Expanding your podcast library

By Madison Feller

photo by zoomar, Flickr Creative Commons
When January 1st rolled around, I decided to make a New Year's resolution I would actually stick to: Be more informed. This meant I wouldn't just keep reading all of my go-to sites (TIME, The New Yorker), and I would start actively seeking out news I would previously ignore. (For me, this meant reading publications like The Wall Street Journal and Politico). But my favorite discovery in my quest to become more informed didn't come in an article or even a video. Instead, it came as a podcast.

I know I'm a little late to the game, but it's amazing how valuable these shows can be. I've discovered new stories, tackled previously daunting topics and most importantly, become more literate in all of my journalism classes. Not to mention, it's a great way to de-stress and relax after a full day's work.

And since one of the best things about podcasts is the scope of their coverage, it's easy to find something that relates to whatever you're interested in learning. If you happen to be taking any of these classes this semester (or you just want to know more about a topic), check out these podcasts to get entertained, informed and enlightened.

If you're taking Journalism 4804: Convergence Reporting, listen to Invisibilia:
In between all the stress of class, take a #MyPersonal45 to listen to this new NPR podcast. It explores ideas, beliefs, assumptions and emotions a.k.a. all things invisible. You may get ideas on how to come at a story from a new angle, interview people on difficult topics and weave everything together into one coherent package.

If you're taking Journalism 4806: Convergence Editing and Producing, listen to You Made it Weird:
Now that you have (a bit) more time on your hands, consider listening to these one to two-hour interviews with Pete Holmes and whatever celebrity happens to grace the show that week. The interviews are intense, hilarious and, yes, weird. If you still find yourself struggling to have a natural, conversational interview, this may give you some inspiration.

If you're taking Journalism 4502: Multimedia Planning and Design, listen to Reply All:
The iTunes description says it all: A show about the Internet. As you're learning about HTML, CSS and all things online, this podcast will take things from a new perspective and discuss the relationship between people and the Internet.

If you're taking Journalism 4716: Women and the Media, listen to Call Your Girlfriend:
Aminatou Sow and MU J-school alum Ann Friedman host this podcast where they discuss everything under the sun, from Ruth Bader Ginsburg to that one This American Life episode about Internet trolls. Friedman is a freelance writer for New York Magazine and Sow is the co-founder of Tech LadyMafia, a membership group for women in tech.

If you're taking Journalism 3000: History of American Journalism, listen to Witness:
As you're learning the history of all things journalism, listen to BBC's Witness to get a bite-sized briefing on what happened in history that day. Hear from people who have lived through all types of world events, and bonus: it's only nine minutes long so you can get it done on your walk to class.

If you're taking Journalism 4410: Intermediate Writing, listen to Longform
If you're trying your hand at long-form, this appropriately-titled podcast may be what you're looking for. It features a conversation with a non-fiction writer, discussing how they approach and tell stories, as well as how they got their start.

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