Top pick podcasts  

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This digital drawing has a watercolour background with a professional microphone in the center.
Who would’ve guessed sound quality impacts podcast quality? Lee Lim

The importance of podcasts and their technology in our lives 

The world of entertainment is growing and expanding. Globalization has led to new forms of media and media consumption. Those who hate reading can listen to audio books if it is their preference. There is a form of media for every person depending on their hobbies. Podcasts are a form of entertainment that bring us stories from people, resources, awareness, and knowledge. There are hundreds of podcast genres. Whether you are interested in true crime, finance, news, lifestyle, or health and fitness, there is something for everyone.  

I started listening to podcasts as a teenager. At that time, the first podcast I listened to was Serial. Serial is among the earliest podcasts in the industry and its three seasons are hosted by Sarah Koenig. The first season is the one that almost everyone knows. It goes into the case of Hae Min Lee and Adnan Syed. What I enjoyed about Serial is Koenig’s storytelling. She includes conversations, reports, and so much more. According to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Serial is one of the earliest podcasts that pioneered and paved the way for the genre of true crime. Serial is not just a podcast with a host speaking, rather it is an entire production.  

There is so much that goes into podcasting. The script is important, there is a need for a soundtrack, and everyone has to figure out the narrative of the podcast and why it is important. Vulture Magazine calls Serial the ‘anti-Dateline’ and I believe this is the perfect description for the podcast.  

Moreover, we cannot talk about podcasts without mentioning Dirty John. Dirty John tells the story of an older woman who meets a man and falls in love with him. He tells her that he is a doctor named John. John starts slowly disrupting her life from the inside out and soon, she comes to face a lot of harsh truths about the current man in her life.  

Dirty John is an incredible podcast. The story in Dirty John started from newspaper reports, then turned into podcast, and even became a TV show. What makes podcasts so interesting is that they are one of the ways we can learn about real life stories and the experiences of people we would never have a chance to otherwise meet. Podcasts breathe life into the stories and journeys of people.  

While some might compare podcasts to radio, I believe they are completely different from each other. Podcasts offer a form of intimacy and familiarity that you can rarely find from other forms of media. When you listen to a lifestyle podcast about relationships, mental health, or healing and self-care, you almost feel like you are a part of the conversation. It is something that is not out of reach. You are listening to someone or a group of people delving into important topics that give you space to think about your own thoughts and beliefs regarding these topics. 

Although the world of podcasts is incredible, it is something that requires you to tread carefully. Many of us are aware of what is known as the Manosphere: an umbrella term that is used to describe communities rooted in misogyny. Unfortunately, there are hundreds if not thousands of podcasts focused on this topic. It is important to know who is worthy to be listened to and who is not. The reality is that even if you are listening to a controversial podcast because you saw it trending on Twitter or TikTok, you are giving the host your money and engagement. Podcasts today have become a way for some people to promote ignorant beliefs and rant to anyone who will listen. Thus, I personally believe it is necessary to do your own research and focus on topics that are useful to you. There is no point in listening to podcasts if you are not learning something valuable and useful to you, your well-being, and your growth.  

I enjoy podcasts because I am always commuting to the university. As a result, I need something to listen to in order to pass the time. Listening to a podcast allows me to take a step back, clear my head, and just focus on listening and understanding whatever information is being shared through the podcast.  

At the moment, I am listening to Love Janessa, a podcast from BBC. It tells the story about a woman whose pictures are used to catfish people and exploit them to send money to the catfishers. Another of my favourite podcasts is Crime Junkie, which produces true crime podcasts every week.  

I also enjoy listening to Rotten Mango, another podcast by YouTuber Stephanie Soo. Soo’s storytelling is by far the best I have ever listened to. She is able to capture your attention and tell stories from direct sources. What I love about Rotten Mango is that the host gets her stories primarily from books. Each week, she reads a book related to a specific case and talks about everything discussed in the book. Soo breathes character and quirkiness into her storytelling. She is easy to listen to and even easier to follow.  

Furthermore, the cases in her podcast are mostly stories that have been swept under the rug and are not so common, which is something I enjoy. She honours the victims in her podcast by telling their stories with compassion, empathy, and respect. She also shares resources that listeners can follow. Overall, Rotten Mango is something I would recommend to everyone who wants to start listening to podcasts but are unsure of where to start.  

Podcasts are well loved by listeners because they seek to inform and educate the public on what is going on in our world, how it works, and important things and stories we should know.  

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