This week, we’re putting the spotlight on National Public Radio. This is FolioPhonic: NPR.
Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!
Hosted by Peter Sagal, Wait Wait… is a mix of news, comedy and game show. Featuring a panel of journalists and/or comedians, you get both facts and fun in a recap of this week’s news. Each episode also features a celebrity guest ranging from actresses like Kristin Chenoweth to athletes like Steve Young to NASA administrators like Charles Bolden. The variety is never ending.
Wait Wait… does everything from trying to bluff the listener to completing limericks to celebrity guessing games. It’s fun, exciting and surprisingly educational. It’s definitely the most fun way to catch up on all the weird and unusual things that happened during the week.
For best results, listen to the most current episodes of Wait Wait…; they can be found here.
Tiny Desk Concerts
Do you like music or are you a liar? Either way, I highly recommend Tiny Desk Concerts. Basically the folks at NPR Music host musicians in their humble little office. The “desk” itself is not a miniature piece of furniture but a small corner of the room that feels intimate and cozy and the “concerts” usually consist of three to four songs of the artists’ choice. What you end up with is 10-20+ minutes of undisturbed live performances that have sound quality akin to studio recordings. Many artists change things up during these little shows, most notably the episode with T-Pain where he sings without auto-tune (spoiler: it’s beautiful). Others opt for acoustic sets or different instrumentation but you know you’ll always get something unique and original. The sound recording is second to none, so it’s also great for leaving on in the background. If you’re searching for a new musical muse that none of your hip friends have ever heard of or you just want to hear one of your favourite bands in a different light definitely give this podcast a listen/look.
Investigative journalism has always intrigued me. The idea of immersing yourself into the story to uncover the deep, dark truths. Embedded covers everything from skid row to immigration court to basketball leagues. The topic may change but the level of depth and integrity is incredibly high. Kelly McEvers along with her producers grab your attention and keep it long past the episode’s end. As well produced as NPR is, you don’t listen to Embedded for its sound quality. There’s a level of authenticity in each episode as you can hear everything from fear to confusion in a reporter’s voice. It’s refreshingly honest in a world that seems to only try to skim the surface of news stories. Embedded is probably the closest thing to firsthand experience—yes, they’re that good. Don’t believe me? Listen for yourself.