These days of working from home and being in lockdown could be the ideal time to find a new favourite podcast.

Journalism.co.uk has spoken to a number of podcasters on our own podcast, and we rounded up six best picks to tide yourself over while housebound.

Inside The Newsroom

Guardian journalist Daniel Levitt started this podcast started in 2017 as a way to get inside the minds of journalists around the world - a bit like Journalism.co.uk.

While episode guests have historically discussed a talking point in news and current affairs, in the wake of the coronavirus crisis, Levitt's episodes - both in podcast and newsletter form - focus on how countries are responding to the situation.

Levitt told Journalism.co.uk on Twitter: "The main change has been looking back at history to explore what lessons we have learned and haven't learned from past pandemics."

Listen to Inside The Newsroom here


Now three seasons in, Crazy/Genius is a podcast by The Atlantic which asks eight big questions each season about the intersection of technology, science and culture.

Podcast host Derek Thompson pursues topics like AI in the criminal justice system or whether online dating is destroying romance.

It was recently crowned Publisher Podcast of the Year at the Publisher Podcast Awards 2020. One of the awards judges, Jemima Villanueva, said its use of splicing between the host and interviewee was one of its main production hooks.

"Rather than the narrator just saying what the expert said, they'd cut in with the voice of the expert saying that. So it avoids what is essentially a one-person show becoming a monologue," she said.

Listen to the podcast with Jemima Villanueva here

My Mother's Murder

This is a four-episode series by slow journalism news organisation Tortoise, which explores the assassination of Maltese journalist and anti-corruption activist Daphne Caruana Galizia in 2017.

What makes it unique? It is being told by her son, Paul Caruana Galizia, now a journalist at Tortoise, as he seeks the truth behind his mother's assassination.

"It's difficult because you have to sometimes confront ugly details about my mother's murder, for example, precisely how she was executed," he revealed.

Listen to the podcast with Paul Caruana Galizia here

The North in Numbers

Reach Plc launched season one in 2019 as part of its Laudable project, the Google News Initiative-backed collaboration between UK publishers.

It marries data journalism to podcasts, telling the individual human stories that are often lost in spreadsheets and databases. Using the Entale app, audiences can follow along to data visualisations, as they explore big topics like universal credit, homelessness and council cuts.

Season two has been pushed until later in 2020 because of coronavirus lockdown measures but will return with reference to how the crisis has affected topics like the local brewery trade.

There is a common saying: 'numbers can have a numbing effect'. Because of that, this podcast is focused on human stories instead, according to host, Annie Gouk, senior data journalism, Reach Plc.

"It's not too data-heavy. The data is the backbone, it's showing there is a rise in something, for example, and the reasons for that. But it's led by case studies and interviews [of the people who are most affected by the data]," she said.

Listen to the podcast with Annie Gouk here

The Turnaround with Jesse Thorn

There is perhaps no better place to find advice on interviewing than this series, which stopped airing in 2018. The Turnaround is a joint production between NPR and Maximum Fun.

Host Jesse Thorn talks to interviewing icons and veterans, such as Louis Theroux, Ira Glass, Ray Suarez and Larry King. In his own words, it is 'interviewing interviewers on interviewing' and it proved a learning curve for Thorn.

"[Larry King] like everyone has his own ignorances, and he is so comfortable with them that it makes him a brilliant interviewer and a great person to talk to," Thorn explained.

"He had a pilot on his show, and one of the questions [he asked] was: 'When you get the plane in the air, do you know you'll be able to land it?' On the one hand that's almost embarrssingly obvious, but on the other, what an insightful question."

Listen to The Turnaround podcast here

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn

Fast-forward to the present day and Thorn is the host of another NPR and Maximum Fun production, Bullseye. It is a long-running show in which he does in-depth interviews with celebrities from across the arts and culture scene.

Many of those light-hearted approaches from Turnaround come to bear here, as the interviews feel laidback and conversational. Thorn said this is an intentional effort to stay true to his own personality and embrace his own curiosities.

"I still try to be a responsible journalist, but part of that responsibility is to the audience, [which is] to be the person I am and deliver what they asked for when they subscribed," he explained.

Listen to the podcast with Jesse Thorn here

Subscribe to the Journalism.co.uk podcast on Apple Podcasts, Soundcloud and Spotify

This article was updated on 1 April 2020 by Jacob Granger to include mention of Inside The Newsroom.

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