Listen Up, Folks.

Alright so I’m a huge podcast nerd. Like, I listen to podcasts every single day and I’m subscribed to at least a dozen different shows. I wasn’t a podcast fan until I listened to Serial, which I’m sure you’ve heard of. If not, PLEASE take a listen to it, at least season one. (In my opinion, season 2 isn’t as gripping as season 1). It’s absolutely incredible reporting and audio storytelling. I listened to all 12 hours in one day. Now I want to be a radio journalist and have my own podcast.

However, Serial isn’t so much informational as it is non-fiction storytelling, but that doesn’t mean ALL podcasts are storytelling. In fact, most podcasts are non-fiction/news related. Some are “long-form” which are basically super long interviews of politicians, reporters, and other important people. Other podcasts have multiple interviews and segments per thematic episode. Both are informational and a very intriguing way to share information. You can be getting ready in the morning, making breakfast, riding the tube, literally anything, and be listening to a podcast, and learning A LOT.

My suggestion for this week isn’t super academic, such as a research resource for academic papers or such, but I think these podcasts series are crucial to my education personal reach for knowledge. I also think that the more informed we are about politics, including social and economic and foreign issues, the better students and members of society we are. I feel like I just got super philosophical, but hopefully you understand. Keep in mind, most of these podcasts are American and a lot of the issues surround American politics and social issues! If you have suggestions for British programs, please let me know!

My first recommendation is On The Media. Based in NYC, this show is hosted by two reporters and covers a wide range of social and political issues. I will say that the show is more left leaning, but as a liberal I don’t mind at all. I think some people will be less inclined to listen because of its leaning, but the reporting is straight and unbiased, and most segments are news reports rather than opinion.

My second recommendation is NPR Politics Podcast. This one is very straightforward and covers American politics, and is particularly interesting because of the 2016 presidential election. If you’re new to American politics, or simply DON’T understand, this is a great podcast. I mean, I’m an American and I don’t fully understand our politics. Donald Trump is a serious contender in this election and I can assure you I’m still confused about that. It’s a great breakdown of how the campaign is going and other issues that factor into it.

My third recommendation is Another Round. A wonderful product of BuzzFeed, this show is in my top three favorites. Hosted by two amazing, funny and fierce black women, the show covers race and gender politics while interviewing mostly people of color in the media, such as authors, actors, comedians, etc. It’s a great platform for discussion on racial issues, gender issues, and other pop culture references. Plus it’s literally hilarious and I find myself laughing out loud on the tube. It also gets its name because the hosts have a round of drinks throughout each episode, so what could be better? (PS I feel particularly attached to this one because I’ve been listening since its first episode and these women have done so much and worked so hard and I’m super proud.)

Ok so I think with these three shows you should get a good informational and fun introduction to podcasting. Podcasts are trending again, so a lot of media outlets are turning to podcasting as a news source. Editor in chief of Ezra Klein just started a long-form podcast series, and countless other media sources are starting up as well. I think these are a great way to learn and supplement your own learning, especially as we learn about how the media and internet are part of our everyday lives.


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