Whether you’re stuck in traffic or stuck in the kitchen as Thanksgiving nears, we have some ideas for great podcast listening. These on-demand shows have exploded in the last decade, and are now being used for in-depth reporting, to influence policy, and as educational tools. We discuss the latest podcasts, and the role podcasts are playing in the media industry.
Read on for all our recommendations!
Original air date: Wednesday, November 27, 2019.
We have a guide for how to subscribe to podcasts, and info about NHPR podcasts, here.
Laura Knoy walks you through how to find and subscribe to podcasts on your iPhone, Android, or tablet, using Apple Podcasts, or Google Play:
- Rebecca Lavoie - Digital director at NHPR, and host of Crime Writers On, a podcast that reviews other podcasts. She also writes about podcasts for Vulture.
- Nick Capodice - Education and Engagement producer for NHPR’s Civics 101, a podcast refresher course about our democracy.
- Maureen McMurray - Director of content innovation and audience development at NHPR.
Pickle - "Explore life's trickiest questions with curious kids―and the occasional elephant!"
This Podcast Has Fleas - "An original comedy series for kids about a dog and a cat with dueling podcasts."
Podcasts with Educational Tools:
Science Friday - "Your trusted source for news and entertaining stories about science. It's brain fun for curious people."
The 1619 Project - "Observing the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery."
Politics and the Government:
Pod Save America - "A political podcast for people not yet ready to give up or go insane."
Pod Save The World - "[A] conversation about foreign policy hosted by Tommy Vietor that explores some of the most important decisions of our time."
More Perfect - "Dives into the rarefied world of the Supreme Court."
NPR Politics - "NPR's best political reporters are there to explain the big news coming out of Washington and the campaign trail."
Trump, Inc - "Who's profiting from this administration and at what cost?"
Investigative and Documentary Podcasts:
Reveal - "We engage and empower the public through investigative journalism and groundbreaking storytelling that sparks action, improves lives and protects our democracy."
Bundyville - "Explores the world beyond the Bundy family and the armed uprisings they inspired. The series scrutinizes extremist violence that has made headlines in recent years, and how those events share ideas with the anti-government movement."
Embedded - "Host Kelly McEvers takes a story from the news and goes deep."
Running From COPS - "Dan Taberski and the team behind Missing Richard Simmons investigate COPS — the longest running reality show in TV history — and its cultural impact on policing in America. ... How real is the longest running reality show in TV history?"
Tradeoffs - "Health care leaders are spending more time and money trying to improve how doctors and nurses communicate with their patients. Are those efforts working?
In The Dark - "Curtis Flowers has been tried six times for the same crime. ... He's won appeal after appeal, but every time, the prosecutor just tries the case again."
Scene On Radio - Seeing White - "Where did the notion of “whiteness” come from? What does it mean? What is whiteness for?"
BBC’s Tunnel 29: The Escape - "Helena Merriman tells the extraordinary true story of a man who dug a tunnel right under the feet of Berlin Wall border guards to help friends, family and strangers escape."
Hunting Warhead - "Follows the journalists and police on a global mission to expose the darkest corners of the internet. What they discover shocks them."
Accused - "Twenty-three-year-old Elizabeth Andes is found dead in her Oxford, Ohio, apartment, just days after December 1978 graduation."
Breakdown - "The breakdown of the story and the systems. The largest newsroom in the southeast delivers investigations and true crime cases that you cannot find anywhere else."
The Clearing - "When April Balascio was 40 years old, something she’d feared for decades was finally proven true. Her father, Edward Wayne Edwards, really was a murderer."
The Thing About Pam: Dateline NBC - "Two days after Christmas, 2011, Russ Faria came home to find his wife, Betsy, dead. Betsy’s brutal murder set off a chain of events that would leave another person dead and expose a diabolical scheme."
Missing Alissa - " Explores the cold case of a missing Arizona teen. Alissa Turney disappeared from Phoenix on May 17, 2001."
Current Events and Podcasts from Newsrooms:
The Daily - "based on the Times' reporting of the day with interviews of journalists from the New York Times."
Post Reports - "Unparalleled reporting. Expert insight. Clear analysis. Everything you've come to expect from the newsroom of The Post -- for your ears."
Pop Culture and Social Commentary:
The Waves - "A biweekly conversation about news and culture examined through the lens of gender and feminism."
The Nod - "Brittany Luse and Eric Eddings gleefully explore all the beautiful, complicated dimensions of Black life."
Stay Tuned With Preet - "Join former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara for a podcast about justice and fairness."
Dolly Parton's America - "Dolly Parton might be one of the most famous women in the United States. She's one of our great country singers, she produces television including an upcoming Netflix series, and she has her own theme park."
Philosophy, Personal Narrative, and Mental Health:
On Being - "Examines what it calls the, "animating questions at the center of human life: What does it mean to be human, and how do we want to live?
My Life As A Social Experiment - "Documents the muddy process of reclaiming the self in the face of childhood trauma, Alzheimer's Disease, financial disaster, and loss."
Mental Illness Happy Hour - "Interviews [with] comedians, artists, friends, and the occasional doctor. Each episode explores mental illness, trauma, addiction and negative thinking."
Made in New Hampshire:
Fish Nerds - "The best fishing podcast for nerds and fishermen alike: always interesting, usually funny & mostly true."
Waking Up From Work - "Interviews with entrepreneurs, artists, creators, freelancers and doers. It's about making a career and life what you want it to be, not what others think it needs to be."
French-Canadian Legacy Podcast - "Today, there are more than 2 million descendants of French-Canadian immigrants living in New England. These are Our Stories."
Read To Me - "A weekly Gateless Writing podcast w/ Becky Karush to end the cult of the critic and see the power in written work (so you can surface it in yours)."
Made at NHPR:
Civics 101 - "The podcast refresher course on the basics of how our democracy works."
Outside/In - "About the natural world and how we use it."
Second Greatest Show on Earth - "Our reporting relies on community participation: you submit a question, we track down the answer – and then make a podcast about it! Sometimes, you even come along for the reporting."
Stranglehold - "One small state got its hands around our presidential elections. Now it won't let go. A podcast about the New Hampshire Primary."
Patient Zero - "Exploring one of the most enigmatic epidemics of the 21st century: Lyme Disease."
Bear Brook - "Two barrels. Four bodies. And the decades-long mystery that led to a serial killer. A podcast about a cold case that's changing how murders will be investigated."