We are living in a 24–hour news cycle, and sometimes the sheer amount of news can be almost impossible to digest. Even though I like reading news, podcasts are just easier to keep up with. They give you a summary of current news—for free—that you can listen to on your walk to class.
I find it hard to keep up with many podcasts at once, and if you're just looking to get started listening I recommend finding one with a host you like, and listening to it whenever it comes out. However, there are many different news and politics podcasts, and it can be hard to figure out which one is best for you.
That's why I'm here to provide a guide of the best podcasts, depending on what kind of news you want to keep up with.
If you want to hear the biggest news story of the day: The Daily
The Daily is, you guessed it, a daily news podcast by The New York Times, which is hosted by Times political journalist Michael Barbaro. Each episode is 20 minutes and centers around the day's biggest stories. The Times journalist that covered a story is interviewed, provides a topic summary, and offers additional comments and answers to viewer questions. There are often additional recordings related to the topic, or interviews with people directly involved with the story. The podcast has a conversational tone, and makes news accessible for listeners.
Bottom line: The podcast is for those who want in–depth coverage of current news, but don’t want such a large time commitment.
If you want to hear about international news: Global News Podcast
Global News Podcast is a podcast from BBC News, which summarizes the top stories twice daily during the week, and once a weekend. This podcast doesn't get caught up in the weeds of American politics. The Global News Podcast does a great job of showing international stories that are often missed by the average news consumer in the U.S.. Stories use relevant clips from BBC news and interviews with will well–versed journalists.
Bottom line: This podcast is for people who want to become more informed in international news, and want to keep up with the frequently changing news cycle.
If you want to hear about Democrat–centric politics: Pod Save America
Pod Save America is “a no–bullshit conversation about politics hosted by Jon Favreau, Jon Lovett, Dan Pfeiffer and Tommy Vietor that breaks down the week’s news and helps people figure out what matters and how to help.” The hosts (whom Street interviewed in 2017) are all former aides to President Obama, and are incredibly knowledgeable in the inner workings of liberal politics. Each podcast also has an interview with a politician, journalist, comedian, or activist. Pod Save America is also heading to the mainstream, with four HBO specials slated to come out before the midterms.
Bottom line: This podcast is for those who want to focus on how Democrats can change current politics.
If you want to listen in on the debate surrounding news stories: 1A
1A is an NPR podcast hosted by Joshua Johnson that comes out once every weekday. This podcast covers one issue, and every episode has guests who are experts in different areas surrounding the issue. The guests offer different sides to the debate and every guest gets their uninterrupted time to share their full view. Also, 1A makes sure to give you the entire background of the case from all sides, and answer any questions that you may have.
Bottom line: This podcast is for people who want their opinion challenged, to think about an issue in a new way, and engage with different perspectives on topics.
If you want the most in-depth look at politics : Vox’s The Weeds
Vox’s The Weeds goes into the tiniest, most important details surrounding policies. The podcast is hosted by Matthew Yglesias who is joined by other “Vox voices” including Ezra Klein, Sarah Kliff, Dara Lind, and Jane Coaston. This podcast comes out every Tuesday and Friday and covers national issues that may not be currently in the news, but will affect everyone’s life in some way—recent episodes have covered NAFTA, the future of the Affordable Care Act, and Elon Musk's departure from Tesla.
Bottom line: This podcast is for people who want to go beyond the superficial conversations about politics, and learn about what a certain issue looks like for every branch of government, and what impact a policy could potentially have.