The Perks of Podcasts


Paige Hosbein It’s easier than ever to stay informed, get inspired, de-stress, and optimize your time – all with podcasts providing unlimited access to informative entertainment. With topics ranging from business to politics to health, you can never run out of choices. Listen to them while you workout, commute to school, eat breakfast – the possibilities are endless. The word podcast is derived from a combination of two words: iPod and Broadcast. Most people were using Apple’s iPod to listen to podcasts when the term was coined in 2004, so when Ben Hammersley suggested the word “podcasting” to describe the new method of delivering content, the term stuck. Members of the Latin community are fans of podcasts and have offered to share their favorites: Juniors Madelyn Hill and Kate Beck highly recommend The Daily, a podcast by The New York Times, hosted by Michael Barbaro. Although the title is somewhat deceiving – it’s available five days per week – it will keep you informed on the most current events of the country in episodes capping at 20 minutes for busy hustlers. With history in the making every day of our lives, it’s our duty to stay knowledgeable on current events. Some teachers have even utilized podcasts as homework assignments instead of readings. For instance, last year in Mr. Mahoney’s Finance and Math course, students listened to various episodes from the podcast Planet Money about topics such as the Gold Standard and taxes. Retaining information from podcasts can be much easier than readings because it eliminates the possibility of mind wandering while reading; for auditory learners, listening optimizes focus. Ms. Gallagher noted, “I like the mobility of listening to a podcast (or two) on my commutes to Latin every day. As a politics teacher, I have to know exactly what happened in government every day.” She also listens to Planet Money and The Daily in addition to UpFirst and Amicus every day. Mr. Marshall is another podcast enthusiast. He organized his favorites in easy-to-follow categories:

News: Like many other people, I listen to NPR’s Up First and The NYTimes’ The Daily, but, depending on the subject matter, I like to listen to Vox’s  Today Explained. It’s a little goofy at times—and I could do without the hipster-ironic ads for Quip Toothbrushes and Mattress Firm—but the host often brings on an expert on a current issue and goes into some depth in exploring it.

Political Commentary: I’ve listened to Vox’s The Weeds and FiveThirtyEight, but my favorite is On the Media, which comes out of WNYC (NPR) in New York. What I like about it is that its coverage of stories includes how the media covers them. Plus, they’re much more interested in slow-burn stories that often get lost in the latest round of daily political shrieking. It definitely has a liberal bent, but they take a much more philosophical angle. When they cover the shrieking, they do so from a different perspective.

Culture: I often listen to Radiolab and This American Life, but a more obscure podcast I particularly like comes from Gimlet Media called Reply All. Ostensibly it’s about the internet, but it’s actually about anything the internet touches, which is everything. They have a feature called “Yes Yes No” that traces the origins and implications of obscure tweets that’s particularly fun (and funny).

Art and Design: I recommend 99% Invisible to everyone. It often traces the design origins of things we take for granted, like fire escapes and water fountains. Right now, they are doing a series on clothing that you might enjoy. They did two episodes on plaid. That sounds pretty nerdy, but it’s actually quite interesting and touches on a lot of social (and other) issues. The recent episode on blue jeans, for instance, addressed their environmental implications.”

Lastly, senior Siena Craigie recommended the following podcasts as well: Serial, In The Dark, 16 Shots, 2 Dope Queens, You Must Remember This, Ear Hustle, S-Town, and Stay Tuned with Preet. Heighten your awareness of whatever topic suits you––from news to comedy to political commentary––with these wonderful podcast recommendations!]]>