This morning, like almost every weekday morning I got off the F train at 23rd Street, turned on my iPod and walked up to the street where I heard the NPR 7 AM News Summary lead, like most mornings, with a story about a bombing in Iraq. Podcasts, bombings in Iraq and Afghanistan and 2007 will forever be linked in my mind. Anyway, as I listened, I realized that I get most of my news now from podcasts with the web a close second. Back in college in the 80s they told me the future of news was teletext and we mocked the increasing percentage of the American public that got it's news from TV instead of newspapers and magazines. News from TV, newspapers and magazines? Those are the last place most people look for news today. I only get newspapers on weekends and haven't bought a copy of Time and Newsweek in at least a decade. I can't imagine who still reads weekly news magazines.
But who could have forseen podcasts in 1987? Think of how many steps have we need to get to podcasts. You need widespread internet access, familiarity with software based digital music players, creation of portable hardware-based digital music players and only then do you get podcasts.
I think I'm the one guy under 70 who's still amazed by the internet.
Some other news podcasts I like are:
NY Times Backstory: This is a four to eight minute interview with a Times reporter covering a big story. These upload irregularly but are informative even if the reporters aren't the best interviewees. The reporter covering the Virginia Tech massacre said he was "very happy to be here."
Newsdesk on Guardian Unlimited: A twenty-five minute news podcast from England covering the stories of the day. Obviously, it's UK-focused but still a good listen if only to hear the sultry tones of Ros Taylor reading the news headlines. It doesn't share the anti-Americanism of the Guardian comment boards.
NPR's It's All Politics: A hilarious and informative twelve minutes from NPR's Ken Rudin and Ron Elving. The one place people still talk about Ed Muskie. Highly recommended and worthy of a much longer post.
Washington Week with Gwen Ifil: An informative half-hour taken straight off the TV show. That show must be tough to watch since the podcast is a straight audio pickup and I feel I'm missing nothing. They also do a special five-minute podcast every week of listener questions.
I used to listen to Left, Right and Center but now that I don't I no longer feel homicidal towards Arianna Huffington and Robert Scheer and that's a good thing.