Whether it's while walking the dog, running an errand or passing time on a trip, podcast listening is something I'm doing almost every day now. I think podcasts have largely replaced audio books and broadcast radio for me, and listening is one of my favorite ways to challenge my thinking, understand things I'm not familiar with, and spark my own creativity.

I recently started using Overcast to manage and listen to podcasts, and highly recommend it. I was getting really tired of the Apple-built podcast listening features in iTunes and iOS, and Overcast is a breath of fresh air. The Smart Speed feature in particular is pretty amazing.

After a 12-year hiatus since I produced The Richmond News Review, I've also started doing some podcasting again myself at Richmond Matters. It's again about topics of interest to my local community, and while the show is still taking shape you can find the first few interviews under the Richmond Matters Podcast in your favorite podcast directory (for convenience: Apple/iTunes, Google, Stitcher).

In any case, these are some of the podcasts that I'm enjoying on a regular basis:

  • On The Media - still one of the consistently best listens out there for anyone interested in media, journalism, politics, and current events.
  • Stay Tuned with Preet - rational, thoughtful insights into the legal and justice issues generated by the current administration; I may have made a brief appearance in a recent episode.
  • Pod Save America - instead of screaming into the abyss about the horrific things happening in national politics, I let these folks do it for me.
  • The Knowledge Project - host Shane Parrish has wide ranging conversations with interesting people in an authentic, simple format.
  • StartUp - still my favorite Gimlet show even though it's had its ups and downs; original review here.
  • Here's The Thing - I find Alec Baldwin's interview style to be abrasive in a way that strangely offers (in moderation) needed contrast to the rest of my listening.
  • Fresh Air - Terry Gross has all the great guests, and I've come to appreciate the depth she can facilitate in a short period of time.

I also tune in and out of various seasonal and topical podcasts, recaps and analysis for TV shows I'm watching, tech discussions until I can't stand it any more, shows that friends are producing, On Being, Tim FerrissMore Perfect, and others. I used to listen to This American Life and Radio Lab religiously, but I got burnt out on them.

I don't like that my regular shows are predominantly hosted by white men, and I'm trying to expand the lineup. Invisibilia and 2 Dope Queens are on my list to check out next.

What are some of your favorite podcasts? How do you know when a new podcast is going to stay in your subscription list?

3 thoughts on “Podcast listening

  1. Hi Chris! You should definitely check out 2 Dope Queens, they are great. "Another Round" is pretty good too. For a still pretty white -- but feminist -- alternative to Pod Save America, check out "Hellbent." I listen to "The Daily" almost daily. If you are wonky, you might like Ezra Klein's show. "The New Yorker Radio Hour" almost always has good stuff but it can be a little NPR-ish. Sounds like your interviews are covered, but Michael Ian Black ("How to Be Amazing") has great guests, and I'm sure you've heard of Marc Maron's "WTF." For comedy, I like "Comedy Bang Bang" and "With Special Guest Lauren Lapkus." And do you listen to any of the Slate podcasts? I never miss a "Trumpcast," and there are some other good ones too. Finally, for ppl who are going through stuff: "Dear Sugar" and especially "Terrible, Thanks for Asking." Greetings from Chicago! PS Going to check out your podcast!

  2. Hi, Chris; wow, you do a lot of listening! I have been semi-binge-listening to Invisibilia the last few days while home with the flu. Fascinating.

  3. Hi, Chris. There are so many great podcasts; it's hard to keep up. My favorite is 99% Invisible. I'm looking forward to checking out a few news ones that are just launching: Seth Godin's Akimbo and Adam Grant's WorkLife.

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