While podcasts have been around for at least a decade, the number of listeners has increased in the past years. According to the New York Times, about one third of the U.S. population listens to one podcast every month, and over half of the population has listened to at least one podcast.
While many people do not have the time to sit and read lengthy articles, podcasts are a convenient way to listen to the same content, especially if presented in an entertaining, narrative way. Due to the easy access, an increasing number of people are listening to this form of media.
For history and social science teacher Christopher Farina, these podcasts are ideal as they fit into his busy life.
“They are really convenient for me to listen to, so I can listen to them while I am doing something else like working around the kitchen, cleaning up the house or even on my commute to work,” Farina said.
“They are really convenient for me to listen to, so I can listen to them while I am doing something else like working around the kitchen, cleaning up the house or even on my commute to work”
Farina said he typically listens to podcasts that cover history, psychology, politics and news from the New York Times and the Washington Post. Some of these popular podcasts do not tackle hard news but instead topics like fashion and music, with hosts who may not be well-known celebrities but are local students like juniors Antonia Mou and Amy Yu. Together, they created a podcast with 10-20 minute episodes called “Unfamiliar Faces.”
“Unfamiliar Faces is a podcast series where we bring together two students who have never met before and enable them to have an interesting conversation through personal questions,” Mou said.
Mou said she primarily joined KPLY because she had a free period and thought it would be fun to explore and create a different form of media. Mou said she wanted to start this podcast series because it is an outlet to meet new people and host deep and thoughtful conversations.
Podcasts come in a variety of topics and also varying lengths. These podcasts create the possibility of learning about subjects ranging from comedy to science to entrepreneurship.
Senior Erik Schubert said he takes advantage of this wide range of subjects by listening to podcasts such as the Joe Rogan Experience, Planet Money, The Indicator, NPR Politics and This American Life on a regular basis. He also said he discovered his podcasts through his family or just by listening to random podcasts until he found one he liked.
Like Farina, Schubert said he enjoys the easily digestible format that podcasts provide.
“NPR Politics is pretty good about keeping you informed politically without actually making you sit down and read articles,” Schubert said. “I legitimately enjoy listening to them, and they make activities I normally would not enjoy bearable like getting ready, and driving to school and cleaning the kitchen.”
Schubert also said he appreciates the versatility of podcasts and the range of emotions they evoke.
“I think in this time of constant social outrage, it’s important to have the ability to actually hear what people think,” Schubert said. “I think the JRE is one of the best platforms out there.”
“I think in this time of constant social outrage, it’s important to have the ability to actually hear what people think. I think the JRE is one of the best platforms out there.”
Ultimately, Farina said choosing whether or not to listen to a podcast depends on the person’s learning style. For example, podcasts would be more suitable for auditory learners. One of Farina’s favorite podcasts right now is Invisibilia, a three-season show that focuses on how certain things affect human lives and thought that are not as apparent to the naked eye. Farina said teens should listen to this podcast because of its unique narrative style.
Although people can listen to podcasts anywhere, they are not necessarily integrated with all current, advanced technology.
As podcasts become more mainstream, more integration will be seen with devices, allowing people to listen to whatever podcast they want, whenever they want.