Okay, okay. I know what you’re thinking. Podcasts? Seriously? Aren’t podcasts for Subaru-driving moms with organic quinoa lunches or drab businessmen with an uptight schedule?
Just hear me out. With the current state of 2020, in terms of both the pandemic and politics, we are tired of turning on the news to find more depressing reports. However, we are also in a time where accurate and factual information is more important than ever before. College students tend to rely on social media for news, as an alternative to deadpan TV news, but that usually leads to biased reporting and the further spreading of misinformation.
Then there are podcasts. Not only are they a great source of current events, but they often ask listeners to observe an issue and dive further into an idea. Here are the best podcasts to listen to for a person who wants to stay in the know.
“Pod Save America”
Jon Favreau, Jon Lovett, Dan Pfeiffer and Tommy Vietor are all former aides to President Obama. In each episode, they are joined by activists, politicians, world leaders and journalists to talk about current happenings in politics. They call their discussions a “no-b.s. conversation” which is exactly what they are. The hosts take current events and cut them down to what it really means for the U.S. Their witty jokes about the absurdity of current politics are refreshing, compared to the stark reality of what is happening.
“There’s a lot of fads, blogs and strong opinions, but then there’s SCIENCE.”
In today’s world, science has almost become a political opinion and pseudoscience is easily spread. “Science Vs” helps us listeners know what is fact, what is false and what is the in-between. Host Wendy Zukerman considers popular opinions of a subject and fears people have, as well as examining scientific evidence. Oftentimes, the listeners are left with a complex answer of what is true and what is not because, as Zukerman states, “science is complicated.”
“Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness”
Jonathan Van Ness: hairdresser, television personality, icon. In his podcast series, Van Ness explores ideas, topics and controversies he’s “curious” about. Van Ness discusses current social issues such as racial discrimination, the pros and cons of labor unions and voter suppression. Each episode is a conversation with an expert explaining the topic and Van Ness asking essential questions.
Quick and simple. This podcast is perfect for a person who is constantly on the go and wants pure unbiased news. “BBC Minute” shares the world’s top headlines every half an hour 24/7. “BBC Minute” also has a Spanish translation version called “BBC Mundo Minute,” as well as a coronavirus special that updates daily.
“NPR Fresh Air”
If you grew up going to a Waldorf or Montessori school, then you have definitely heard the soothing voice of Terry Gross during car rides on the way to your local library. Despite the stereotypical NPR cult, “Fresh Air” is great for a listener searching for unbiased reporting. “Fresh Air” is refreshingly neutral. Host Terry Gross is a remarkable interviewer who invites the world’s brightest minds to a deep and thoughtful conversation.
The next time you’re enjoying your morning coffee or going on a run, try listening to a podcast. It might be more interesting than you think.