What to listen to when you want to know what's happening in the world
Not a newsflash: There's a lot going on right now. From politics to pop culture, it feels like the number of things you need to stay on top of has just...exploded. Enter these helpful, informative and often entertaining podcasts. Not only will they get you up to speed on current affairs, but they'll also make you think and often make you laugh...all while you're doing stuff you'd do anyway, like driving to work or meal-prepping for the week.
If you're looking for a Canada-centric podcast that goes behind the headlines, give this one a download. In episodes generally around the 20-minute mark, CBC's Jayme Poisson takes a deep dive on those phrases or concepts (like say, asylum seekers or cyber privacy) that so often news headlines gloss over. Not only will you feel up-to-date on the issues of the day, but you'll also have context and a local perspective. Watercooler convo will never be the same.
The name of this podcast is an apt one: Yes, you'll get a rundown of the week's headlines (or at least the ones that caught the hosts' eyes), but you'll also get interviews and extended segments on everything from misogyny in advertising to a new book about emotional labour. Dolly Alderton and Pandora Sykes, the thirty-somethings who host the show, are interested in all the same things you are (from fashion to politics to friendship), and the hour or so you'll invest each week with them feels more like a conversation with your two cleverest friends than it does some laborious effort to "be more informed."
Designed for end-of-day listening—when say you've been inundated in tweets and radio bulletins and news alerts on your phone—this Vox podcast quite literally says what it does: It explains today. Episodes are an easily digestible 15 to 20 minutes and snappy enough to keep your attention after a long day of being bombarded by information. The focus does tend to be political (and more specifically, American), which may or may not align with any New Year's resolutions to stress less.
If you don't have the bandwidth for a daily news download, might we suggest Sam Sanders' Friday offering? It's essentially a round-up of the week that was, touching on everything from tech to television to food and yes, politics. If you're up for more, there's also an interview show on Tuesdays. The JLo episode is worth your time, trust.
You know and love him from the re-booted Queer Eye, so of course you'll want to spend time listening to Jonathan Van Ness ask the deep questions. While this show isn't exactly delivering breaking news headlines, it's a fun (and actually insightful) way to educate yourself on topics you know you should care about but well, are a bit boring. Exhibit A: "What Do Trade Unions Even Do?" Exhibit B: "What's The Cutest Way To Fight Climate Change?" Exhibit C: (And perhaps our favourite) "What Is Astronomy Even?"