Best Podcast Episodes of the Year – Recommended by Guardian Staff News from Australia

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Full story: A three-week Guardian Australia podcast was launched in October, featuring the best of the Guardian Australia report – and the stories behind the hills.

If you’re not sure where to start, or if you missed a few, the Guardian staff chose their favorite episodes for summer road trips.

You can subscribe to the full story for free in Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or any other podcasting app.

Lenore Taylor, Editor: Robodebt’s hunting for vulnerable

In this early episode, Luke Henriques-Gomes was able to clearly explain the human costs of this deeply flawed policy, for he had stubbornly been pushing it for years. This episode includes an audio tape from one robodebt recipient, Clare and her kafkaesque battle with red tape as she tried to get some answers.

Together, Luke’s analysis and explanation and Clare’s records allowed the audience to truly understand the damage this policy is causing.

Whole story

Does the coalition bring the most vulnerable Australian people thanks to its robodebt scheme?

Sorry, your browser does not support audio – but you can download it here to listen to https://audio.guim.co.uk/2019/11/12-12630-fs_robodebt_ad.mp3

Katharine Murphy, political editor: Facebook is a hate factory

As a group of reporters, we have done a lot of work on Facebook this year and the impact of digital platforms on democracy and political debate. This episode develops a judicial investigation – Chris Knaus, Michael McGowan and Nick Evershed in Australia and Oliver Holmes in Jerusalem – on the commercialization of hate on Facebook.

This episode documents an important story, but what I like about this particular pod is that it shows our methods. This is a modern journalistic journalism that is conducted in the digital age, and listeners are invited to ride.

Whole story

Hate Factory: Uncovering the True Facebook

Sorry, your browser does not support audio – but you can download it here and listen to https://audio.guim.co.uk/2019/12/05-22336-FS_Hatefactory.mp3

Guardian Australia Podcast Team (left) Ellen Leabeater, Gabrielle Jackson, Laura Murphy-Oates, Joe Koning, and Miles Martignoni. Photo: Jessica Hromas / The Guardian

Laura Murphy-Oates, host of the whole story: Central Australia is too hot for people

This episode – about extreme desert heat reported by Lorena Allam’s Aboriginal Editor – is an important explanation of the problems that have been plaguing indigenous communities in the central desert such as poor housing, overcrowding and chronic health for decades. The revelation at the heart of this story – that extreme heat aggravates these problems and could mean that the indigenous population will become Australia’s first “climate refugees” – is surprising and should be a revival for the state and federal governments.

However, this is not the first time that these communities are faced with forced home migration. Pintupi residents, first pushed by the government, are now facing a future in which their home is “unsuitable” due to extreme heat.

This is truly incredible Lorena news and a story that is breathtaking when the climate crisis encounters bad politics and systemic discrimination.

Whole story

Is Central Australia too hot for people?

Sorry, your browser does not support audio – but you can download it here and listen to https://audio.guim.co.uk/2019/12/17-41001-FS_HEATWAVE.mp3

Bridie Jabour, editor of opinions: the truth about aging

Of course, narrative journalism must make you think – but an episode of aging with Lucy Clark and Charlotte Wood literally stopped me on the street.

Wood’s new novel, The Weekend, tells the story of three 70-year-old women who meet after the death of their common friend. This book was the starting point of the episode, but the conversation deepened much deeper. I have not heard women so honestly that they talk about the little horrors of aging and how they can change friendships – but also about what they can look forward to.

It wasn’t a traditional episode of “news,” but I was so surprised that I stopped walking so I could listen right. It made me look at the people around me differently.

Whole story

What’s wrong with the aging?

Sorry, your browser does not support audio – but you can download it here and listen to https://audio.guim.co.uk/2019/11/12-12473-fs_aging_ad.mp3

Josephine Tovey, Associate Editor and Publicist: What is it like when someone you love died in prison?

Since the opening minutes of this episode of death in David Dungay Jn’s custody, I have felt my intestines begin to twist. It begins with recording the last telephone call between David, a 26-year-old man, and Dunghutti prison in Long Bay prison and his sister Cynthia.

“You’re right, aren’t you?” Says Cynthia.

“Yes, I’m right,” David replies.

“Be strong?”

“Yes, be strong.”

“Will you ring tomorrow?”

“… all right, then I’ll ring tomorrow. I love you.”

On the same day Corrective Services attacked Dave’s cell as he ate a pack of biscuits and was dead six minutes later. The Warden followed David’s family pursuit of justice for three years, and this episode brings together the most important moments of the Breathless podcast and our case report. Reporter Miles Herbert has sensitively said this story is deeply intimate – taking us to the grief and anger of the Dungay family while engaging in a critical broader global story about the Black Lives Matter.

Whole story

What is it like when someone you love dies in prison?

Sorry, your browser does not support audio – but you can download it here and listen to https://audio.guim.co.uk/2019/12/01-15996-FS_Dungay.mp3

Gabrielle Jackson: What’s Big on Birds?

This is my favorite – not because Bird of the Year is like Christmas to me (just better), but it took me on a surprising emotional journey. What I like about this episode is that it exposes listeners to genuine joy – and sadness – while keeping an important message.

I loved listeners who rang to tell us their bird stories: a woman who saw a magpie fly with a golf ball in her mouth; the man persecuted by Emus; a woman whose bird friend loved shiny things and brought her a carving knife as a gift. In this episode, I laughed out loud (listen to the editorial moment of BirdLife Australia editor Sean Dooley) and weep – you’ll never forget the listener who shares the story of the letter his mother wrote to him.

This episode took me into consideration of Australia’s natural history of Australia – its abundant, rare and beautiful bird – and showed how our relationship with these birds could be a very good antidote to the anxiety periods in which we live.

Whole story

What’s big about the birds of the year?

Sorry, your browser does not support audio – but you can download it here and listen to https://audio.guim.co.uk/2019/11/12-11435-fs_birds_ad.mp3

Steph Harmon, Culture Editor: The Fatbergs are disgusting

“I went underground, deep into Canadian sewage, to try to find the wilderness,” Naaman Zhou begins. The following is 15 minutes of fascinating, desperate details about giants, stiff balls of dirt, fat, and wet wipes that clog our channels – musk, which Zhou describes by the confusing intersection of rating systems: “6 out of 10 per scent scale” or “three or four dog showers” “.

I learned a lot: that Will Smith and Will.I.Am are partly responsible; whereas workers in the sewerage sector may be color coded as ‘grease dwellers’; and this plain disposable toilet paper is not good enough for rare young men who instead wiped their butts with a damp cloth.

Whole story

Rise of fatberg

Sorry, your browser does not support audio – but you can download it here and listen to https://audio.guim.co.uk/2019/12/03-40555-FS_Fatberg.mp3

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