Podcast recommendations for staying informed

photo of a phone with the Up First podcast, and a pair of airpods
Theo Wyss-Flamm/Staff

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It’s no secret that staying up to date on domestic, global and economic affairs will serve you as a student and for your overall personal development. With the sophistication of technology, it’s now easier than ever before to receive and digest information about the world around you. Podcasts are a great way to keep track of the latest news in an easy, time-efficient manner that also lends itself well to multitasking. Here are a few of the Clog’s podcast recommendations to help you understand what’s going on and why it matters.

Up First

Wake up in the morning with this short and sweet podcast for your daily dose of the most pressing news stories to begin your day. With episodes clocking in at just 10 minutes, Up First manages to delve into “the three biggest stories of the day, with reporting and analysis from NPR News.” Despite being “bite-sized,” the Up First podcast offers a lot of information and analysis, including guest interviews and commentary. The format is discussion-based, making you feel like you’re in a room with a bunch of really smart friends as you listen to the animated hosts talk through the headlines and their significance together.

The Daily

Similar to Up First, The Daily strives to cover the biggest headlines in a more digestible format than traditional television or print media. However, The Daily podcasts differ from Up First in that they’re typically 20-30 minutes in length and cover one story rather than multiple. With this more focused approach, The Daily provides greater in-depth coverage of one issue, usually incorporating multiple brief interviews and sound bytes to support and elaborate on stated facts. The podcast is comprehensive, extremely well-researched and well-produced. The host, Michael Barbaro, also does an excellent job of asking insightful questions and connecting the dots for viewers.

NPR Politics Podcast

The NPR Politics Podcast focuses on domestic political issues, or, as they say, “The big news coming out of Washington and the campaign trail.” Rather than list the facts of the situation in a dry manner, the hosts engage in lively discussions to bring you an overview of the issues, the stakes, the different actors and stakeholders involved and why it all matters. Episodes are all under 20 minutes, making it super easy to fit into your day!

The Indicator from Planet Money

The Indicator describes itself as “a quick hit of insight into work, business, the economy and everything else.” The Indicator podcasts focus on one particular topic, either regarding big current headlines, or more niche, smaller stories that point to broader economic ideas and concepts. For example, one recent episode covers the fundamentals behind Biden’s $44.5 trillion infrastructure plan and what it means for the American economy. Another covers the widely followed TikTok star Demi Skipper on her mission to trade up from a bobby pin to a house, thereby exploring the economic ideas behind bartering and the value of a good. Even if you aren’t an economics major, The Indicator’s content is easy to follow and episodes are usually no longer than 10 minutes!

Who doesn’t have at least 10 minutes to spare to catch up on current events? Pop in your earbuds on your next walk to class and get informed about what’s going on in the world around you. Don’t be afraid to use your newfound knowledge the next time you have a dinner party conversation, and watch yourself sound like the smartest person in the room!

Contact Madeleine Lorie at [email protected].