Podcasts - your opinions sought!

So I am working on launching a podcast - on all things French.

I’d be really interested in hearing from you all.

Which (if any) podcasts do you listen to?

Likes / dislikes?

Which subjects would you be interested in hearing about?

I do have quite a few ideas but it would be great to get the community’s thoughts.

Oh and any suggestions for names are welcome too!

Thanks all!

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A very good idea!

I would call a podcast ‘French Letters’.

Tales of daily life and events that unfold over time. Like the marvellous 58 years on BBC radio by Alistair Cooke who hosted “Letter from America”.

Kick off with foods. Judging from this forum, food is always popular!

Switching around the title is a bit cheeky avoids outright copy of the above. More tongue-in-cheek.

That’s my ha’penny worth!


Love it :joy::joy:
Great idea @cat

There’s a surprising amount of YouTubers who do videos about learning the French language. They get a not-insignificant number of hits for their videos, which suggests there may be a market for a podcast too. Not sure if that’s what you had in mind.

For example this channel has had over 5 million hits (and it’s in French so I’m sure there’s others in English that are just as popular)… Learn French with Elisabeth - HelloFrench - YouTube

I am a dinosaur with things technology but please what is a podcast? Have never heard of it before, something you can watch on the computer screen?

I listen to very few podcasts, mainly because most of the ones I have heard lack any form of editorial discipline (eg lots of inane chat) and show very low production quality (eg people talking over each other).

I enjoy listening to Tim Harford’s podcasts - although I think the adverts are quite intrusive and repetitive.

I’ve been involved in producing podcasts professionally for large companies and my rule is edit, edit, edit. If the initial unscripted recording is (say) 1 hour, spend 4 hours reducing it to 30 minutes, then a further 2 hours to get it down to 15 minutes of informative and entertaining content.

My top tips?

  • An accurate transcript before editing is worth its weight in gold.
  • Buy a good range of highlighters!

Apparently I listen to 36 different podcasts - according to my podcast app. No idea it was that many (comes of being retired, and having time to enjoy them all?!). Mostly US politics/foreign policy/intelligence type (ahem…perennial international politics student!).

However there are some French podcasts I listen to, again mostly French politics/geopolitics but some ‘magazine’ type general interest ones. In particular there is one in English from Radio France International, Spotlight on France which I think is good quality, has interesting topics, often cultural/historical related, is presumably aimed at those English speakers interested in France- and is not dumbed down. Hosted by bilingual American and Brit ladies…

Out of curiosity, I wonder what your target audience might be (presumably English speakers?), and what the theme(s)/ area of focus of your proposed podcast would be?

I totally agree with @_Brian - short, punchy, stimulating podcasts, tightly edited are a joy to listen to, and the opposite can be less than a pleasure…

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I only listen to a few regularly, and the gap to me is something that interprets and analyses current events from a French perspective, but in English. Not just news, but events in context. And the context could be geopolitical, political, social, whatever - from colonies, Simone veil and 1968 and all points N,S,E and West.

What I dislike are the (insert female name) in (insert place, or type pf activity) which I find anodyne and narrow,

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I suppose the number of replies may be some indication of the level of interest.

I rarely listen to more than one episode of any podcast. For me, it’s an inefficient way of acquiring information and the ones my wife listens to seem to be produced by smug people who do it because they like the sounds of their own voices. Much like blogs, I suppose. I listened to one episode of the Local’s podcast and it fitted the pattern I’d identified.

I like @JaneJones’s idea (“something that interprets and analyses current events from a French perspective, but in English”) but the difficulty will be finding someone authoritative enough to be able to do that convincingly.

Blogging used to be a way of creating community, although with the rise in Facebook towards the later 2000s traffic dropped away a lot. At the same time they became taken over by commercial interests as a means of promoting businesses, and never really recovered. The acquisition of Blogger by Google also drove away a lot of people, as did the collapse of the main commenting service providers (comments used to be an add-on).

My blog is almost 20 years old now, and barely gets any traffic, but at one time is was part of a community linked across the UK, Canada, the US, Australia, Europe and Asia. We are still friends in meatspace with some of the people that we connected to back then, even travelling to meet up, although most have drifted away.

Me and my big mouth :flushed:

I should have distinguished podcast speakers like Alastair Campbell and Rory Stewart from bloggers like you, @Ancient_Mariner, because I loved your zine.

But mainly I should be more measured when I’m being negative!

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Hey, no worries. I didn’t see it as a personal attack. :smile:

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I think you’re right, @Porridge . Many blogs and podcasts are produced by people with an inflated sense of their self-importance and an obsession that the world needs to be told about their (generally inane) life.

But it’s important to recognise that there are some written and produced by people with good knowledge of a specific topic or area of interest - I find that these are the ones worth a subscription. Another indicator of quality is when guests are used to broaden the coverage or to give an alternative perspective or specialist information.

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How about one called “you don’t have to live in Eymet” :joy:


@JaneJones re Eymet. Amazingly it’s just down the road and when I’m free on a Thursday I sometimes go to the market (less in summer) but I don’t know anyone who lives there.

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