A few of my favourite podcasts

I’ve been addicted to podcasts for years. A well curated list can provide a constant well to dip into whenever I need to fuel my curiosity for travel, politics, journalism, culture, or ideas. I listen to them doing the laundry, the washing up, the evening walk to the ferry, or on long drives. I’ve yet to put my iPhone in a ziplock back and use in the shower – but I hear that works too.

This year, I’ve recently expanded my weekly library, and thought I’d share. All of these are of course available on iTunes.

I’d love to know your thoughts? Do you listen to any of these? What are your favourites?

  1. The Stack. Monocle Magazine’s podcast on the latest niche print magazines from around the world.
  2. Slate’s Culture Gabfest. From the team at Slate, this has been one of my favourites for years. Smart, thoughtful people talking about all things pop culture.
  3. Slate’s Political Gabfest. Another great one from Slate. Right now, it’s both fascinating and frustrating as they chit-chat through the insanity of the US Presidential Race.
  4. CBC’s As it Happens. One of the best shows on radio. Each night during the week they focus on both the big and small stories, including live chats with everyday people from villages, towns and communities anywhere in the world. It’s endlessly inspiring and charming. Carol Oft’s authentic and empathetic interviews are a big part of its genius.
  5. Fresh Air. Terry Gross is arguably the best interviewer on radio today. Honest, straightforward and probing, her chats with celebrities and artists are never rushed, always revealing.
  6. On the Media. A great podcast on the state of media, advertising and journalism.
  7. KCRW’s The Treatment. Interviews with actors and directors, hosted by Elvis Mitchell.
  8. The New Yorker Radio Hour. A great hour of radio, presented by David Remnick, the editor of The New Yorker.
  9. Surprisingly Awesome. Find out the hidden awesomeness in everyday things – from broccoli to concrete
  10. CBC’s The Sunday Edition. There’s usually one or two great interviews by Michael Enright each week.
  11. Writers and Company. For a lazy Sunday afternoon, there’s nothing better then this show on CBC radio. Even if I’m not a fan of the author being profiled, I always find Eleanor Wachtel’s interviews captivating.

So that’s a few that I like. Other’s that I’m just getting into include The Night Time Podcast, 99% invisible, The Takeaway, Ice Cream for Everyone, Start the Week, and Slate’s The Grist.

Media and empathy

There’s been some interesting discussions of late on the role of media in building empathy and creating more emotion in their storytelling.

The NY Times have been experimenting recently with Virtual Reality (VR) as a way to engage their readers – including this recent partnership with Google Cardboard where they sent over a million of the devices to their subscribers. They were then invited to view their new virtual-reality film called The Displaced – inserting you in the middle of a story of three refugee children and their journey.

There’s also this recent podcast by On the Media called Feel This – focusing on the new ways that the media tries to reach us on an emotional level. The episode covers the NY Times experiment, Europe’s “compassion fatigue” on the refugee crisis, and issues around clickbait