Podcasts have been around for a while now, but they took some time to capture the imagination of the American people.
That all changed in the fall of 2014 with the debut of Sarah Koenig’s premiere season of “Serial” that told the story of the murder of young girl and the young man who was accused and convicted of her murder. Then, in the summer of 2015, the President of the United States appeared as a guest on Marc Maron’s “WTF” podcast–a show that is recorded in Maron’s garage, by the way.
Podcasts, which used to be most common with techies, library nerds, and NPR geeks, have now captured the attention of more mainstream listeners. They are great to listen to in the car, while cleaning the house, during workouts, or while laying on the beach.
Whether you prefer true crime, are a political junkie, or appreciate the storytelling aspect of podcasts, 2016 is going to be the year of the podcast–already more than a third of Americans are listening to podcasts. But what are the best podcasts? We share some of our favorite must-listen-to podcasts.
5 of the Best Podcasts
If you haven’t yet listened “Serial,” start with season 1 that outlines the case of Adnan Syed, a high school student who was arrested and convicted for the murder of his high school ex-girlfriend. After season 1, then you can move onto season 2, which is a recounting of Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl’s capture by the Taliban. Season 2 is underway now.
This podcast picks up where “Serial” left off with the case of Adnan Syed, who is still in prison but whose case is now under review. Undisclosed takes a closer look at the legal issues surrounding the case. Even though it is produced by family and supporters of Adnan Syed, it’s worth a listen.
“Here’s The Thing” is an interview show hosted by Alec Baldwin. Baldwin is no Terry Gross (from NPR’s “Fresh Air”, another great podcast), but that’s a high bar to reach. For each show he interviews a different artist, policymaker, author, or performer in a surprisingly engaging manner. That’s not to mention that his voice is so perfect for radio, which is reason enough to listen, in our opinion.
4. On the Media
“On the Media” takes a very self-aware and introspective look at the world of media and reporting. The show cover topics ranging from how junk science makes its way into our news coverage to how and why Donald Trump seems to be the media darling of the 2016 GOP primary season. This is one thoughtful and insightful podcast that while help you become a more informed media user.
“Radiolab” is a difficult show to describe, but mostly it’s a podcast that looks at the interconnectedness of science, philosophy, and the human experience. “Radiolab” is a show for curious people who are interested in big picture concepts and thinking about things in an abstract way.
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