5 news commentary podcasts you should be listening to

Alex Weiss | Jan 15, 2022
Podcasting has opened up a world of options for you to get your news. If you’re not listening to these shows then you’re missing out on the best news commentary content out there.

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5 news commentary podcasts you should be listening to

Technological advances since the turn of the century, the growth of the internet, and the rise of social media have created infinite scope for access to information – we now have access to more information than ever before. The development of smartphones in particular has made people not only more connected but also turned content consumers in producers. The fact that it is easier for me to create a live broadcast to potentially hundreds of people right now on Instagram than it is to pour myself a glass of water is quite phenomenal.

Simplified production mechanisms have paved the way to the decentralization of news production and consumption. While 24-hour news channels and radio stations are by no means a thing of the past, people are no longer reliant on established and – dare I say – ‘corporate’ or ‘mainstream’ media houses. Podcasting specifically has opened a world of options for people to get their news; playlists can be created, favorite presenters followed and topics cherry-picked and tailored to suit one’s own individual preferences.

I have become so attached the lifestyle of podcasts that it is unusual for me to put on FM radio rather than connecting my phone via Bluetooth while driving or putting on my loudspeaker to listen to a preferred podcast while cooking. But with so many options out there, where should you start to get your fix of news commentary and analysis? Besides a variety of FAN podcasts which you no doubt already watch or listen to, here is a list of the top five news commentary podcasts that you should be listening to.

 

Current affairs podcasts

 

  1. The Daily Friend Show

If you’re tired of politically correct news commentary on South African current affairs, then you’ll find a home with The Daily Friend Show. The show is produced by the Institute of Race Relations (IRR) and features their intellectually diverse researchers and analysts. The team provides commentary that goes beyond clichés and sloganeering, providing insight and rational perspectives on issues of the day and the politics that matters in 30-minutes.

When: Monday – Thursday, live on YouTube at 13h30.

 

  1. The Burning Platform

Gareth Cliff is a household South African broadcaster. With many years of experience as a radio show host, he is an impressively professional and gritty interviewer. The Burning Platform covers South African current affairs and also touches on events abroad. It features a variety of guests from across the political spectrum (which can make it triggering but also informative and refreshingly honest) who provide their commentary on news events.

When: Thursday, live at 07h00.

 

  1. The Spiked Podcast

Based in London, Spiked is a political magazine covering current affairs from a ‘radical, democratic, pro-freedom and humanist perspective’. It engages with controversial issues such as ‘The n-word: does context matter?’ and “The myth of ‘institutional racism’”. These are the kind of topics I am fond of but for those who are keen followers of British news events or perhaps like to get a view from the UK, then this is the podcast for you. The English-accented presenters coupled with a high production value make the podcast very easy on the ears.

When: Fridays.

 

Topical issues and long-form discussion podcasts

 

  1. Triggernometry

 

Staying in the UK, Triggernometry is hosted by two British comedians, Konstantin Kisin and Francis Foster. The show features a variety of heavyweight guests – the likes of Douglas Murray, Ayaan Hirsi-Ali and Helen Pluckrose – and, as with Spiked, it too tackles controversial topics from trans rights and Antifa to political correctness and Black Lives Matter.

Both Kisin and Foster have roots from outside of Britain. Kisin was born in the Soviet Union, while Foster’s family is originally from communist Venezuela. This provides useful perspective in how they approach issues and frame their questions to their guests. Being comedians, they present the show in an honest and entertaining manner that makes the serious issues they discuss easily digestible and the show enjoyable to listen to.

When: Premieres Wednesday and Friday from 19h00 (GMT).

 

  1. Quilette

Quilette is an online platform that promotes free speech and the free exchange of ideas, edited by Claire Lehman. The podcast is interchangeably hosted by Canadian journalist Jonathan Kay and Toby Young from the UK (who is the associate editor of The Spectator and founded the Free Speech Union). Being a globally edited platform, Quilette covers a wide range of topics from a diversity of contributors. Reserve this podcast for long road trips, as the content often requires more attentive listening due to its academic nature. The podcast takes a deeper dive into issues ranging from ‘The Conservative Case for Vegetarianism’ and ‘Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All’ to ‘Ricky Gervais and Cancel Culture’.

When: Once a week.

 

With such an amazing selection of podcasts out there, life is surely too short to be stuck listening radio shows that are politically correct, simplistic in their analysis and often feature patronizing hosts. Thankfully, the choice is yours to make.

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