5 Smart Podcasts That Will Keep You Informed (Without Overwhelming You)
With the news moving so quickly these days, it seems impossible to stay on top of everything without being permanently glued to the internet. Since that’s not feasible (or fun) for most of us, there’s another way: Whether you've got 15 minutes each morning or just an hour or two every week, these essential podcasts will keep you abreast of what’s happening in the world without taking over your life—and bonus, they’re actually pretty entertaining, too.
Longtime politics junkies and those newly interested in what's happening in Washington will all love joining White House correspondent Tamara Keith and NPR's other political reporters twice a week for a balanced look at the latest in D.C. The episodes, which range from 20 to 50 minutes, include weekly roundups, quick takes, listener mail and what this experienced team just "can't let go" of.
NPR: “Up First”
Need a lightning-speed roundup of the morning's biggest news? NPR's Up First condenses the day's buzziest stories into 13-minute episodes, available by 6 a.m. Hosted by Rachel Martin, David Greene and Steve Inskeep, Up First, which often features guests from the NPR Politics team, is the perfect podcast to keep on in the background as you’re gulping down the rest of your coffee before you zip out the door.
NYT: “The Daily”
Zone out on your morning commute with The Daily’s Michael Barbaro, former host of The New York Times’ election podcast The Run-Up. Every weekday, in 20 minutes, he reports the latest headlines and calls up his Times colleagues (like ISIS expert Rukmini Callimachi or White House correspondent Glenn Thrush) for a deeper dive. It's not all politics, though; recent short features included expanded coverage on Times stories like assisted-death laws in Canada and the rise of noncompete clauses among non-executives.
“Pod Save America”
If you have time for only one news podcast (and happen to be a bleeding liberal), check out Crooked Media’s Pod Save America, which posts episodes between 60 to 90 minutes in length twice a week. This “no-BS conversation about politics” is hosted by four former Obama staffers, Jon Favreau, Jon Lovett, Dan Pfeiffer and Tommy Vietor. Past guests have included Senator Elizabeth Warren, Katie Couric, Trevor Noah and, yes, even their recent boss, former president Barack Obama.
“Call Your Girlfriend”
Listening to journalist Ann Friedman and digital strategist Aminatou Sow gab every Friday for an hour about everything from the Beltway to Beyoncé will make you want to call your own bestie to get her hot take on the week's talking points. Though there's the de rigueur talk on current events, Friedman and Sow focus primarily on how women are considered (or not) in the ever-changing news cycle. Warning: They aren’t afraid to drop the F-word (feminist, of course).