Photo by Salt Water New England

Thursday, October 12, 2017


Podcasts may just provide the easiest access to some of the most interesting conversations, research, reporting, and thinking today.  They buck the trends of sound-bites and click-bait and rants and even comments sections that have dominated much of media today, and provide something much closer to passionate long-form journalism.  Podcasts, after a few episodes, provide the comfort of familiarity combined with the satisfaction of constantly learning something new. They are also a highly efficient way of staying up to date.

The biggest mystery to people who both produce and rely on podcasts is why their current penetration is still as relatively low as it is.  Those who started the habit before iTunes supported them especially don't understand the feet dragging, given how easy subscribing and listening to podcasts has become.
  • For those who currently consume podcasts, which do you recommend?


  1. I listen to several podcasts while committing to and from my office. The New Yorker Radio Hour, Christoper Kimball's Milk Street Radio, The Orvis Fly-Fishing Guide Podcast and The Orvis Hunting and Shooting Podcast are among my favorites. I also listen to NPR and PBS programs that I might miss during their original broadcast time.

  2. S-town was one of the most beautiful, brilliantly told stories I have ever heard. What an experience!!!

    1. That's so true. That podcast went in a direction that I never suspected when I first decided to listen. It was masterful storytelling.

    2. The only podcast I've ever listened too was S-town... amazing!

  3. We love NPR's The Moth.

  4. 1. Merton College, Oxford.
    2. Westminster Abbey.
    3. King’s College, Cambridge.

  5. 99% Invisible
    Planet Money

  6. This American Life, The New Yorker: The Writer's Voice, The New Yorker: Fiction, The Daily, Radiolab

  7. Bullseye by Jesse Thorne
    Judge John Hodgeman
    Here’s the Thing by Alec Baldwin
    1947 by Chuck Todd
    Revisionist History

  8. The Commentary Podcast is my favorite of all. Longwinded, granular, and sincere.
    The WSJ Potomac Watch. Compact, professional.
    National Review The Editors. Happy medium between Commentary and WSJ.
    NPR How I Built This. Truly outstanding if you care about the subject. company.
    Exponent by Ben Thompson. Very worthwhile for trends in tech. Free but his paid newsletter is better. Comparable content.

    Podcasts are a mixed blessing. They have rendered NPR redundant in my car. Rush Limbaugh, too. They say in an hour what could be said in a few minutes with a better editor. They will kill FM radio, too bad for me, and the end of FM. They will also kill my use of gogoonline, which is the bane of my air travel and expensive compared to a free podcast which I prefer. The best thing about podcasts is their long form, success, and free proliferation should make us wonder why we subsidize NPR as taxpayers.

  9. New York Times "The Book Review"
    Lance Armstrong "The Forward" is surprisingly good.
    Rich Roll Podcast- great for the active, exercise-minded crowd
    The Paceline- Best cycling podcast IMO

  10. A couple of my favorites are:
    Craft Lit (if you like crafting and classic literature)
    Living Homegrown (gardening, canning and cooking)

  11. I love Backstory, produced by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. A panel of four historians (with weekly guests) use the frame of current events to look into America's past. It's both entertaining and astonishing.

  12. I listen to:

    - Coffee Break French (keep up that college french I took a long time ago)
    - Cherry Bombe Podcast (women and food with a heavy dose of feminism)
    - The Dave Ramsey show (Get out of debt, stay out of debt, etc. I find the caller's issues very interesting and his advice to be mostly pleasantly old fashioned.)

    - ER

  13. I usually listen to the NYT's The Daily. I also like Criminal, Reveal, and most of the Pod Save America podcasts. Very glad to have all these recommendations so I can try out some new ones.

  14. The World in Time:

  15. Whole heartedly recommend The History of Rome by Mike Duncan. It's an epic narrative of the history of the Roman Empire from its legendary founding by Romulus through the abdication of the last Western Emperor in 476 AD. It is so rich in detail, told with narrative flair. I love this podcast, as well as his second series "Revolutions," which chronicles political revolutions one by one starting with the English Civil Wars. The episodes on the French Revolution are a treasure of the medium. Moreover, Mike Duncan has a book coming out later this month called "The Storm before the Storm." It deals with the era of Roman history marking the beginning of the end of the Republic, think Gracchi, Marius, Sulla, etc. I can't wait to pick it up when it comes out.

  16. This American Life
    The Moth
    Stuff You Should Know
    TED Talk
    Planet Money
    I am so looking forward to trying out some of these fabulous sounding Podcasts. Thanks for all the terrific suggestions!

  17. Hardcore history. Especially the WWI episodes.

  18. Freakonomics and The Thread are my current favorites.

  19. - On Being
    - Secret Brain
    - The Sharp End (American Alpine Club, accident analysis)

  20. Revisionist history
    Fresh Air
    You Must Remember This
    Here's the Thing
    The Moth

  21. Entertainment:
    The Archers
    BBC News Quiz (hilarious)
    Wait Wait Don't Tell Me
    Folger Shakespeare Library
    New Yorker Radio Hour

    Business stuff:
    Masters in Business (Barry Ritholtz fantastic interviews)
    Odd Lots

  22. Ill Drink to That. No apostrophe, really. It is an excellent, knowledgeable podcast for those obsessed by wine.

  23. The opposite tack: I just don't like listening to people talk. I don't listen to NPR or watch French television, and I turn down the sound between acts on the Metropolitan Opera broadcasts.

    There is too much noise in life, and behind the wheel or at my breakfast table or in my easy chair, I escape it.

  24. Favorites are Dave Ramsey, Slow Home and The Simple Show.

  25. I think EconTalk is an under-appreciated gem. Some of the episodes are too technical for a general audience but others include guests ranging from chefs to journalists to educators, and many with professional economists are still approachable too.