Podcast picks for journalism majors

Monday, April 6, 2020

By Wilson Gomez

With most people’s commutes becoming non-existent, it might seem like there’s no longer time to listen to podcasts. After all, now that most of us are stuck at home with our televisions, it is the perfect time to catch up on all your favorite shows. However, here are a few journalism podcasts that you can enjoy while you go out on your social-distancing walks, wash your dishes, or clean your apartment:

1) Reply-All -- This weekly podcast covers everything from serious news and investigations to weird stories that you wouldn’t hear about otherwise. Hosts PJ Vogt and Alex Goldman have great chemistry together and just hearing them converse is a joy, though they often talk about the more serious aspects of their lives, including mental health issues. If you do choose to binge-listen to this, just know that they re-upload stories on occasion if they have an update to that particular story, so you might hear the same thing twice.

2) Pod Save America -- This one is for the left-leaning political junkies. Every week, four former Obama aides talk about the big political news that week. It’s a great way to stay up to date on what is happening in the nation’s capital. If you enjoy this, a number of members of the group host spinoff podcasts.

3) Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History -- This podcast offers a deep dive into historical events and it’s entertaining even to non-history nerds. Topics include WWII Japan, child rearing throughout history, and the Anabaptist rebellion in the German city of Munster. Be warned that episodes are upwards of three hours, with some being as long as five hours. Some episodes also go into detail when talking about the horrors of war, so be warned that this might not be the best listen if you are with family. Also know that not all of the episodes are free; only 14 are available on Spotify. The rest of the episodes are $1 to $2 each from his website.

4) This American Life One -- of the most popular podcasts, this weekly podcast covers a wide variety of topics and with such a deep catalog of episodes (currently at 697), each about an hour long, you can listen to this for approximately a month if you played the episodes non-stop. Story topics range from the utterly depressing, like the heroin epidemic, to an episode dedicated solely to uplifting stories. There’s tragedy if you feel like you need to wallow in it for a bit and joy for when you need to smile.

5) Fat Man Beyond -- Kevin Smith and comics writer Marc Bernardin talk about the latest in geek pop-culture -- TV shows, movies and comic books viewed from the eternally optimistic and joyful viewpoint of people who genuinely love all things nerdy. This offers a welcome change of pace to the usually curmudgeon and pessimistic “experts” that populate pop culture podcasts.

6) The Daily -- This short, daily podcast hosted by The New York Times’ Michael Barbaro is a great way to catch up on the day’s news in the amount of time it takes to make and eat your breakfast.

7) Invisibilia -- This podcast from NPR talks about human beliefs, psychology and technology. Episodes are about an hour long with shorter 10-minute bonus episodes.

8) Coronavirus Daily -- Another NPR podcast, this one deals solely with helping keep listeners up to date on the coronavirus. Each episode is about ten minutes long.