8 Podcasts for the expat news junkie

Being an avid news junkie, particularly when it comes to politics, living and working abroad puts me in a difficult position. With so much information coming through Twitter and Facebook (and so little of it seemingly reliable), more news outlets moving behind paywalls, and location restrictions limiting television access (even with VPNs), my main news consumption now comes through podcasts.

I listen to podcasts in the house, on my commute, when I run and when I work. But sifting through all those that are available to try to maintain some form of balance and ensure that I'm up to date with the big ticket items going on in my home country has taken some time.

So, as part of what will be a series of these posts covering a range of interests, here are my top recommendations for podcasts that will help you keep track of UK news and politics. It is by no means complete. It is by no means completely "fair and balanced". But it is a list that will help anyone understand the themes and some of the detail of what is going on, and leave them able to make up their own minds and develop their own opinions. 

But first, a quick note on listening to podcasts. There are many players. Not least Apple's own Podcasts App. But for me, nothing beats Overcast. Overcast does a fantastic job of syncing my progress between multiple devices and online. But more importantly, it has "smart speed" that intelligently shortens silences in the audio and a speed function that allows you to speed up how fast each episode plays. I've found that listening at just below 1.5x keeps the podcast understandable but significantly increases the amount of content you can get through over time! Overcast is free, but with a voluntary paid subscription. I've opted to pay for it as it is so invaluable to me it deserves my money!

The List

In no particular order, here we go:

  • Chopper's Brexit Podcast Yes, it's the biggest thing to happen to the UK in a generation, Yes, whatever you think about it, it's important to keep up to date with how it winds its way through British political, social and economic life. And this podcast does a good job of putting things into an informative (and slightly humorous) perspective
  • Commons People Huffington Post's UK politics team discuss the week in Westminster 
  • FT Politics Discussion and analysis of UK politics from the Financial Times' political commentators and correspondents
  • The New Statesman Podcast A weekly podcast from the New Statesman, covering politics from a centre-left perspective
  • The Times Red Box A great way to hear from leading Times writers and columnists on major national and international stories without the fear of a paywall getting in your way!
  • Radio 4's The Briefing Room David Aaronovitch and a panel of experts and insiders present in-depth explainers on big issues in the news
  • FT News Slightly broader analysis than FT Politics, FT News brings news and analysis from Financial Times reporters around the world
  • Radio 4's Friday Night Comedy Podcast With all that heavy duty analysis and conversation coursing through your ears, what you really need to cap off your listening is a team of clever, funny and cynical comedians telling it like it is. The series features The News Quiz, The Now Show, Dead Ringers and The Museum of Curiosity.

What are sone if your favorite UK news and politics podcasts? Let me know in the comments below.