• Author:Ben Jones
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It is common for people to mistake me for an extreme extrovert – someone who not only is socially confident but would much rather be in a group, at a party, in a crowd, anywhere with others than alone. Only part of this is true – I have always been good around other people – been able to talk to folk for all sorts of backgrounds, positions of authority and status – but I am rarely happier than when it’s just me having some me time – quietly alone.

These days, I have the perfect alone time companion at the press of a button. It’s all about me and my podcasts – whether like today cutting the grass (not mowing it as some would have us believe!) or driving to get the Sunday papers – yes, I still like to hold and fold the Sundays. Podcasts have become a massive part of my information receiving life.

I have a series of podcasts that I listen to regularly, mostly catching me up on politics and current affairs from my favourite programmes, websites or journalists. I now listen to podcasts more than I watch TV. Alongside the Today Programme, The World at One, PM and the Six O’clock News on BBC Radio 4 with Five Live for all my sport needs, my TV usage is limited to a small number of programmes and Netflix.

My go-to podcasts that I take every week are………

The Daily from The New York Times

The Spectator Podcast

Coffee House Shots from The Spectator

The Media Show from BBC Radio 4

FiveThirtyEight Politics

Test Match Special

The Moral Maze

The New Washington

Westminister Hour

This Week with George Stephanopoulos

Meet The Press

Face The Nation

State of the Union with Jake Tapper

Piennar’s Politics

Week in Westminister

FT Politics

Desert Island Discs

The Ax Files from David Axelrod

Media Masters

Pod Bless America

Alongside this, I look out for documentaries on Radio 4 which are worth podcasting – that cannot be word! Recently I’ve enjoyed “The Brown Years” with Steve Richards and continue to dip into the treasure trove archive of the wonderful “Letters from America by Alistair Cooke”.

I am always looking for new podcasts and I love how accessible they are both for listener and producer – with very, very low barriers and costs to enter the market. I am not sure we will stop watching TV in my lifetime but as the podcast market expands to cater for every niche interest and need, we are in the midst of an information, communication and entertainment golden age. Long may it continue.

One piece of advice; check out the podcasts on my list – start with The Daily and the fantastic Michael Barbaro – it is a thing of beauty. You will not regret it or get the theme tune out of your head for the rest of the day.


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