the toughest German radio market and is also allowed to broadcast advertising. It should be an advantage that you are not in such a situation in Cologne. Broadcasting at this site is more relaxed?

Bruggenjurgen That would be nice – but our meager FM frequencies in Cologne on the Rhine, in the Nahe region and in Fulda are certainly not comparable with those of our colleagues in Berlin on the Spree. I am convinced that there should be a place for a Christian radio station even in Berlin, where there are 30 FM stations. Unfortunately, we have tried twice in vain in the past years to get FM frequencies there. Regardless of whether Berlin or Cologne, in any market environment you need a clear, recognizable and preferably unique profile. That's what we strive for. We have a word share of slightly over 50 percent. For us, music is first and foremost the appropriate means of transport – with which we want to get our happy radio messages across. FK What kind of music is played on this site – what is the musical concept??


At the start of broadcasting, the Bild newspaper here in Cologne ran the provocative headline: "Bishops play cuddly rock!"- but as we know, that is not their first task. We have decided on calm, harmonic rock and pop music for the age group 30 to 60 years. In addition, there is a lot of classical music on Sundays – and in the environment of the religious broadcasts, a lot of church music – from Gregorian chant to Taize singing. I don't know of any station that spans its musical arc as wide and has as many tracks in rotation as our domraido does.

FK What are the great strengths of a station like this site Cologne??

Bruggenjurgen A clear mission – to bring Christian values into the current social dialogue, to proclaim the Good News, and a team that is convinced of this and very committed to the mission, following Erich Kastner's motto: "There is nothing good – unless you do it"!

FK What role does this site play in the media strategy of the Catholic Church??

Bruggenjurgen You'd better ask the responsible Catholic strategy and coordination commissions about that. In this context, however, we hope that all the many discussions and considerations will take into account what Bishop Franz-Josef Overbeck recently wrote in the FAZ: "Cologne's this site has developed into an outstanding media portal, not only from the point of view of the Ruhr bishopric, which offers users high-quality text, audio and video contributions". So here you don't necessarily have to reinvent the wheel over and over again.

FK What is the relationship between the Cologne this site and Radio Vatican?? Was the pope station a role model? Do you cooperate with Radio Vatican in any way??

Brueggenjuergen Radio Vatican broadcasts have been a fixed part of our program since the beginning. There is a well-functioning exchange between the staff. The new director, Father Hagenkord, spent a few weeks in our editorial office before taking up his post – our editors get to know the universal church in Rome. During World Youth Day, the German crew broadcast from our studios – when Cardinal Ratzinger stepped onto the balcony as Pope Benedict XVI, our chief of staff was there in St. Peter's Square. There is a good division and a very well functioning exchange of program contributions.

FK : To what extent do you still work with other catholic or religious radio stations at this site?. Christian partners together? Bruggenjurgen The Christian agencies like KNA or epd are of course a very good source and helpful support for us. In addition, we usually work well with the church press offices and their services. We are particularly closely connected with some aid organizations in our program this site-worldwide: Adveniat, Missio, Renovabis and also Kolping International. But there was and is also good cooperation with the Church in Need or Caritas.

FK What do you know about your target group?? Could you describe the typical this site listener, if there is one?? Or is it possibly a listener? Bruggenjurgen : This is a broad spectrum. In hospitals or retirement homes, people are happy about our Lauds, Compline or our service transmissions in sound and vision. Thousands of mostly young people use our podcast offer, the live broadcast from Taize, and again other Christians who are involved in quiet and effective parish work appreciate our news ticker as well as our current reports from the area of church and society.

FK Have you noticed that other radio stations, whether private or public, have changed their programming because of the existence of this site, that is to say, they have copied something from you, especially recently?? In general, religious and ethical topics – some think as a reaction to the economic decline – are very "in" at the moment,. "Die Zeit", for example, recently introduced the new page "Glaube und Zweifeln" (Faith and Doubt) to the paper. Bruggenjurgen I don't know if the people in charge of "Die Zeit" have copied us or not. But they have obviously realized that you can also make quota with religious topics. We currently have around 140 a month.000 real visitors on our site – not from our own provider, but reliably counted by the measuring institute of the German advertising industry. More and more people are tuning in every day – search engines such as Google alone often bring in more than 1,000 interested people. Those who find what they are looking for with us – will come back again.
We have already noticed that one or the other interviewee, whom we have painstakingly dug up, is interviewed a little later on the same topic in one or the other medium. But that's wonderful when our messages amplify other media outlets. Christian internet providers are also increasingly posting audio or video contributions from us – as long as we are made clear as the source, this also only serves our reach.

FK Keyword reach: While for a long time the FM frequency in Cologne was the Christmas wish for this site every year, because the majority of people listen to the radio via FM, radio reception via Internet stream has now developed into a real alternative or supplement to terrestrial radio. In the meantime this site.It is, so to speak, the leap from Cologne to the whole world, this site global. Has there been something like a miraculous increase in the number of listeners??

Brueggenjuergen : The inadequate FM coverage was, as it were, our Internet catalyst. What was difficult over VHF – often worked over the Internet. After we had first only one nearly "dead side" to the transmission start in the net, we extended our offer here in the years continuously. Here on the net, everyone quickly finds what they need: whether they want to read Cardinal Meisner's sermon in text form, listen to it as an audio podcast, or follow the service from the cathedral live in audio or video, everyone is consistently served with Christian content. After posting the full length of the service in the archives for several weeks, we have also added Franciscan friars in Brazil to our site. They always found the live broadcasts a bit exhausting because of the time difference..

FK Are there certain program segments that have received (significantly) more attention as a result of live Internet broadcasting, so that you may even have restructured your program accordingly?? In any case, podcast offers should also enjoy great popularity with the this site community.

Bruggenjurgen Our weekly broadcast of the Taize Candlelight Celebration is one such example: when we started, we had almost 30 people in the audience.000 podcast views in just one week. 60 minutes of liturgy – which interested people have downloaded onto their i-Pods and MP3 players in order to pray along?. In the meantime, the brothers from Burgundy offer their own – so that our calls have decreased. But it is precisely the time-independent use of media, which we enable via the Internet as a podcast or through our archive, that is continuously on the rise. We are sure that the media consumption of the future will be much more diverse – a lot of this is just beginning.

FK : What is the significance of the online distribution of our site social networks like Facebook, StudiVZ or even Twitter? How has this interactive communication possibly changed the program??

Bruggenjurgen Admittedly, the young members of the editorial team had to give their old boss a helping hand here. The media world is changing rapidly. We don't have to jump on every bandwagon – but we check out a lot of things and keep the good ones. We were the first to tweet our news as an official church organization, and since mid-January we have been z.B. also joined Facebook. More and more supporters are entering into interactive dialog with us there. In the future, we want to strengthen this interactive dialogue with our listener and user community.

FK The abuse debate is currently the dominant topic in connection with the Catholic Church. How does this site deal with this journalistically? What might listener reactions tell you about how the church must deal with this matter?

Bruggenjurgen Not only with this topic we have always tried very hard for clarity and truth here in the this site. The right guidelines for dealing with this topic were not invented by the German Bishops' Conference – they are already written in the Bible for all to read (Mk 9,42). We also reported on the ie of abuse before the cases at Canisius House in Berlin, and that's why we don't hide anything at all, especially here. When our colleagues from Phoenix and NTV invite us into their studios as experts on this topic, we can't be completely wrong.

FK What is your balance after ten years of this site??

Bruggenjurgen With God's help, with courageous church decision-makers and very committed staff, we have come out of the starting blocks very well in the last 10 years and are well on the way. As a marathon runner, however, I know that the goal is far from being reached. But we now have the necessary routine, experience and still the necessary grit in our bones to continue to do well in the race.

FK Cardinal Meisner still has one unfulfilled wish regarding this site – or does he think that all important goals have already been achieved??

Bruggenjurgen In an interview he once told me that he would like to bring as many Christians as possible to the pearly gates. This is also a very good program for us. And even though our this site baby, which the cardinal entrusted to me 10 years ago, will soon be entering the exciting years of adolescence (as a father of three, I can speak for myself), I very much hope that our this site will continue to be a is becoming a "good connection to the top" for more and more people.

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