Most modern gentlemen have a curious trait in common: a desperate lack of time combined with a constant desire for self-improvement. Perhaps that’s why the podcast, with its quick, easily-digestible format, has become such fertile territory for entrepreneurial thinking, and accessible, every day learning – especially when events are as quick coming and dramatic as in our current moment.
But, with an ever-growing cacophony of voices pleading for your attention, it can be hard to know whose advice to take — particularly when it comes to keeping abreast of current affairs. With that in mind, we’ve curated a quick playlist of the politics and news podcasts we swear by over at Gentleman’s Journal HQ.
Turn on, tune in, and open your mind.
The Week Unwrapped
Each week, radio presenter Olly Mann joins The Week’s expert editorial team to delve into the most important stories from the past seven days – but not necessarily the ones that have been grabbing all the headlines. Each half-hour episode features three of The Week’s writers, who kick off their discussions with a thought-provoking audio clip.
Mann provides the show with a healthy dose of Marmite, thanks to a divisive on-air manner that some listeners might find grating, but the discussion is always thought provoking, and there’s a refreshing array of topics.
The Daily (From The NYT)
Turning our attention to our friends across the pond, The Daily is a news podcast and radio show by the New York Times. Hosted by political journalist Michael Barbaro, its episodes are based on the Times‘ reporting of the day, and each episode lasts 20 to 30 minutes, with new episodes airing every weekday.
The Daily is based on interviews with Times journalists, in which they summarise and comment on their story, and is complemented by recordings related to the topic, or original reporting, such as interviews with persons involved in the story. A summary of headlines concludes the podcast making it a vital primer on the view from one of the world’s most powerful countries.
This wide ranging BBC podcast began life as the chart-topping Brexitcast and, in the two years it covered the big, bad B-word became a revelation thanks to its relatable way of shedding some clarifying light on a complex situation. Continuing to gain momentum and listeners along the way, despite the undeniable national fatigue, when the UK left the EU on 30 January 2020, so the Brexitcast transitioned to a full service news and current affairs podcast.
Recent episodes have delved deep into the high and lows of Boris Johnson’s first year in office, the viability of the Oxford coronavirus vaccine and the latest developments in the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell. Incredibly well researched and reliable, if you only have time to listen to one podcast each day, make it this one.
The Intelligence (From The Economist)
To quote the jingle penned by another of our all-time favourite podcasters, Adam Buxton, “you should read The Economist, it’s not as boring as it sounds.” This year, the distinctly interesting weekly magazine launched The Intelligence, published every weekday by Economist Radio, to provide a fresh perspective on the events shaping your world.
Get a daily burst of global illumination from The Economist’s worldwide network of correspondents as they dig past the headlines to get to the stories beneath—and to stories that aren’t making headlines, but should be.
Stories of Our Times (from The Times)
A relative newcomer to the podcast marketplace, this daily show from The Times made its debut in mid-March and, accordingly, has spent much of its life covering developments in the coronavirus pandemic. Hosted by journalists Manveen Rana and David Aaronovitch, more recent episodes have widened the podcast’s scope, hinting at a broad international outlook that examines topics such as sports doping in Russia, the training of US police officers and growing tensions between Britain and China. An excellent listen if you’re looking to get clued up on the big stories you might otherwise have missed.
Looking for more cultural recommendations? Michelin-starred chef Marcus Wareing shares the books that shaped his life…
Become a Gentleman’s Journal member. Find out more here.