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It's summer in France, which means everything is winding down for a bit, as we all take time off. August is calm, but it doesn't need to be quiet! I have quite a few things that you can line up to listen to on a road trip or at the beach... the latest Spotlight on France episodes (we're on a summer hiatus), and two other podcast projects: The first two episodes in a series on journalist safety, and story to kick off a new French language-learning podcast.

Happy listening!

Spotlight on France

Our weekly look at France 'beyond the baguette' is on a summer break, but the last few episodes took us to central France for the world sheep shearing championship. We also looked into women playing football in France, and how France is the most vaccine-skeptical country in the world....

Sheep-shearing, spanking ban and France's spelling obsession

France hosts the world sheep-shearing championships. We learn about the sport, and the profession, of sheep shearing. Also, parliament bans spanking children. But without sanctions on parents how will it be enforced? And do spelling mistakes in feedback to the Great Debate really matter? Listen here.

Football fans turn to women and homeopathy under attack

French football fans are getting hooked on the women's game, but the gender pay gap is as wide as ever. Also, a medical council questions homeopathy's efficacy, and we hear from a doctor about her holistic approach. And, a report on radicalisation in the public sector. Listen here.

France's vaccine skeptics and compulsory national service

France is the world's most vaccine-sceptic nation. How did that happen? Also, enthusiastic teenagers join a Macron's Universal National Service, but not everyone shares their excitement. And the story of the last public execution in France, in 1939. Listen here.

Banlieue Gay Pride and the greening of Macronism

The first gay pride march in poorer working-class suburbs known as les banlieues. Plus, how the French language is trying to keep up with women's football. And can the government avoid double-speak in its pledge to boost both the environment and the economy? Listen here.

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Protecting journalists, protecting journalism

The Backstory is a podcast that pulls back the curtain on how news is reported and presented, with a focus press freedom. I am the series producer and editor.

This season we're looking closely at safety: what reporters, editors and the public should be doing to keep journalists safe in a world increasingly hostile to the press.

Talking About Trauma: Valuing Mental Health as Much as Physical Safety

Many journalists see and even experience some kind of trauma, whether they're covering a conflict zone, protests or violent crime, but they rarely talk about it. Trauma is considered part of the job; but ignoring it only makes it worse. In this episode, journalists talk about discovering their trauma and learning to deal with it. There are tips, too, on how to get help yourself and others. Listen here.

Managing safety: What editors can do to keep journalists safe

If journalism protects democracy, then who is protecting journalists? The important role editors and managers play in keeping their reporters safe, and how they should make safety a priority rather than an afterthought. Listen here.

Learn French through a podcast!

I produced the first episode in the new podcast series from the Duolinguo language learning app for English speakers learning French. The idea is to tell real stories in French at a level that learners can understand, with a bit of English narration.

This story is about the baker who made the best baguette in Paris in 2018, and his struggle to reconcile his parents' hopes that he would leave the family business, with his deep love of baking. Listen here.
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