My favorite podcasts

“What is you favorite podcast?”

I got that question from EUobserver reporter Leigh Phillips on Twitter today.

The question came after we had a short discussion about EUobserver TV vs. podcast – eh, to be correct, there is no such thing as an EUobserver podcast, but I wished there was. I haven’t been a huge podcast fan previously, but lately, I spend more time listening to podcasts. Especially when I do such incredible boring house work such as folding clothes and washing floors.

My top favorite is the American programme On the Media (NPR).

Next on my list:

And the reason for the whole Twitter conversation was that I the EUobserver had a good podcast about the hottest EU matters.  It could be featured with one profiled EU reporter and new guest each week, also good bloggers – maybe someone from the Bloggingportal?

Here are Phillips’ favorites:

What are your favorites? What have I missed? Do you listen to podcasts at all?

Updated: My readers’s favorites:

23 thoughts on “My favorite podcasts

  1. This is precisely the point! You’ve totally hit the nail on the head! I always listen to podcasts while I’m doing chores as well! (Or cooking, which I actually enjoy, but I can still listen and cook at the same time) Right – enough with the exclamation points.

    Seriously – visual content is ‘make-time’ content – that is to say ‘I must book time out of my schedule to watch X’, whereas audio content is ‘engage-my-brain-while-my-body-has-to-do-other-things’ content – or ‘I could do with some mental engagement while I’m de-calcifying the shower-head’.

    There is so much information out there that we often feel overwhelmed by it all. This means that another ‘important’ video link will not be watched, another pdf report will go unread, and often we (or at least I) will feel guilty that I haven’t made time to digest it.

    But a podcast can be listened to when you are doing chores that you otherwise find tiresome or annoying.

    Would you really want to spend an extra bit of your day watching the EUobserver TV thingie?

    Not really, but you might listen to an engaging EUobserver podcast while you’re hoovering the living room.

  2. Having said all that, let’s give EUobserver a bit more time to find its feet.

    It’s still early doors yet, gang!

  3. I agree! Podcasts are great for making something out of otherwise wasted time.

    My favourites are NPR’s On The Media, The Guardian’s Media Talk USA, EconTalk with Russ Roberts (, and the RSA public lectures podcast (

  4. Podcast is really great medium for “waste of time”-time! Podcast is also very good in the sense that I don’t need to keep me eyes on a screen (as I do most of the day, anyway), I can keep my eyes on mundane stuff, but ears on super interesting ideas and views.

    Thanks for sharing your favorites, Kristian! I’ll check them out.
    I hope you’ve gotten some more arguments to bring back to your editor, Leigh!

  5. Podcasting is my favourite media. I guess i spend more time with web, but podcasts is where I really feel i can get to the depth of things.

    Funny you all mention On the media, as it would be my favourite also. I have been listening to it since I got my first ipod 5-6 years ago.

    But I also have some other favourites that i listen to every week.

    If you live in Norway, and you’re even remotely interested in media, you should listen to Kurer, from NRK p2.

    This American Life is just a fabulous radio documentary programs with incredible stories about ordinary people: “each week we choose a theme and put together different kinds of stories on that theme…”

    Radiolab is a program made with love for radio. It’s basically a popular science programme, but where the producer invest so much time and effort to tell the stories with genuine curiosity while exploring what radio can do in respect of imaging. Instant favourite. I think I have heard every one of these shows. As a start you should try “detective stories”:

    Other shows i listen to are:

    To the point – daily American news programme like the Norwegian dagstynn atten, only better.

    Left, right and centre – weekly discussion programme with different viewpoints from Arianna Huffington, Bob Scheer and Tony Blankley.

    The Moth – stories told live, without notes.

  6. Thanks for adding to this fabulous list, Gilbert and Iacob! I’ll update my blog post with all your recommendations. And now I (and YOU) can expand my (your) podcast list!

    This discussion got me thinking; is podcasts like RSS, a technology loved by the few? Anyone who have seen numbers on podcast usage?

  7. Yes, we measure this from time to time. The most recent figure I have is from a survey done this fall, with 15-24 year olds. Among these young Norwegians, 35 percent have ever downloaded podcasts, but only six percent listen to them on a weekly basis.

  8. This American Life.. (glad to see so many other people discovered this gem!) Best of the left, The Rachel Maddow’s Show, the BBC Friday Night comedy.. and TED talks (though technically that would be a vodcast)

  9. This weekend, my podcasts saved me on a 560K long drive from Ålesund – Oslo. This was my favorite: “A visit to New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Programme”, included a long interview with Clay Shirky about his students, who are constantly pushing borders.

  10. I’m very happy to see Democracy Now! on that list! That is one of my favorites too, and an extremely important news program! Everyone who cares about the world should listen to/watch it at least from time to time.

    I’m using gPodder to subscribe to podcasts, and it lets me share all my subscriptions with the world, so here they are. Unfortunately I can’t mark in that list which ones are my favs, so let me mention CounterSpin (they look at the spin and neglects of the corporate news media every week. Highly recommended!), The Bugle, On the Media, SALT, Big Ideas, and Search Engine.

  11. I did, Kristian! I listended to it yesterday (while folding clothes:-) Nicolas Carr always has a chilling effect on me because I do think he’s onto something. I do think the Internet has a strong effect on the way we work, the way we think, maybe even the way our brain works (especially when it comes to memory). I wrote an article about the same topic some time ago.
    But while Carr only writes about parts of the picture, Clay Shirky focus on another part, the larger civic effect, and I can’t wait to read his new book, Cognitive Surplush, which Cory Doctorow wrote about yesterday.

  12. I agree – Carr is definitely on to something! And I think it’s particularly troubling that the web seems to change our brains physically. Thinking about the brain as a physical object always freaks me out.

    And, wow! New book by Clay Shirky? Must read.

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