Her Campus Hacks: Picking the Perfect News Podcast

Reading the news is sometimes overwhelming. Articles tend to either dive into detail on certain issues or give so little detail on an issue that I don’t feel that I’ve gained a better understanding after reading the article.

Trying to stay informed on everything happening domestically and internationally can be completely exhausting. I often feel like no matter how hard I try, I just can’t keep up with everything that is going on. I think a lot of people feel the same way that I do. One way I combat the news cycle is by picking a good podcast. Podcasts are an ideal way to stay caught up with the news without feeling like you have to commit an unbelievable amount of time trying to figure out what is happening. They can be on in the background while making dinner, driving home, or driving to school in the morning. With that in mind, here is a list of 6 tips to pick the best news podcasts and make listening to the podcast a weekly habit. 

  1. Find a time to listen: I tend to think the best time to listen to a podcast is when you are doing something else that is kind of a mindless task. Listening during your commute is one of the best times. It can be hard to get anything of substance done on your commute like homework but it can be the perfect time to catch up on the news. Listening while working out or cooking dinner is also a good time. It’s easiest to listen to make listening to a podcast part of a routine you already have instead of adding it onto your schedule. 
  2. Figure out the right length podcast: Everyone has a different attention span, and podcasts can range anywhere from an hour and a half to five minutes long. Obviously it also depends on the time that you have available to listen and the time that you’re willing to commit. It’s usually best to start with a short podcast and if it isn’t enough then start looking for longer more informative podcasts.
  3. Do some research: It might not always be easy to find the best podcast right away just because there are so many podcasts out there. Luckily, a lot of other people all over the internet have done research about where to start. Here are a few helpful articles to figure out which podcast to start with:
    1. The Top 10 Political Podcasts” by Jon Street on Resonate Recordings
    2. 10 of the best podcasts that will make you smarter about politics” by Pat Ralph on Business Insider
    3. Explore top podcasts in News” on Podbay
  4. Use the right app: There are a lot of different apps that you can listen to podcasts on. The one that I use is apple podcasts but Spotify also works. For a more complete list check out this article on Podcast Insights for the “Best Podcast Listening Apps” that covers apps on Apple and Android. Every app does a little bit of a different thing and provides slightly different options, but in my opinion, Spotify or Apple podcasts work well and there’s no need to search out another app unless something about those apps really bothers you. 
  5. Don’t be afraid to listen to a few until you find the right one: The first podcast you listen to might not always be the right podcast. If you start on one that is not exactly what you want then just try another one. Even if you have found a podcast that you like make sure to try other ones just in case you find one that is better. 
  6. Decide whether you want an issue focused podcast or a general overview of the news: Some podcasts tend to focus on one issue and others just give a general overview. Listen to both types and then decide which one you’re looking for. The Daily by the NYT is an example of a podcast that focuses on one issue, whereas Pod Save America usually gives a general overview of everything going on in domestic politics. 

Finding a good podcast can be hard, but just remember that once you find the right one staying informed will be so much easier. Happy listening, collegiettes!

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