British Columbia up in flames

Every year fires rage across Canada, but this year is shaping up to be extreme. More than 4 million hectares have been burnt already – that’s double the average. The province of British Columbia has exhausted all its resources, and those of its surrounding provinces, and last week around 80 firefighters from Australia flew in to help out.

As 2SER’s “Canadian Correspondent” I checked in with The Daily on Monday morning to fill Sydney in.


Monday Daily – From The Archives

I asked my wonderful producer Kim Williams to choose her favourite interviews from my time hosting The Daily every Monday morning on Sydney community radio station 2SER.

Oscars Buzz with Richard Gray – Monday March 3

The 86th Academy Awards were about to begin. Richard Gray from Geek Movie Club joined me to discuss the field and share his hot tips for 2014.  I started off by asking him if it might finally be the year that Leo DiCaprio won a gold statue. (Poor Leo.)


Peter Greste on trial – Monday March 10

Despite worldwide condemnation of the arrests from the White House down, the Egyptian government is pressing ahead with a trial that has already sparked global protests, with many seeing the new military government’s actions as a politically motivated assault on the freedom of the press.

I was joined to discuss both the Egypt case and the increasingly dangerous world environment for journalists by the Executive Director of the International Press Institute in Vienna, Alison Bethel McKenzie, who began by outlining the charges the Al Jazeera journalists were up against.

Unfortunately, the situation is pretty much the same now in June as it was in March.


How has the BBC handled claims of bias? – Monday February 10

By mid-February it had been a heady couple of weeks for the media following the ABC’s reporting of asylum seeker claims that the Australian Navy deliberately inflicted burns on asylum seekers.

The explosive story shone a light on the role of our national broadcaster: the line between its independence and duty to report the facts without political interference and its responsibility to report those facts truthfully and without bias.

The BBC is no stranger to politicians at times launching attacks on its objectivity, labelling it biased and calling for a review of its practices.

So how has it fared over the years in the face of such attacks? Angela Phillips, a reader in journalism at Goldsmiths University of London gave us her insight.

I began by asking her about an incident where London’s colourful mayor, Boris Johnson had a go at the BBC for being biased when during an episode of its hit show “Sherlock”, a mocked up newspaper flashed up on screen containing a story claiming the Mayor of London, in a hair-brained scheme, planned to turn the Thames into a motorway. Johnson wasn’t mentioned by name but he claims it was a thinly disguised attack by the BBC to portray him as dithering, incoherent and self interested.



Fourth Estate – Lucie as host for International Women’s Day



I’ve been busy making radio. One radio thing I do every week is produce Fourth Estate, a half-hour media and current affairs panel show for 2SER and the Community Radio Network. The show is now on the WalkleyTalks Podcast as well. So, we’re everywhere.

For the special occasion of International Women’s Day, 2SER broadcast special programs all day on March 8th and one of them was an all-female edition of Fourth Estate. I made my hosting debut. My guests were Kathy Novak from SBS, Joanne McCarthy from the Newcastle Herald (who won last year’s Gold Walkley) and Melanie Withnall, who is the Managing Director of 2SER. We spoke about how women rise through the ranks in the current media landscape, who’s getting interviewed the most and women who are making the news.

Please listen. 



Is the US a failed state?


I’m back on The Daily on Friday mornings. Every week I chat to Ed Blakely, Honorary Professor in Urban Policy at the US Studies Centre (at the University of Sydney) about what’s happening stateside and around the world. Last week was particularly interesting – gun violence, the “Prison Industrial Complex” and race relations in America.

This was first broadcast on 2SER on August 23.

Lemon, Lime and Bitters


Two of my good radio friends and I – Tawar Razaghi and Miles Martignoni – decided to enter the Third Coast International ShortDocs Challenge. The challenge was to make a short radio documentary that was somehow related to “appetite” and presented in three “courses”. It also had to have a taste word in the title. Our end result could not have been called anything other than Lemon, Lime and Bitters, fixated as it was on one man’s quest for intoxication and the resulting unease this was causing for his lady friend.

We don’t know which docs were shortlisted yet but we are crossing our fingers! (Or pressing our thumbs, as the Germans would say.)

The Friday Daily – Spoken word artists in the studio


L-R Scott Sandwich, Jo Sri, yours truly and Miles Merrill.

This was the BEST FUN. Spoken word artists Scott Sandwich, Jo Sri and Miles Merrill came into the 2SER studios and performed live on the air. Their ways with words were really something.

The artists were out and about for Sydney Writers’ Festival, in collaboration with Word Travels.

This was first broadcast on May 24th’s Daily on 2SER.

The Friday Daily: Wind power gathers momentum

Wind power is taking off in Australia. Last week the chairman of Suzlon Energy predicted little or no growth in the wind turbine industry this year, except in a few countries of which Australia is one standout. A bunch of Chinese energy companies are investing in wind power in Tasmania, for example. Listen to my report to learn more.

This story was featured on The Friday Daily on 2SER this morning, of which I am now a producer.

Interview with Todd Fuller




Talented Sydney artist and good friend Todd Fuller talked to me about self-portraits and alter-egos. He has just returned from winning an Honourable Mention at the Asian Biennale in Bangladesh and now has an animated installation just down the road at the Toxteth Hotel in Glebe.


Lucie’s pick of podcasts

These are the episodes of Top of the Pods, hosted by Robbie Buck, that I produced and scripted at Radio National. The show was great fun and producing basically meant listening to lots of podcasts from around the world and choosing the best ones to play. In these travels I found a multitude of fantastic pods which I will take the time here to recommend.

In this show:

The Bike Show with Jack Thurston. All about the culture and counter-culture of cycling.

PRI’s Talking Travel. This is a discontinued podcast but was a little gem for people (like me) who wish they were on a continuous round-the-world trip.

For history buffs The History of Rome podcast is a cool find. Many episodes are long and very detailed but this episode, about Roman weddings, was a little slice of ordinary life from the ancients.—halloween2c-florence-nightingale/4228376

In this show:

Spycast, from the International Spy Museum in the US. I was extremely pleased to come across this one. Spy tales, but more nuanced than 007, and actually true.

Londonist Out Loud. I am really not in love with London, but I do like the idea of a rambling tour through the city, with plenty of encountered with local characters. This episode is actually about the life of Florence Nightingale, a very intriguing lady.

SBS Kitchen Conversations. Do you want to know what the Ancient Greeks ate for breakfast? (Hint: yes!)

My all-time favourite episode. Nobody else had produced a show full of food podcasts so I went ahead and did it.

In this show:

Sporkful! Laugh-out-loud, ridiculously detailed tales from the table/couch/picnic rug, or wherever you might find yourself stuffing your face.

Eat Feed, about how food features in, and triggers, memories. A heart-warming, tear-jerking listen.

Kitchen Sync, from Edible Communities, a massive and detailed collection of podcasts about the politics of food production, recipes and everything else to do with our obsession with food.

In this show:

The epitome of style and substance, the Decoder Ring Theatre crew from Toronto, Canada create radio drama with an air of mystery and a good sense of the absurd.

The History Chicks are an awesome pair of gals who tell street-level stories from the feminine past. This episode is about the inside of a mansion in the Gilded Age (post-Civil War America).

For little bites of goodness check out Deutsche Welle’s Pulse series. In fact, there are so many different podcasts on DW that it would warrant a few days to check out all of them. 

In this show:

Ahhhhh!!!!! RTE’s Doc On One had me almost crying like a baby. LOVE. IS. REAL.

More pods to check out, including ones that couldn’t go on the show:

The Moth – fairly amazing spoken-word performances, recorded and podcasted

Caustic Soda – glimpses of the dark side of pop culture, from a bunch of cool dudes in Canada

The Truth – radio lovers will know that The Truth needs no introduction

And if you are new to the world of pods, you can’t go past this old chestnut.