Podcasts: Where do I start?


The number of podcast listeners has increased significantly over the past four years, reaching over 68 million in America in 2017. 44 percent of these listeners are millennials and 57 percent of those listeners hold a bachelor’s degree or higher. What used to be considered an outdated and “nerdy” platform has revolutionised media, news, and digital consumption. More companies are recognising the growing medium and have begun pouring ad money into podcasts. News outlets across the world have also embraced podcasts to disseminate specific information to a variety of niche interest groups.

Podcasts are totally free, although you can donate however much you want to the podcasts you love. You can download them onto your phone as well, perfect for your morning commute, long travel days, working out, walking your dog, while working, etc. Essentially, podcasts fit every situation you could find yourself in.

Some of the most entertaining podcasts are produced by well-respected news outlets, perfect for the self-declared news junkie. There are in depth investigative podcasts, comical interview shows, celebrity rant shows, brief rundowns of the day’s news, comedic true crime and paranormal podcasts, and an abundance of others. Whatever your “thing” is, whatever you’re “weirdly interested” in, whatever you love, there’s a podcast for it.


For the news junkies:

Caliphate – The New York Times

A new podcast by the New York Times, and reporter Rukmini Callimachi. Callimachi dives deep into the complexities of the terrorist organizations raging in the Middle East. She interviews former ISIS members, victims, tribes caught in the cross fire, and gives a perspective not yet seen (or heard). The podcast will open your mind and make you cry. Definitely worth a listen.

The Daily – The New York Times

Reporter Michael Barbaro tackles daily issues plaguing the American political system and extrapolates topics commonly found confusing or hard to understand by the everyday American. From the New York City taxi cab and healthcare, to the failing economy in Turkey.

Up First – NPR

Keeping up with the news is, quite literally, impossible. Up First is a quick and digestible 15-20-minute podcast that gives you a quick overview of the day’s major news topics. Although it covers mostly U.S news, it is perfect for the American that wants to stay up to date but feels overwhelmed by the 24-hour news cycle.

Global News Podcast – BBC World Service

This podcast is updated two to three times throughout the day with breaking news from across the world. The great thing about this podcast is that it covers topics and important information that you may not have otherwise been privy to before listening. Also, if you’re like every other American who loves a good British accent, this podcast is the one for you.

For the Feminist:


A podcast that is, basically, women ranting about the current political state in the United States. It can be refreshing and encouraging to hear that you’re not alone in your outrage and bewilderment.

What Would A Feminist Do – the Guardian

There are a multitude of issues plaguing the feminist movement. This podcast helps break down these topics in 40 (ish) minute episodes. They interview other women and have open and constructive conversations regarding these materials.

Girl Boss Radio

Sophia Amoruso, founder of Nasty Gal interviews influential women. They talk success, how they got there, barriers hurdled, and aspirations. A feminist dream.

For the investigator/curious:

Embedded – NPR

Now on its fourth season, Embedded dives DEEP into current news topic and looks at it from a multitude of angles. Reporter Kelly McEvers has been analyzing Trump stories throughout season four: his real estate endeavors, “clean coal” initiative, and others. In season Two, McEvers dove into those grainy videos we see on Facebook of police shootings.

For the Historians:

Constitutional – The Washington Post

This podcast goes over the influential figures that shaped America into what it is today. You’ll learn about the constitutional amendments and what they imply for American society. A wonderful way to learn about the country you live in (or don’t live in) and want to know more about.

Stuff You Missed in History Class

Ever heard about Hurricane San Ciriaco that struck Puerto Rico? Or James Whale? Henry ‘Box’ Brown who escaped slavery? This podcast is a must listen for those who love learning about our unsung heroes and obscure historical events.

NOT for the faint of heart (paranormal and true crime):

Sword and Scale

The dark and twisted stories you never heard about on the news, these stories will make your stomach churn and give you goosebumps. Humans are capable of terrifying and horrific actions, and Sword and Scale is here to tell you all about them! Again, this podcast is NOT for the sensitive. This is your official trigger warning, for the whole podcast.

And That’s Why We Drink

ATWWD has recently climbed to the top of podcast fame. Hosts Em and Christine will make you laugh and cringe simultaneously. This podcast brings comic relief to some very scary ghost and true crime stories. Even if you don’t like the stories they tell or believe in the paranormal, you’ll want to keep listening for the charisma of Em and Christine.

In the Dark

This podcast is not as gory or terrifying as some, but it does analyze uncomfortable cases that may not be for everyone. Season 2, in which we hear about the case of Curtis Flowers is well worth the listen.

Someone knows something

SKS dives deep into cold cases, brings in new evidence, new testimony, and reinvestigates strange crimes. This podcast may not be for the faint of heart but is ideal for those who love Law & Order and similar shows.

The possibilities of podcasting are endless, just like the number of podcasts available for download.