Yesterday was International Podcast Day today. I’ve always been a bit slow in appreciating podcasts, (and obviously slow in uploading this post) as I don’t have a natural tendency towards audiobooks or the spoken word. As a writer, I’ve always been partial to the written word.
Yet over the past year, I’ve been slowly listening to more and more podcasts. I started with economics, and several “German for beginners” (for teaching purposes), but over the past month I’ve asked for podcast recommendations (because you need variety right?) and my podcast selection has expanded.
The joy with podcasts is the transportable nature of little information. The learner in me is always keen to turn a podcast on and jump into that little world for either the 30 minutes or 60 minutes length of the podcast. I read on a Slate article and it described podcasts being a snippet, a pocket of happiness within the large world that is the internet.
So to belatedly celebrate International Podcast Day, here’s a list of podcasts I’ve been listening. Okay, it’s more like a mini-review because the journalist within me couldn’t help itself.
So here we go – 5 podcasts I think you should listen to:
From Our Correspondents (BBC)
From Our Correspondents is, to me, is a podcast version of SBS’ Insights and the ABC’s Four Corners. Differing from the typical journalistic structure of telling stories, each episode (whose length is around 30 minutes long) is made up of short 5 minute stories from various correspondents who delve into the stories behind the headlines using wit, insight and analysis. If you’re interested in wanting to know more about what is happening in the world, but wanting something different than the 24/7 news cycle, this podcast (or if you’re Australian, “Correspondents Report”) is the one for you.
I’ll admit, I’m a bit of a history nerd. So a podcast telling the stories of historical figures is definitely on my list of podcasts that I listen to. The bio of the podcast describes the podcast as “Big lives. Little-known Facts.” and as “audio biographies”. The podcast does live up to this, however, the narration seems, at times, too scripted and wooden. Despite this, the podcast is well researched and worth a listen to learn more about historical figures.
Harry Potter and the Sacred Text
One of the things I love about reading novels is that through the format of the written form, we learn more about what makes us human – emotions, feelings, universal themes. What I love about Harry Potter and the Sacred Text podcast, is that it explores the different themes and nuances that make us human. You can listen to it chronologically or you can listen to in a “Choose your own adventure” style if you’re looking to explore a particular theme using the Harry Potter books. Do note that it is in the Religion & Spirituality category of podcasts because it does use methods within different faiths to explore texts and applies it to Harry Potter. If that doesn’t bother you (and it isn’t much of a deterrent for me), then exploring Harry Potter through this podcast may be for you.
I’m an economics teacher and do quite enjoy economics (duh!), so it’s no surprise that an economics-related podcast will make this list. The Money is produced by the ABC Radio National and explains neatly how the Australian economy and everything in it works, and vitally for any economics students, how this all connects to the global economy. It is a favourite podcast of mine because of the rehashing the same old dry economics theory, it looks at how the economy works using a real-world application. Just look at the recent podcasts – the drone technology economy, the rise of Comic-Con, fraud and the workings of the world. It’s definitely going to make an appearance in my economics teaching because of the real world application of economic understanding and I think you should add this to your podcast library.
The Dollop is a comedic take to history storytelling, and can be summed up like this: think American history, told by a comedian to a clueless comedian, and you’ve got a hilarious take on history. With each episode length at around 1.5 hours long, it seems too long at times, but it’s the chemistry between Dave Anthony and Gareth Reynolds makes listening to it for that length of time worth it.
These are my five podcasts I think you should be listening to. What podcasts have you been listening to recently? Let me know by leaving a comment below.