Ten podcasts you should be listening to From politics to crime to comedy and everything in between
By: MILAN LIU | For RISE Magazine
Whether you’re in search of entertainment on a long road trip or just looking for something to pass the time during a summer job shift, podcasts are a great way to give your brain some much needed stimulation during your time off from school. Podcast topics range from politics to pop culture and everything in between, making it difficult to determine what’s worthy of a listen. We’ve done some work for you on that front – here are ten podcasts you should be listening to this summer!
Pod Save America | News & Politics
Lovers of liberal politics will quickly become Friends of the Pod. Pod Save America’s hosts, a team of former Obama staffers, examine current issues through the lens of the left. They discuss topics of pertinence, featuring a variety of guests. The semi-weekly production lives up to its tagline, “a no-bullshit conversation about politics,” and is sure to provoke thought and provide a good laugh.
NPR Politics | News & Politics
For a less biased look at the current political news, NPR Politics releases a weekly roundup and shorter podcasts on big political events throughout the week. While the dependability of public radio carries through, NPR Politics is a more casual conversation on current events. It’s perfect for anyone looking to stay up to date, but on their own schedule.
FiveThirtyEight Politics | News & Politics
Those who followed the 2016 Presidential Election closely will likely remember FiveThirtyEight, a election poll analysis website. On the podcast version, Nate Silver and his team tackle the world of politics through a unique lens: the numbers. Using the polls as a gauge, FiveThirtyEight Politics provides weekly insight into the current state of the union.
Welcome to Night Vale | Comedy
For fans of the eclectic and unsettling, Welcome to Night Vale is a fictional radio show highlighting happenings in the town of Night Vale. Updated bi-weekly, the podcast features a host of curious events, from the appearance of dark hooded figures in the dog park to the presence of a mysterious glow cloud in the sky. Beware of listening in the dark – Welcome to Night Vale may make listeners remember the monsters hiding under the bed.
Serial | Crime
Serial gained its popularity with its first season, which explores the 1999 murder of Hae Min Lee and accusation of her ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed. Serial’s second season uncovers the story of Bowe Bergdahl, a soldier held by the Taliban for nearly five years. Host and Happy Valley resident Sarah Koenig spends each episode delving into the untold details of these cases, captivating listeners with the stories she chooses to tell.
Up and Vanished | Crime
Those who enjoyed Serial Season 1 will also get hooked on Up and Vanished. Inspired in part by Netflix’s Making a Murderer, Payne Lindsay takes on the 2005 disappearance of Georgia beauty queen Tara Grinstead. Up and Vanished brings a cold case into the media spotlight, unearthing groundbreaking evidence during the podcast’s production and leaving listeners on the edge of their seats.
Sworn | Crime
A product of Up and Vanished, Sworn tells stories of other major unsolved crimes. Sworn’s host Phillip Holloway has a background in criminal law, and aims to shed light on the criminal justice system. Though only two episodes are out so far – detailing the Lake Oconee murders – Holloway’s podcast is on track to tell some intriguing stories about the legality and emotional consequences of major cases in the US.
99% Invisible | Art & Design
There are a million things in the world we don’t know the story behind, and often don’t think about either. 99% Invisible explores these hidden stories of life – from the design of birth control packaging to the reason for missing children on milk cartons. Host Roman Mars brings to light the fascinating backgrounds of the little things, providing listeners with a new understanding of the world which surrounds them.
Revisionist History | Society & Culture
Fans of 99% Invisible will also enjoy Malcolm Gladwell’s Revisionist History. Each episode of Gladwell’s podcast examines a single subject: a person, event, or object. Gladwell’s subjects range from basketball player Wilt Chamberlain to the Foot Soldier Statue in Birmingham, giving each a second chance at a story.
Heavyweight | Society & Culture
Last but not least, if you’re the kind of person who (maybe secretly) likes hearing about drama, Heavyweight is the podcast for you. Heavyweight tackles the moments, years, and relationships that shape people. It weeds through the regrets, the unknowns, and the could have beens to tell stories about life and humanity. Almost like listening to a therapy session between friends, Heavyweight is sure to draw listeners in.
While we discovered some quality podcasts, we certainly didn’t hit all the good ones! Drop us a line if you have a favorite not mentioned on this list.