Tuesday, 31 January 2017

My Six Favourite Podcasts

A person, probably a woman, talking and smiling into
a generic microphone. Little does she know that she is
the cover image for a post on my blog
I don’t listen to much music but I spend a lot of time on public transport and walking around in London. What a predicament! So, instead of listening to traffic or attempting to make conversation with strangers on the tube, I opt to listen to some of the many podcasts that I’m subscribed to. Here are my six favourites. 

(Note: From my choices, I think it will become quite clear what my interests are)

Commons People
This is The Huffington Post’s weekly politics podcast. It is light-hearted, fun, and the presenters are humorous but knowledgeable. Every episode, after discussion of the top news stories, there is a quiz about a topic that has been relevant in the past week. My favourites quizzes from previous episodes are: ‘Grammar or Bog-standard’, where the journalists needed to try and guess whether said politicians attended grammar, state, or private schools. And the ‘Morgan or Less Than’ quiz, where the journalists (with the help of Heidi Allen MP) needed to guess whether said politicians had attended more or less fringe events than Nicky Morgan at the Conservative Party conference… (Now I write this, I realise just how nerdy it sounds)

Page 94: The Private Eye Podcast
This witty podcast hosted by QI elf and Private Eye writer Andrew Hunter Murray is my favourite podcast. Each episode features discussions on politics, investigative journalism, or Private Eye culture to produce a truly fascinating listen. Highlights, for me, include the special episode commemorating Ian Hislop’s 30 years as editor, the episode about the Panama Papers, and the episode on revolving doors in politics. Wry humour and perspicacious politics journalism are a winning combination.

The Weeds
The Weeds is a Vox.com podcast hosted by journalists Ezra Klein, Sarah Kliff, and Matthew Yglesias. In each episode, they dive deep into US policy and politics. The episodes are very thorough and are great if you're interested in more niche US political news.

Coffee House Shots
One of The Spectator’s many podcasts is this short, irregularly occurring one called ‘Coffee House Shots’. Compared to the rest, this is a relatively short podcast yet it manages to summarise and offer analysis on important political events that have happened lately. In recent episodes, Isabel Hardman and co have discussed the UK Supreme Court’s Brexit ruling, Theresa May’s ‘shared society’ speech, and the battle for press freedom. 

Chips with everything
Chips with everything is a technology podcast from The Guardian. It includes the kind of high quality content you would expect from The Guardian. Notable discussions from recent episodes include an interview with the former deputy social media director for the Hillary Clinton campaign and a feature on how the Y2K bug came about. I’d recommend this podcast for anyone who has even a vague interest in technology or technology culture as they cover a wide range of topics. 

Sound Show
Sound Show is a podcast birthed from Joshua Topolsky’s new culture news website ‘The Outline’. This podcast, hosted by sound director John Lagomarsino, is a joy to listen to. Enthralling content and unbeatable sound quality go hand in hand to make this podcast a pleasure for my ears. Just take a listen for yourself:

All podcasts mentioned, plus thousands more, can be found on the Apple Podcasts app and other popular podcast services.