World Radio Day: 20+ podcasts & radio shows to celebrate the power of radio


Last month we attended the WUSC & CECI International Forum to present the Young Journalists’ Global Podcast Challenge. We asked, what are you listening to? And we heard from many fellow radio lovers.

Below is a list of recommended podcasts and radio shows to keep you informed and entertained in today’s busy world. Of course on any list of radio shows to check out, the news is always tops, as it keep us up-to-date while we are on the go. This mix of podcasts and radio shows from CBC, NPR, Gimlet Media, and others truly show that it’s a mix of compelling storytelling and intriguing information that makes for an good listen.

So, whether you are planning a road trip or want something to listen to while doing the dishes, check out these recommended radio shows and podcasts:

For the news lovers

CBC’s Because News – This is Canada’s funniest news quiz. Hosted by Gavin Crawford, they make games out of the headlines. Listen on CBC Radio One Saturdays at 11 or Mondays at 11:30, or subscribe to the podcast.

Hacking Hunger – From the World Food Programme, this podcast explores the latest trends and innovations in food security, interviewing those in the know: humanitarians, journalists, and experts in the field.

New York Times: The Daily – A 20-minute podcast produced five times a week giving you the best of New York Times’ journalism from host, and managing editor, Michael Barbaro.

The Documentary – The best of BBC World Service documentaries and other factual programs.

Great personal stories

Anna Faris is Unqualified – This funny podcast from comedienne Anna Faris explores relationship advice from Hollywood. Get up close and personal with the stars on this podcast.

Heavyweight – Hosted by Jonathan Goldstein from CBC’s Wiretap, this podcast from Gimlet Media follows one person each episode as they revisit – and dig deeper into – a single moment in their life that changed everything.

Out on the WireOut on the Wire is not like other podcasts you’ve heard. It’s got a beginning, a middle, and an end, just like the stories you love and want to be writing. It’s an HBO miniseries mashed up with a MOOC and a writing memoir. You can simply listen to me work through the stages of writing something, or you can create your own story right along with me.

This American Life – This weekly radio show podcast from NPR puts the narrative into journalism. By focusing on stories, they find interesting people, funny moments, big feelings, and interesting ideas. Hosted by Ira Glass, and on the air since 1995, there’s lots of great quality storytelling to immerse yourself in. Get started with the highlights:

Unladylike – Cultivating our best selves and dreamiest lives is un-equally accessible for women, girls and gender-nonconforming folks everywhere. But by better understanding our unique identities, diverse lived experiences and underlying injustices, we can claim our space and make more room for others as well. That’s our Unladylike mission: To make inclusive, credible media that moves.

For the arts-lovers

CBC’s q – Host Tom Power talks to the artists you will soon love from TV, film, music, and the arts on CBC Radio One, airing weekdays at 10:00 and 22:00. Or subscribe to the podcast.

For the mystery and true-crime lovers

Someone Knows Something – Listen to three seasons of this true crime investigative podcast from CBC, hosted by documentarian David Ridgen. It started by exploring the disappearance of a five-year-old in Eastern Ontario in 1972. The third season revisits a brutal murder of two black teenagers in Mississippi in 1964 where David helped reopen the case and confront the klan.

Up & Vanished – This podcast was originally envisioned as a true-crime documentary, but the Atlanta filmmaker soon turned to audio to investigate the missing person case of Tara Grinstead, a beauty queen and teacher from Georgia. The podcast exploded from 6 to 24 episodes as it gained a strong following as the case developed and suspects were arrested.

Science, technology, and more: Learning through podcasts

2050: Degrees of Change – This six-episode mini-series hosted by CBC meteorologist Johanna Wagstaffe explores what British Columbia will look like in 2050. The podcast explores how our lives and environment will change because of climate change, including what foods we will be eating and what the air will smell like.

99% Invisible – 99% Invisible is about all the thought that goes into the things we don’t think about — the unnoticed architecture and design that shape our world.

Freakonomics Radio – Host Stephen J. Dubner has surprising conversations that explore the riddles of everyday life and the weird wrinkles of human nature — from cheating and crime to parenting and sports.

Hidden Brain – This radio show and podcast from NPR explores the unconscious patterns that drive human behavior, the biases that shape our choices, and the triggers that direct the course of our relationships. Using science and storytelling, it’s a compelling mix of information and entertainment.

Invisibilia – Unseeable forces control human behavior and shape our ideas, beliefs, and assumptions. Invisibilia—Latin for invisible things—fuses narrative storytelling with science that will make you see your own life differently.

Radio Lab – Radiolab is a show about curiosity. Where sound illuminates ideas, and the boundaries blur between science, philosophy, and human experience.

Reply All – “‘A podcast about the internet’ that is actually an unfailingly original exploration of modern life and how to survive it.” – The Guardian

Revisionist History – This podcast from Panoply Media reinterprets something from the past: a person, an event, an idea. Explore American history and culture with the global thinker and New York Times best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell.

Stuff Mom Never Told You – Co-hosts Emilie Aries and Bridget Todd keep it real with a research-driven rundown of the ever-evolving challenges facing women today and throughout history, paired with smart, strategic solutions to further women’s lives, careers, and activism. New episodes come out every Wednesday and Friday.

What we will listen to next

We haven’t had a chance to check out these great podcasts, but they come highly recommended.

2 Dope Queens – Phoebe Robinson and Jessica Williams host a live comedy show in Brooklyn. Sounds hilarious.

Brown Girls Rising – #BrownGirlsRising is a Worthy Women project in partnership with NYLON Español. Hosted by Worthy Women founder: Audrey Bellis, we feature weekly episodes of women you wish the mainstream media was reporting on. These women of color are driving activism, and change for their both their hyper local communities and our world at large.

My Token Friend – A group of young, ambitious, intelligent minority women who live in Minnesota. They talk about navigating life in the Midwest as tokens to the majority-white population. They encourage and empower women of color by facilitating thoughtful and intentional conversations about race, politics, love, social issues and mucho mas.

Sooo Many White Guys – Intimate, funny conversations will all kinds of artists who (mostly) aren’t white dudes.

What do you listen to? Tell us on Facebook or Twitter, using the hashtag #iloveradio.

And don’t forget to tune in to the three episodes produced for the Young Journalists’ Global Podcast Challenge. These three episodes explore three different global issues from two contexts, delving into how these global issues affect communities outside of Canada. Learn more about how women in Burkina Faso are protecting their farms as climate changes. Explore the impact of homophobic lyrics in music, particularly in Jamaica. And explore the similarities and differences between Canadians’ and Tanzanians’ access to safe drinking water.

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