What are you listening to?

When I’m not reading or binge watching a tv show I’ve already seen 36,000 times (no, I’m not talking about Game of Thrones), I listen to podcasts – at work while I’m almost automatically running reports and planning my death by excel, while I cook and pretend to make something super healthy or in bed to put me to sleep, or to avoid conversation with people all too eager to talk to you (in public spaces or at work)…

I’ve come a long way since my BBC World Service – The Documentary days and happily, pop culture too! Guess I like them so much because they make for good storytelling opportunities and who doesn’t like a good story? So here is a selection of podcasts I religiously listen to. #PressPlay

1. Malcolm Gladwell’s Revisionist History

A personal favourite. I hear you thinking already but no, we’re not in alternative facts territory. Gladwell has been a New Yorker staff writer since 1996 and penned no less than 5 books – all best sellers. His weekly podcast focuses on “things overlooked and misunderstood”. Looking for a completely immersive experience? Revisionist History doesn’t disappoint.

In its second season, Revisionist History tackles stories tied to the Civil Rights movement on a few occasions – Miss Buchanan’s period of adjustment, State v Johnson, and Mr Hollowell didn’t like that. A way to set the record straight, particularly in the disturbing times we live in.

Catch it on: Thursday
Frequency: Weekly
Duration: ~ 30 min

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2. Sill Processing with Wesley Morris and Jenna Wortham

Wesley Morris and Jenna Wortham are two columnists for The New York Times. They’re young, they’re black, they’re queer, and they talk about everything labelled Black pop culture. I usually catch them up on Friday mornings, a cup of coffee in hand to start my weekend hyped and psyched.

Their podcast on O. J. is very much worth the listen as The Juice, who was recently granted parole, remains the most controversial, yet popular symbol of modern America.

While I got you here, if you have a chance to catch O. J. Simpson: Made in America, the 5-part documentary about his rise and fall, don’t miss out on a well-written, contextualised piece of work by Ezra Edelman.

Catch it on: Tuesday
Frequency: Weekly
Duration: ~ 30 min

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3. TED Radio Hour

TED Radio Hour is an NPR production. If you didn’t know already, the National Public Radio is a non-profit media organisation syndicating around 900 public radio stations in the US. They produce and distribute news and cultural programmings, including the very popular TED talks adapted for the radio format.

With a great variety of themes, there is something for everyone. Back in May, forgiveness was the focus of the TED Radio Hour team – the benefits of learning how to let go, mend one’s heart, and heal one’s self might be the keys to personal growth.

Catch it on: Friday
Frequency: Weekly
Duration: ~ 50 min

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4. Radio Atlantic

The Atlantic, the magazine that is, has been around for a good 160 years. Created as a literary and cultural tribune, the magazine offers foreign affairs, politics, economy and cultural commentaries. Radio Atlantic, its podcast platform brings on the air “weekly conversations with leading journalists and thinkers to make sense of the history happening all around us”.

Last Friday, the Radio Atlantic team weighs in on the Charlottesville incidents and President Trump’s refusal to disavow White Supremacists. Guest journalist is Atlantic contributor, Ta-Nehisi Coates, author of Between the World and Me among other things.

Catch it on: Friday
Frequency: Weekly
Duration: ~ 50 min

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5. The New Yorker: Politics and More

No need to introduce The New Yorker at this point, but if you didn’t know, they also host a weekly podcast – Politics and More. At the wheel, Dorothy Wickenden, The New Yorker’s executive editor.

In the latest episode, John Cassidy and Jeffrey Toobin, both prominent staff writers at The New Yorker, talk about North Korea and the threat of a global nuclear war… maybe?

Frequency: Every 4 days
Duration: ~ 20 min

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6. On Point with Tom Ashbrook

On Point is another NPR production hosted by Tom Ashbrook, ex-Boston Globe editor who joined NPR after the 9/11 attacks.

On Point is a live 2-hour programme dedicated to news-analysis. With his guests, Ashbrook dissects news and events that are to be reckoned with. Inevitably, Charlottesville, Trump’s following remarks and his threats of “fire and fury” addressed to North Korea heat up the conversation.

On Point listeners are also invited to call, ask questions or give their opinion. A two-way conversation about what makes the America’s heart beat.

Frequency: Daily (Monday-Friday)
Duration: ~ 2 hours

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This is a small sample of what I regularly feed my brain with. I know it’s quite heavy on political stuff, but hey! can’t take the geek out of me… 🤓

If interested, I can also work on a French podcast selection – have a few interesting ones on my radar too.

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