“True Story” Podcasts
The Way I Heard It (Mike Rowe) – (< 15 minutes each) Short mysteries for the curious mind with a short attention span. This podcast from the former “Dirty Jobs” host is similar to Paul Harvey’s “Rest of the Story.”
NPR: S-Town – (7 episode True Story) John despises his Alabama town and decides to do something about it. He asks a reporter to investigate the son of a wealthy family who’s allegedly been bragging that he got away with murder. But then someone else ends up dead, sparking a nasty feud, a hunt for hidden treasure, and an unearthing of the mysteries of one man’s life.
NPR: This American Life – First-person stories and short fiction pieces that are touching, funny, and surprising.
NPR: The Moth – True stories told live and without notes, to standing-room-only crowds worldwide.
News & Interview Podcasts
The Art of Manliness – The title is a misnomer since people of any gender might enjoy and learn from these podcasts. Episodes explore how to live a life of both contemplation and action, while having some fun along the way. Topics cover everything from history and philosophy, to social/professional skills, to parenting, to self-defense and physical training, to pop culture and literature. As of January 2018, I’ve worked my way backward through about thirty of the archive of 300+ episodes. Below are my favorites so far:
- https://www.artofmanliness.com/2018/01/29/temporal-landmarks-achieve-your-goals/ (Daniel Pink)
Seven Minute Explainers (The Week) – (< 7 minutes each) everything you need to know about compelling and complex topics, from a variety of The Week’s smart and witty writers, editors, and thinkers. Concise and entertaining,
This Week I Learned (The Week) – (< 15 minutes each) Fascinating and fun revelations, reports, and studies on the internet. Quick, concise, and infectiously entertaining,
NPR: Hidden Brain – Using science and storytelling, Hidden Brain’s host Shankar Vedantam reveals the unconscious patterns that drive human behavior, the biases that shape our choices, and the triggers that direct the course of our relationships.
Freakonomics – Award-winning podcast. Stephen J. Dubner explores the riddles of everyday life human nature — from cheating and crime to parenting and sports. Dubner talks with Nobel laureates and provocateurs, social scientists and entrepreneurs.
NPR: How I Built This – Innovators, entrepreneurs, and idealists, and the stories behind the movements they built. Each episode is a narrative journey marked by triumphs, failures, serendipity and insight — told by the founders of some of the world’s best known companies and brands.
NPR: Fresh Air with Terry Gross – Peabody Award-winning weekday magazine of contemporary arts and issues. Features intimate conversations with today’s biggest luminaries.
NPR: Diane Rehm: On My Mind – Features newsmakers, writers, artists and thinkers: what’s going on in Washington, ideas that inform, and the latest on living well as we live longer
NPR: Planet Money – You’ll meet high rollers, brainy economists and regular folks — all trying to make sense of our rapidly changing global economy.
Slate’s Culture Gabfest – Award-winning podcast features culture critics Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and Julia Turner debating the week in culture, from highbrow to pop.
NPR: TED Radio Hour – Astonishing inventions, fresh approaches to old problems, new ways to think and create. Each show is centered on a common theme – such as the source of happiness, crowd-sourcing innovation, power shifts, or inexplicable connections.
NPR: Left Right Center – Weekly discussion about politics, policy and popular culture with representatives of the politically left, right, and center.
Slate’s Political Gabfest – Voted “Favorite Political Podcast” by iTunes listeners. Informal and irreverent discussion Washington journalists have after hours over drinks. Features Emily Bazelon (NY Times), John Dickerson (Face the Nation), and David Plotz.
NPR: Civics 101 – Ever wonder what a White House Chief of Staff actually does? How about a Press Secretary? And is gerrymandering still a thing in this country? Civics you should have learned in school…but probably didn’t.
NPR: On the Media – Analysis of the media. covering journalism, technology, and First Amendment issues.