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Podcasts are nothing new, but in the age of COVID-19 where some of us are seeking ALL THE INFORMATION or, alternatively, some non-apocalyptic breathing space, podcasts can help.
Podcasts are also a great way for older relatives who may be isolated to discover new media to enjoy.
While podcasts may be “Um, duh” to you and me, many of my older relatives and friends find the various podcast apps a bit confusing. Perhaps now is the time for us to help out with that.
As HerCanberra’s resident podcast junkie, I’ve put together a list for those seeking more—or less—information about COVID-19. No judgement here as to which a side of the spectrum you fall on.
PODCASTS ABOUT COVID-19
I might add that I wouldn’t recommend listening to all of these at once. Our world is in a state of chaos and flux but we do have the choice to unplug, switch off and reset—even just for a couple of hours.
GLOBAL NEWS PODCAST + CORONAVIRUS GLOBAL UPDATE (BBC)
I love the BBC GLOBAL NEWS PODCAST. With two released daily, international news is delivered in a straightforward “6 o’clock news”-style broadcast, with reports from around the world.
With each story, the host chats with a BBC journalist on the ground where the action is happening, bringing a real sense of timeliness and authenticity to each news piece. There are also good news stories too!
While much of the news is about COVID-19 anyway, the BBC has also created a daily CORONAVIRUS GLOBAL UPDATE podcast which is a short and snappy update with stories and statistics.
If you’re limiting your news intake as much as possible, the CORONAVIRUS GLOBAL UPDATE might be the perfect podcast for you.
CORONACAST (ABC RADIO)
As the name might suggest, this is ABC’ Radio’s own COVID-19 podcast.
In manageable 9-12 minute doses, the premise of CORONACAST is simple—ABC Health Reporter Tegan Taylor and physician and journalist Dr Norman Swan discuss the day’s COVID-19 developments and answer listener questions each week day.
A great one to listen to for an Australian-focus, and with the added bonus of an expert medical opinion.
A staple of the HerCanberra team, THE SQUIZ is your ultimate wrap of what you need to know, daily.
Released each weekday morning at 6 am, Aussie journos Clare Kimball and Larissa Moore serve you the headlines you need to know—now.
With each podcast no more than 10 minutes, The Squiz is a great way to get across the news fast with an Australian focus.
THE DAILY (NEW YORK TIMES)
A great resource if you’d like to know more about the American response to COVID-19, THE DAILY is the New York Times politics and events podcast.
Hosted by podcast icon, Michael Barbaro, THE DAILY’s COVID-19 coverage has been exceptional long-before it became a pandemic.
7AM (SCHWARTZ MEDIA)
Schwartz Media also produces The Monthly and The Saturday Paper, so 7AM’s daily format usually revolves around interviewing one of their journalists about a subject in-depth, much like The Daily.
However, since COVID-19 reached Australia, the content has been focused on the political and national response to the crisis.
PODCASTS ABOUT ANYTHING BUT COVID-19
Here’s a random assortment of some of my and the HerCanberra team’s favourite podcasts. Download, switch off and enjoy.
Obviously more recent episodes of these shows might contain COVID-19 content, but for the most part you’ll find coronavirus-free content bliss.
MY DAD WROTE A PORNO
The ultimate feel-good podcast. Just try and stop yourself from laughing out loud.
What happens when you find out your retiree dad has written a B-grade romance novel? You read it out loud with your two best mates, of course. The result is side-splittingly funny and if you don’t believe me, just ask the show’s worldwide following…
Needless to say this isn’t one if there are little ears around.
THE HIGH LOW
Intelligent banter between two London-based writers—Dolly Alderton and Pandora Sykes. The name comes from the show’s unique mix of high and low culture content, think: a discussion about Love Island one minute and Brexit the next.
A bonus is that the show is currently on ‘maternity leave’, so its 2019 content is completely coronavirus-free!
Insightful and hilarious discussion of classic films with a panel of ‘experts’. Essentially: ‘Here’s why you need to rewatch this…’
Only true crime lovers need apply because that’s all you’ll find here. Expect well-researched episodes about famous cases—such as the Yorkshire Ripper—as well as coverage of modern crimes. Warning: some of the content can be very graphic.
ABC Radio’s iconic talk show features fascinating people from across Australia in conversation with insightful ABC journos.
ARMCHAIR EXPERT WITH DAX SHEPARD
Celebrity interviews get back to basics as actor Dax Shepard chats with Hollywood’s best and brightest.
Dax is neither journalist nor gossip columnist and the result is refreshingly entertaining and insightful.
AND IF YOU’RE HAVING A TOUGH TIME COPING…
When I feel anxious, overwhelmed or sleepless, I love the HEADSPACE app.
It’s free to download and there’s plenty of free content to explore, although to access the entire library of content you do have to pay a subscription fee.
The short breathing exercises can be a godsend in times of stress and I personally find the Sleepcasts (yes, sleep podcasts with stories) really relaxing for bedtime.
If you need a bit more support and would like to chat with someone, call Lifeline on 13 11 14.