At risk of stating the blindingly obvious: what I like about podcasts is that you can listen to them anywhere. The beauty of subscribing to a podcast is that you can access the content whenever you want and listen to as much or as little as you want. With iTunes, both subscribing to and unsubscribing from a podcast is simple. If you have not listened to a particular podcast feed for some time, iTunes stops automatically downloading the latest podcasts and prompts you to either start downloading again, end your subscription, or simply do nothing and keep only the podcasts you have chosen to ‘get’ (download) to your library.
There are other podcast subscription programmes available for devices that are not compatible with iTunes. Try Doppler or Juice. I have not tried either of these platforms myself; however, if you look for the ‘Podcast Feed URL’ of the particular podcast you wish to subscribe to then you should be able to use either of these as an iTunes alternative.
While podcasts and RSS feeds have been around for quite some time, iTunesU is a relatively new resource. Academic institutions from around the world use iTunesU as a platform to provide open/online learning. Many of these courses are intended to be listened to in conjunction with a physical lecture at the university; however, this is not always the case. Oxford ( Reuters Institute for the study of Journalism – Oxford University) and Yale (Journalism and the Media – Yale University) both offer iTunesU podcasts related to journalism and much of the audio is dedicated to guest lectures. Yale has a whole host of iTunes podcasts for different journalistic disciplines, including one aspiring science journalists may find interesting: Science Writing and Journalism.
In the following list I have included both programmes and podcasts that I listen to regularly and some that I have only recently discovered. I am preparing to start a masters in journalism later this month and, as my undergraduate degree was in modern languages and literature and much of my journalistic output so far has been related to arts and culture, I need to brush up on current affairs and politics.
The list is in no particular order and is by no means exhaustive:
- The Best of Today, Radio 4 - five to ten-minute segments from Radio 4’s flagship news and current affairs programme, the Today programme.
- The Media Show, Radio 4 - the whole programme – under 30 minutes.
You will probably be well aware of the podcasts available from the BBC. Most radio programmes have an accompanying podcast that enables you to listen to the whole programme or some short segments from a particular broadcast. You can view the list of available podcasts here.
- The Economist - all available audio from The Economist – 5-15 minutes in length.
- TED Talks – News and Politics – around 20 minutes.
For American perspectives:
- CNN Opinion -from two to four minutes.
- Slate Magazine Daily Podcast – around 35 minutes.
Slate’s most popular podcast ‘Gabfest’ is also available to listen to online here.
- On the Media - over 50 minutes. This is a weekly podcast from WNYC (New York Public Radio) and is described on iTunes as ‘the smartest, wittiest, most incisive media analysis show in the universe’. At 52 minutes, this is a long, programme-length broadcast.
Related to journalism:
- Editor’s Blog | Journalism.co.uk >> Podcast - 10-20 minutes.
- Wannabe Hacks.
Stay tuned for more information about our plans for audio…
Do you listen to podcasts regularly? Are there any others that you would recommend? Let us know in the comments section or tweet us @wannabehacks.
Image courtesy of Mingo Hagen.
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