In this political climate, it isn’t hard to see why political podcasts and independent news podcasts are growing more and more in popularity. if you couple that with the dislike and complete lack of trust that the public has for mainstream media (MSM), then it shouldn’t be too much of a head-scratcher as to why these podcasts are gaining large audiences.

What is a Podcast

Let’s first answer this question for those who are living under a rock. A podcast is basically a series of digital audio or video files “shows” that are done in an episode format that the user can download or stream to listen to. The word podcast may refer to the individual component of such a series or to an individual media file.

Podcasting often uses subscription models, where new episodes are automatically downloaded via web syndication to a user’s own computer, mobile application, or portable media player.

Lore says that the word “podcast” as a blend of the terms “iPod” (a brand of media player) and “broadcast”. Podcast files distributed are in audio format. Videos shared following a podcast model are sometimes called video podcasts, vodcasts or vlogs.

Podcast content can be accessed using any computer or similar device that can play media files.

Other names for podcasting include “netcast”, intended as a vendor-neutral term without the loose reference to the Apple iPod.

 

What are the Best Political Podcasts

Some of the best political podcasts are new podcasts and yet some are more established. Many are independent news podcasts but there are plenty of podcasts that are from well-known newspaper and magazine publications as well as well known media TV and cable networks. Let’s take a look at what podcasts keep coming up as the best political podcasts out there.

1 – The Daily from the New York Times

The Daily is a daily news podcast and radio show by American newspaper The New York Times. It is hosted by Times political journalist Michael Barbaro. The episodes are based on the paper’s reporting of the day. Episodes last twenty to thirty minutes, and new episodes air every weekday.

The Daily is based on interviews with Times journalists, in which they summarize and discuss their story. It is complemented by recordings related to the topic, or original reporting such as interviews with persons involved in the story.

 

2 – The Ruthless Politics Podcast

ruthless-politics-youtubeRuthless Politics is one of the best political podcasts to be classified under the independent news podcast umbrella. The podcast is hosted by former South Florida publisher and current web developer, “lefty” Patrick “Kid Chronic” Zarrelli. On the right side of the aisle, you have Joshua “Treez” Weiss who was a former Christmas tree salesman and nightwatchmen.

The podcast contains ruthlessly sharp political commentary and discusses all topics covering news, politics, current events, tech, memes and whatever else they can disagree over. The podcast is in a weekly format currently.

 

3 – Pod Save America

Pod Save America is an American Progressive political podcast produced and distributed by the Crooked Media Company. The podcast debuted in January of 2017 and it airs twice weekly, with the Monday edition hosted by Jon Favreau, Tommy Vietor, and Jon Lovett, all who are former Barack Obama staffers. The Thursday edition is hosted by Favreau and Dan Pfeiffer.

Pod Save America is the flagship podcast of Crooked Media. The media company was founded by Favreau, Vietor, and Lovett. The show averages more than 1.5 million listeners an episode and has been downloaded more than 120 million times as of November 2017.

Four one-hour HBO TV specials aired in fall 2018 and covered the U.S. midterm elections. Crooked Media also films the podcasts and posts them on their YouTube channel.

 

4 – The Ben Shapiro Show

The Ben Shapiro Show is a daily political podcast and live radio show produced by The Daily Wire and hosted by political commentator, Ben Shapiro.

As of March 2019, the podcast was ranked by Podtrac as the second most popular podcast in the United States. Westwood One began syndicating the podcast to radio in April of 2018. In January 2019, Westwood One expanded Shapiro’s one-hour podcast-to-radio program, adding a nationally syndicated two-hour live radio show, for three hours of Ben Shapiro programming daily. As of March 2019, according to Westwood One, The Ben Shapiro Show is carried by more than 200 stations, including in nine of the top ten markets.

In January 2019, The Ben Shapiro Show won “Best News Podcast” at the inaugural iHeartRadio Podcast Awards ceremony.

 

5 – Political Gabfest by The Slate

The Slate Political Gabfest is an American political podcast by Slate magazine that covers topics on current politics and issues featuring David Plotz, Emily Bazelon and John Dickerson. The shows are usually hosted by David Plotz. It is Slate’s most popular podcast.

The show is typically hosted by former Slate editor David Plotz with regular contributions by Bazelon and Dickerson. The show covers three political topics in the week’s news. Each topic is discussed from various viewpoints, and the podcast runs about forty minutes to an hour. Ads are incorporated into the show between topics, with Plotz or one of the other contributors describing the product in a casual way, similar to the manner of early radio and television shows.

The group typically treats Dickerson as their expert on Washington politics and presidential campaigns. Bazelon is turned to for her legal expertise as well as for her experience reporting on online bullying and child sexual abuse. Notable guests of the show have included late-night star and political favorite, Stephen Colbert, and former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper.

Plotz, Bazelon, and Dickerson reportedly do not discuss topics with each other before going live.

It would be a great idea for you to check out any or all of these podcasts and expand your political horizons. You really can’t go wrong with any of the pocasts reviewed. Remember you can hear any of these on iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn, Google Podcasts, Spotify and more.

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