Unity Begins With Listening
With the political season upon us, the constant media coverage can feel overwhelming (see our tips for fact-checking sources here). We’re finding that it’s sometimes easier to listen to conversations and dialogue, as opposed to scrolling our phones or flipping through news channels.
Below are a few of our favorite political podcasts for cultivating well-rounded and informed opinions about the upcoming election (and beyond). While not all of these are nonpartisan, the list varies in political identities and, most importantly, includes voices historically ignored. We recommend pairing these podcasts with books about politics to help you formulate your own opinions.
1. KCRW’s Left, Right & Center
For a nonpartisan listen, KCRW’s Left, Right & Center podcast offers civil yet provocative political confrontations. This show covers everything from world news and current affairs, and it invites listeners to hear how the other side thinks about essential issues. Airing since 1996, it’s one of the best political podcasts for healthy and hearty political discourse.
Review | “One of my top favorite podcasts. It’s a rare place where different perspectives can be heard, and I find evaluating the contrasting arguments both stimulating and helpful.” –Kate K., iTunes Review
2. She Votes!
It’s been 100 years since women won the right to vote in the United States, though the Voting Rights Act wasn’t passed until 1965. We can learn a lot from the women’s suffrage movement, and the She Votes! podcast is here to help us out. Hosted by award-winning journalists Ellen Goodman and Lynn Sherr, this audio show answers your burning questions about women’s suffrage and digs into its complex history.
Review | “As we approach another landmark election and the centennial of the 19th amendment, this feels like such required listening! Can’t wait for more episodes.” –Emilylydia, iTunes Review
3. In The Thick
Diversity is necessary for developing truly informed and inclusive opinions, and this new podcast from The Futuro Media Group highlights the stories mainstream news ignores. Hosted by award-winning journalists Maria Hinojosa and Julio Ricardo Varela, In The Thick airs bi-weekly. Listen in for inclusive conversations about politics, race, and culture.
Review | “Maria Hinojosa and Julio Ricardo Varela Don los mejores. Two of the absolute best leaders of our Latinx community sharing a great POV on everyday topics.” –Jorge C., iTunes Review
Have you ever wondered how the Supreme Court works, or how the nine Justices interpret the law for the rest of America? In Amicus, a Slate Magazine podcast, host and journalist Dahlia Lithwick answers all these questions with interviews and topic-specific episodes. Listen to this one for an in-depth look into the US justice system and our democracy. (We recommend starting with Race, Police, and the Law.)
Review | “Dahlia makes Supreme Court law so interesting, and her guests are incredibly informative. I look forward to it every single week.” –Eli R, iTunes Review
5. The Brown Girls Guide to Politics
This podcast is the ‘one-stop shop’ for women of color to learn about and engage with politics. You can expect interviews, roundtables, and conversations about everything from who’s running to current affairs. Host A’shanti Gholar is passionate about amplifying women's voices changing the face of politics, and those who don’t get media coverage. Tune in for new episodes weekly.
Review | “I knew the Podcast was powerful, thought provoking, educational, and empowering after listening to one episode…Listen [for] inspiration, encouragement, resources, and knowledge to impact change!” –D. Elayne, iTunes Review
6. The Argument
One of the most important things we can do in politics is to listen to varying stances, seek out facts, and then formulate our own educated opinions—and this podcast is an excellent resource for getting started. From the New York Times, The Argument features NYT Opinion columnists and guests to explain arguments from opposing sides of the political aisle.
Review | “I am so grateful to hear each journalist’s perspective each week. It helps to hear viewpoints that may not resonate with each of us, but will prove important to those around us.” –Emma H, iTunes Review
7. With Friends Like These
If you’re looking for a new Friday listen, consider the new season of With Friends Like These: Converts. While not entirely about politics, this show highlights people who have changed their minds about significant issues (think: politics and religion). Host and author Ana Marie Cox explores persuasion and seeks to understand why people change their ideologies—an interesting listen leading up to the election. Start with When Protests Changed Minds.
Review | “I love Ana and the fascinating guests she has on each episode. She is really interesting to listen to and asks really thoughtful questions to get to the core of our differences as a society and to try to move forward.” –Jess L, iTunes Review
What are you listening to, reading, and watching to stay politically informed? Share in the comments below!