Why do I listen to podcasts? Because I like to walk instead of taking public transport. It makes household chores more endurable. The gym is a necessity rather than a pleasure. I always felt guilty when I didn’t finish reading a daily newspaper before the post delivered the next. These are some of my reasons.
Podcast allows you to tailor your news according to your own interests (whether politics, art, culture etc.). You save trees, get rid of the piles of papers to be dragged to recycling, and you are no longer restrained to a desk or a bus – you can listen while doing other things, especially the boring ones such as cleaning or shopping.
What you need to download podcasts is an iTunes account and a smart phone, you can of course also listen to all online. I have download a podcast app and subscribe my podcasts, in this way I can listen offline whenever and wherever I prefer.
These are my top ten news podcasts in English (there are of course a wide selection for any other language you master).
- NPR TED Radio Hour: if you are a TED Talk fan like me, you will love this one. Guy Raz host these one-hour shows which brings together a few TED talks under one theme, and combines those with interviews with the speakers. For the tech geeks I recommend the latest two episodes about ‘Screen Time’.
- BBC Global News: gathers twice a day the top stories from around the world. It gives a great overview of what is going on, not only on your own side of the globe but across.
- Smart Women, Smart Power: Centre for Strategic & International Studies features leading women in international business and global affairs. Refreshing and intelligent analysis on issues women’s voices are rarely heard.
- POLITICO Europe: is a few of Politico’s journalists chatting along on what is ‘in the loop’ in Brussels, short & easy to digest for those in the ‘bubble’.
- The Economist: provides short snapshots of what one can find more elaborated in their articles. An easy way to seem knowledgably without reading the paper.
- DW Inside Europe: Deutsche Welle’s hour long travelogue-like episodes nicely covers different topical issues in several places and settings across Europe.
- FT World Weekly with Gideon Rachman: provides 10-15 minutes of informative news that easily can fit into ones week.
- BBC Hardtalk: I particularly like because the hosts Sarah Montague and Stephen Sackur so brilliantly puts each interviewee on the spot, and from time to time you will find interesting politicians or celebrities they invite.
- NPR Planet Money: is my personal way to improve my limited understanding of economic issues, and NPR does it in a ‘fun’ way.
- FP Foreign Policy: is my latest addition, of different analysts meeting to discuss a set political questions, my first impression was promising.
Besides the listed ten, I also listen to other BBC podcasts, such as ‘From Our Own Correspondent’ (that reminds a bit about ‘DW Inside Europe’), ‘Analysis’ also tend to have interesting pieces, and finally I sometimes tune into ‘Women’s Hour’ that invite different guests on their show to discuss women’s rights issues.
Overall, as much of the newsfeed comes from BBC, the coverage is also UK-oriented. There is unfortunately a scarce selection of other English podcasts on European affairs. Although, listening to podcasts in another language is a good complement to expand ones views on how countries perceive themselves and the world. For the Swedish speaking ones I also recommend ‘Godmorgon, världen!’ and ‘Konflikt’.
Please feel free to share your favourite podcasts!
Read also Roisire’s Podcast List