Podcasts are a great way to be entertained, consume information and learn. Here are five podcasts for writers, marketers, and communicators.
‘Serial’ put podcasts on the radar of millions of people last year. In a few short years podcasts have gone from a niche medium to being on the verge of mainstream.
Here are a handful of podcasts that I listen and not only enjoy, but I think help me in my work as a communicator.
If you already listen to podcasts you almost certainly listen to This American Life. It’s the original blockbuster podcast and they showed they could do it again with Serial.
If you don’t know TLA, it’s a weekly podcast (and radio show) with a theme. Generally there are two or more acts (or stories) on that theme. Ira Glass and his team are great storytellers. If you need to know what makes a great story, or just want to hear great stories, listen to TLA.
Recommended episode: Good guys
Stories about men trying to do good. Act Three — No Man Left Behind is stunning.
If metaphor, etymology, and semantics are you’re kind of thing, Lexicon Valley is a must. It’s funny, a bit daggy, and challenging. It has a Linguafile series where they look at origin of a particular word. Like “Cockamamie”, for example.
Recommended episode: Undocumented illegals
A look at the role of language in persuasion and politics in the wake on the 2012 US Election. Focused on undocumented workers, whether “illegal” is the right term, and a look at the metaphors being evoked to describe immigrants. There’s a similar debate going on in Australia and Europe.
Counterspin is a podcast produced by Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR). If you’ve ever worked with the media you will know it can be challenging to get reporters to present the story in a way you think is fair and accurate. Counterspin examines the coverage of media outlets on current issues and exposes what’s not being said, half-truths, and outright fiction.
Recommended episode: The water crisis and student debt problem
How the media is doing a disservice in its reporting of the water crisis and why the student loan problem isn’t “easing”.
Terry Gross is an American national treasure. She’s an expert interviewer who’s not afraid to ask hard questions. If you need to brush up your interview skills there’s loads to learn from Gross — she’s the master. And as a bonus you learn a lot about the events shaping our lives.
Recommended episode: Hillary Clinton
Most people fear going toe to toe with the Clintons. Not Gross, who asked Hillary Clinton if her “evolution” on marriage quality. Clinton got testy, but Gross held her nerve and persisted — making sure Clinton couldn’t deflect the issue.
A design podcast, but design is visual communication, right? It takes a look at everything from architecture to products, chairs to urban spaces. Roman Mars has been called the “the Ira Glass of design.” And unlike other podcasts these episodes are short — most are between 10-20 minutes long.
Recommended episode: Guerrilla public service
We’ve all come across bad design in the built word. This episode is about someone who took matters into their own hands and started fixing road signs.
The best apps for catching podcasts
Share your podcast favorites
I’m always on the lookout for new podcasts. What are your favorites? Let me and other readers know in the comments.