With the new year right around the corner, it’s getting to be the time of year where we all pledge to be better versions of ourselves in the coming months. But sometimes we bite off more than we can chew, and our resolutions fall to the wayside. If it’s your goal to be better informed about the world around you this year, I’m here to help make sure that doesn’t happen. Keep reading to find engaging, accessible news sources to add to your morning routine in 2022.
First up we have one of my personal favorites, a podcast called Talking Feds. Run by American lawyer, law professor, and political commentator Harry Litman and sponsored by L.A. Times Studio, Talking Feds is a roundtable discussion that brings together prominent former government officials, journalists, and special guests from both sides of the aisle to analyze your pressing questions about law and politics. Episodes vary from 40 minutes to an hour, and come out on a weekly basis. Available on most major listening platforms including Spotify and Apple Podcasts.
Next, if you’re looking for something a little less formal but just as educational, join four former aides to President Obama and their guests on Pod Save America for a “no-b******t conversation.” Listen to their trailer here. New episodes come out twice a week and last between 60 and 85 minutes.
If your attention span has been shot by Zoom school and Tiktok, you can find short but meaningful stories of people transformed by international exchanges with Voices of Exchange. Brought to you by the Office of Alumni Affairs in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, this podcast creates an opportunity for immigrants, entrepreneurs, foreign service officers, Fulbright scholars, and more to share their journeys to success and the challenges they faced along the way. It highlights the rich cultural identities that make up Americans and offers unique perspectives to listeners like you. New episodes are released biweekly last between 20 and 30 minutes.
If you’d rather watch than listen, give The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC a shot. Through her creative and funny approach to storytelling, Rachel Maddow reports on the current state of political affairs and reveals the importance of transparency and accountability from our leaders. If you want another monotone, stone-faced newscaster, this show is not for you. Available every weeknight at 9 pm on MSNBC.
But maybe you’re obsessed with politics every other minute of the day, and you’re looking to learn something new. Kurzgesagt, a German animation and design studio, creates short but informative videos on science, technology, philosophy, psychology, and yes, politics (you can never really escape it). Ranging on subjects anywhere from what would happen if you fell through a black hole to why humans find symmetry attractive, this channel has anything you could ever be curious about. In their crash course style teaching, Kurzgesagt videos tell you what you need to know while keeping you engaged. Available on YouTube or the Kurzgesagt website, these videos are something you have to check out this (next?) year.
The last suggestion I’ll give to you guys is less about the present and more about the past. Uncivil, Gimlet’s new history podcast, goes back to the Civil War to examine the divides in the U.S. that caused it and how their effects are still felt today. These myth busters redefine your knowledge of history, and every episode keeps you guessing until the last minute. Ranging from 20 to 40 minutes in length, this podcast brings you “untold stories about covert operations, corruption, resistance, mutiny, counterfeiting, antebellum drones,” and more, all while connecting each topic to the modern day. If history is your niche, or even if it isn’t, this podcast should definitely be on your “to-be-watched” list.
2021 was quite the wild ride, but now we have the chance to start fresh in a new year. Take advantage of that, and make sure you’re informed enough to do it.