Like many folks nowadays, I’m a huge fan of podcasts.
Although many of my favourite shows have been around for years, like My Dad Wrote a Porno, S-Town, and Planet Money (to name a few), there’s a constant stream of new releases hitting the market, and a number of them have become staples in my playlist. Here are three new(ish) podcasts that I’ve been enjoying in 2020.
For the consumer of current-events: Why it Matters
Hosted by Gabrielle Sierra, Why it Matters aims to tell us precisely why we should give a damn about today’s biggest events, issues and stories. Topics include the threat of nuclear war, the accumulation of space-junk, the pros and cons of artificial intelligence and more. Backed by extensive research and in-depth interviews with researchers and analysts, the podcast serves as a quick and effective way to catch up on some of modern life’s biggest topics, calling into question how tomorrow might be changed by the events of today.
Trigger warning: sexual assault
For the true crime enthusiast: Chasing Cosby
Just as the title suggests, Chasing Cosby chronicles the myriad of sexual assault allegations made against Bill Cosby and the events leading up to his consequent arrest. The show is reported and hosted by Nicki Weisensee Egan, the first American journalist to dig into the issue after initial allegations were made in the early 2000s.
In many ways, the nature of the subject matter in Chasing Cosby makes it difficult to listen to—Cosby was accused of assault by up to 60 women, some of them as young as 15 when the alleged abuse occurred. That being said, the podcast is definitely worth a shot if you can stomach it. Its narrative is ultimately driven by the voices of survivors, their stories exposing the dangerous intersections of the power and predatory behaviour that have come to shape our world today.
For the culture-curious: The Dream, Season 2
In the first season of The Dream, host Jane Marie dove into the world of multi-level-marketing and pyramid schemes. Now, in season two, she explores the ins and outs of the “wellness” industry, from Bible-approved essential oils to Gwyneth Paltrow’s infamous vagina eggs. At its core, the podcast ultimately serves to dissect our culture’s growing obsession with alternative medicine and the risks associated with its wide-spread commercialization. So if you’re a self-identified skeptic, or maybe you’re just looking to learn something new, this one’s for you.
While this list doesn’t even begin to cover the abundance of new podcasts out there, it’s a start. So next time you’re sitting on a bus, doing your dishes, or walking the dog, try giving these shows a listen. Happy listening!