It seems like everyone and their mother has a podcast these days, huh? Whether it’s true crime podcasts, Bachelor recaps or meditations — there’s a podcast for everything. In fact, there are often multiple competing podcasts about the same niche topic. When you bring news into the podcast equation, it can be hard to know who to listen to. Are you looking for hard news in the vein of NPR of the BBC, or are you looking for news with a partisan bent? Are you sure you can tell the difference?
Fortunately, there are a ton of fantastic news podcasts, and the following productions are all highly rated for a reason. They take their platform seriously — delivering pertinent news updates in entertaining and insightful ways. It’s like a very informative conversation with some of your best friends about the economy, breaking news and culture.
Tune in while you get ready in the morning, on your commute to work or while you’re cooking dinner. You’ll walk away from each episode with fresh insight into the most important news stories of the day, and perhaps with a few memorable limericks as well.
Here are the best news podcasts to subscribe to in 2020.
1. The Daily
BEST FOR DAILY NEWS
If you’ve only got a few minutes in the morning and want only the most important information, subscribe to The Daily from The New York Times.
They’re one of the most established, trusted and widespread news organizations in the world and their daily podcast widdles down their vast spread of hard-hitting coverage into the most critical info for you each day.
Each episode consists of about 15-20 minutes of an in-depth story complete with interviews, tapes of live conversations or press conferences and commentary from the host, Michael Barbaro. Then he goes through “what else you need to know today” and lays out other top headlines from the world’s leading newspaper.
Run Time: About 30 mins
Good For: Quick stories, news on your commute, palatable coverage
2. Skimm This
JUST THE BULLET POINTS
If The Daily is your morning news briefing, Skimm This is the perfect afternoon followup. It distills down the news even more, laying it out in the simplest terms possible.
The Skimm was started in 2012 as a newsletter by two young journalists who always found themselves explaining complex news stories to their friends. Now, they’ve expanded and created a podcast with the very same goal. Subscribe to Skimm This for news stories explained slowly and thoroughly. The hosts make all of the day’s critical headlines accessible in about 10-15 minutes.
Stay up to date on all the most important happenings in the U.S. and beyond.
Run Time: About 15 mins
Good For: Simple, straightforward explanation of news, quick headlines
3. Pod Save America
BEST TALK SHOW
If you want a talk show that’s humorous and no bullsh*t, this one’s for you. Four former Obama aides including Jon Favreau, Jon Lovett, Dan Pfeiffer and Tommy Vietor break down top news stories and discuss them in-depth with journalists, politicians, activists and a whole slew of guests.
They’re all about cutting through the noise and saturated news cycle and going straight for what stands out the most to them. Gain fresh insights from people who have been behind the curtain. You can also text them questions that they may answer on their next show. One of the most popular news podcasts, Pod Save America airs new episodes on Monday and Thursday.
Run Time: 60-90 minutes
Good For: News talk show, straightforward discussion, interesting guests
4. Hold These Truths With Dan Crenshaw
BEST IN-DEPTH COVERAGE
Dan Crenshaw, US Representative for Texas’s 2nd district is all about politics, and his podcast boasts more than 1,600 5-star ratings on Apple podcast for his insights, in-depth analysis and thoughtful guests.
The young Republican hosts the world’s leading experts to discuss the topic he’s chosen to cover that day. In these lengthy discussions, Crenshaw breaks down everything from the latest stimulus bill to healthcare and foreign policy.
Lately his COVID-19 coverage has included everything from potential treatments to the economic effects. Tune in for a qualified, conservative perspective on the country and world’s biggest issues.
Run Time: 45-90 minutes
Good For: Republican viewpoint, qualified guests, lengthy discussions
5. The NPR Politics Podcast
BEST FOR POLITICS
If you want reports from the frontlines of Washington and the campaign trail, subscribe to the NPR Politics Podcast. They’ve got updates every weekday afternoon from their dedicated politics reporters straight from the political frontlines.
They’ll give you the most important information and break down why it matters for life today and America’s future. Tune out all the political noise and dive into straightforward coverage of Washington’s biggest moments with the NPR team.
Run Time: 15 minutes
Good For: Quick daily updates, straightforward political headlines, trustworthy journalists, real stories
6. In The Bubble With Andy Slavitt
BEST FOR THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC
Let’s be honest, all other news right now has become somewhat irrelevant in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, so let’s focus on what really matters.
Andy Slavitt is a leader in the healthcare field, a #stayhome architect and turnaround expert whose aim is twofold — give people the most pertinent information they need for their health and safety and provide hope.
He reminds the American public that through this experience we have an opportunity to come together and achieve more solidarity than ever before. We also need it more than ever before. Tune in if you’re having trouble finding the light in the darkness right now.
Run Time: 60 minutes
Good For: Coronavirus news, timely updates, hope
7. Planet Money
BEST FINANCIAL NEWS PODCAST
It’s a classic for a reason. With more than 21,000 reviews on Apple Podcasts, Planet Money earns its top ranking in the financial business news podcast world for a reason.
Top experts explain the economy in ways that are easy to understand, interesting and actually fun. Picture a group of friends sitting around a dinner table discussing what’s happening financially, what they recommend people do about it, and why.
The episodes come out a few times a week and are quick and punchy so you get your economic fix without getting too far in the weeds.
Run Time: 20 mins
Good For: Financial news, updates on the economy, interesting dialogue
8. The Rachel Maddow Show
However you feel about Rachel Maddow, her podcast is very well-done and captures hard-hitting news with her own insight.
She connects the dots in ways that bring you into the discussion as a listener and make complex issues palatable and accessible without sacrificing any of their significance.
An episode comes out every weeknight filled with briefings on the current state of affairs. Maddow wants to bring increased transparency and accountability to our nation’s most powerful leaders. Her message is clear, her delivery is strong and you’ll walk away from each episode more informed.
Run Time: 45 mins
Good For: Straightforward news, Rachel Maddow, insightful updates
9. The Daily Show With Trevor Noah Ears Edition
This is essentially The Daily Show show in podcast form, which means it’s great. Listen to highlights from the Comedy Central late-night program with comedian Trevor Noah.
His interviews are always filled with fascinating information intertwined with witty humor and engaged societal observations that tend to land in a heavy and enlightening way.
If you’re a Trevor Noah fan, subscribe to this podcast.
Run Time: 30 mins
Good For: Humor, Trevor Noah, thought-out interviews, humorous insights
10. Snacks Daily
BEST FOR BUSINESS AND FINANCE
Snacks Daily is a podcast created by Robinhood Financial. In each episode hosts Jack Kramer and Nick Martell whip through the three most important business news stories in 15 minutes.
The episodes are bite-sized and perfect for a morning breakfast, commute, or quick walking break during the workday. Stay up to date on digestible financial news and get smarter, faster with witty banter and a lively breakdown of the most important business information for you to know.
Run Time: 20 mins
Good For: Business news, financial news, witty banter, important information.