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Hello! Spotlight on France is now a thing - episode 2 of the new podcast came out on Friday. This is our attempt to explain France to an English-speaking audience, to go "beyond the baguette" as we say, to bring stories you might not get if you don't understand French and follow the French media.

This is a project I have been hoping to do for a long time, and it's exciting to finally get it off the ground, even if it remains a work in progress, as we (me and my co-host Alison Hird + the contributors from the RFI newsroom) find our voice/pace/way of going forward.

So take a listen, and if you like what you hear, please subscribe to the podcast (on iTunes or other podcast platforms), as it's one of the metrics to show our bosses that people are actually listening (because yes, part of the struggle was convincing those around us that this is something that should exist).

Also in this newsletter, a few other stories I've been working on + the latest Infuse musician profiles.


A podcast, 'beyond the baguette':

Interested in France? Let us be your ears and eyes on the ground. Each week we take you to hear from the people who make France what it is, and who want to change it - to give you a fuller picture of this country at the heart of Europe. Spotlight on France is a weekly podcast from Radio France International, out on Fridays.

Episode 1: Brexit apples, slavery reparations & Macron burning out?

Is president Macron on the brink of burnout? The case of a judge who asks for the least possible sentence. Also, reparations for black Europeans. And, Brexit will hit a lot of French exports - wine, of course - but it turns out that France supplies most of Britain's apples. Listen here.

Episode 2: Sexism in journalism, CBD cannabis & a different kind of strike

France wants lower taxes, concludes the Great national debate. Also, an interview with one of France's top feminist journalists. And a visit with a shop owner running a risky business, selling CBD cannabis, in the grey area of French law.
Listen here.

Other stories of interest

French NGOs sue government for climate inaction

When the courts are your last resort: Four French environmental groups are suing the French government for not doing enough to fight climate change. The groups argue that France has for years failed to uphold its commitments and as such is violating the rights of French citizens. Read/listen here.

Afghan interpreters for French army stuck in limbo

Of more than 800 interpreters and other support staff who worked for the French army in Afghanistan, only about a third have been able to get to France - and to safety. The interpreters slipped through the cracks of a system that did not take their plight as seriously as they should. Read/listen here.

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Infuse présente: Dans la tête d'un musicien

With each concert in the Infuse concert season comes a short audio profile of a musician talking about working on a specific moment in a specific piece, peeling open the artistic process. The two latest profiles are in French - but if you understand, give them a listen.

Rendre charnelle

Chanteuse lyrique Alice Fagard parle du travail du texte et les idées musicales dans Variations on (R)evoluion, un trio pour voix, violon et piano de Zaid Jabri – un travail qui demande une interprétation artistique, mais aussi un sens pratique.

Un moment périlleux

La fragilité à l’écoute dans un moment d’une pièce qui explore l’univers des sixièmes de ton. Le guitariste Felipe Marques parle de ‘Beta Persei’ de Jean-Marc Chouvel, et les techniques qui demandent une écoute particulière.
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