Podcasts I’m Listening To In 2016

Before I begin, let me be honest with you. This draft has been sitting idle since January, longing for my attention, but it’s just now that I actually got around to editing and posting it. I’ve been interested in the world of podcasting since late 2014, when Serial blew up and became the poster child of podcasting. I remember downloading single episodes of Hello Internet and RadioLab and liking them, but not enough to actually revisit them.

In late 2015, however, I got hooked onto listening to podcasts. I would download episodes as soon as they were published, slowly growing my library of audio files with intense reporting and light humor in them. Sure enough, it became an obsession of sorts, waiting for new episodes to be posted, pondering over the discussions in the podcast itself. So 4 months into 2016, here are the podcasts I’m listening to, in 2016.

Serial: Serial is an investigative podcast, with host Sarah Koenig, that involves a true story and discusses every side of it, week after week.  Think of it as True Detective for your ears. For instance, Season 1 looks into the homicide of a high school student Hae Min Lee, in 1999. Her ex-boyfriend was convicted of the murder, but there’s just a whole lot of evidence missing in the case. Over 12 episodes, Serial lays out the whole story, the inconsistencies, the doubts and the people who were involved in this incident. Sure enough, if you go online, you might find a lot of people complaining about Season 2. Compared to Season 1, Season 2 just isn’t there yet, but it might, in the coming episodes. Season 2 is still airing, and it deals with Bowe Bergdahl, who was captured by the Taliban in 2009 and rescued in 2014. Now, I won’t spoil everything for you, but do check it out. [UPDATE: Season 2 of Serial is over. You can still download the episodes from their website.]

Welcome To Night Vale:This just might be my favorite podcast soon enough. Welcome To Night Vale is a podcast that’s presented as twice-monthly updates from the sleepy fictitious desert town of Night Vale, somewhere in the USA. It reports on the strange, strange, strange, events taking place in the town, which are sometimes recurring and mostly humorous. Nevertheless, listening to WTNV will definitely have you up at night, creating new conspiracy theories and what not. This podcast debuted in 2012 and new episodes come out every 15 days. I discovered this podcast just this year, so there’s a lot of binge-listening going on right now, to catch up with the latest episodes. Check out WTNV to know more about the dark hooded figures, the lights in the sky and the dog park where dogs aren’t allowed.

TED Radio Hour: A great podcast by NPR that clubs together TED talks on related topics and brings the knowledge straight to you. Add in Guy Raz’s smooth voice that slowly cajoles you to sleep, without boring you, and it’s a great show to listen to, night or day. You have shows dealing with half a dozen talks about open source, creativity, our digital lives and more, keeping you entertained for nearly an hour, filled to the brim with knowledge, wisdom and the occasional TED-talk humor, adapted for audio.

RadioLab: RadioLab is not just science radio at its best, it’s also radio at its best, mostly. Episode topics vary wildly and are mostly about science and topics in philosophy, like morality. It’s just a pleasure to have all that knowledge come in, irrespective of what it’s about. RadioLab has been awarded several times for its audio production style and also the content. If you want new information to just flow into your brain, like when you’re binge-watching Vsauce, choose RadioLab.

Reply All: Reply All is a podcast about the Internet by soon-to-be podcasting unicorn Gimlet Media. It’s a podcast about how we, the people who use the Internet, shape its very existence. Reply All takes the stories and Web culture that most of us are familiar with, and presents the stories of the people behind them.

And now, just for laughs, I’ve included Star Wars Minute, a podcast that discusses each minute of the Star Wars movies in each episode. Starting with Ep IV in the original trilogy, the podcast is now onto minute 90 of Ep I in the prequel trilogy. Whew, that’s quite a lot to catch up! Each episode is about 10 minutes or so long, because let’s be honest, how much can you discuss just one minute of a film?

And well, that’s my list of podcasts that I’ve been listening to. What are your favorite podcasts? Know of any awesome podcasts that I’m not listening to? Let me know in the comments below!

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