Monday, 29 March 2010

My Top Podcasts - Part 1

BBC Radio Podcasts

I've been regularly listening to podcasts since I finally bought an iPod over a year ago. I think I've got my commitment to listening to radio programmes from my Dad - since I was a young lad I've seen him recording numerous radio programmes on cassette and then listening to them at his pleasure. And he still does so to this day. Podcasts are my equivalent.

I thought I'd pick out some of my favourite podcasts. The following are programmes on BBC Radio 4 that you can listen to as a podcast:

The Media Show - Covers the week's big media stories. Presented by Guardian Journalist Steve Hewlett who's very knowledgeable on the media but not a natural broadcaster, he often stumbling over his words! It tends to focus more on journalism than any other area of the media. Unsurprisingly it attracts some of the industries big hitters as guests e.g. BBC Director General Mark Thompson. A must listen for anyone in, or wanting to break into, the media.

From Our Own Correspondent - The BBC is the largest broadcasting organisation in the world and so it has an unparalleled network of journalists. This programme is made up of monologues by these correspondents on newsworthy events from the countries they're based in. I find the programme more hit than miss but it can be a little dry at times. It's at its best when the correspondents provide a personal insight into the news stories.

The Weekly Political Review - While Parliament is sitting, one of a number of leading political commentators reflect on the week's political events with MPs, Peers and others involved in politics. I prefer when the Parliament is in recess and the programme explores a political issue instead. They normally go out into the country (ie. out of London!) and speak to people affected by government policy. Well worth listening to if like me, politics is your thing.

Analysis - A topical question is posed at the start of the programme and then explored for thirty minutes. Brilliantly put together and very informative.

The Bottom Line - I'm not really into business news yet I always enjoy listening to this programme. Each week three leading businessmen/women from one industry are interviewed by Evan Davis. He (and his guests) always make what appear to be dry issues interesting.

Beyond Belief - The presenter Ernie Rea and three guests discuss the role religon plays in today's world. Rea's knowledge, ability to ask the right question and background (he grew up in Belfast and was a Presbyterian Minister on the Shankill Road) often makes it a very good listen.

Best of Today - Unlike the above this podcast isn't the full programme, but what the editor decides is the best interview/report from the day's Today programme. Probably my favourite podcast from the best programme on the radio.

You don't have to have an iPod to listen to podcasts, as you can do so on the relevant websites but it's easier with an iPod as you can listen on the move and they automatically upload to the iPod when you attach it to your computer. One day soon, I think my dad will make the move from recording his favourite programmes on cassette to downloading them on an iPod as there's no need to be around to press record!

I'll write another blog soon on my favourite podcasts that, unlike the above, are not broadcast on BBC radio.

Please add a comment to this blog with your favourite podcasts. I've found out about many of the above through recommendations from friends.

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