Rating: 5 stars
We have reached a period in American politics so relentless that even I, a passionate journalist, often feel completely overwhelmed and lost in the chaotic happenings of our country. The over-saturation of news in my life has lead to a subliminal tolerance against headlines. The only way I stay up to date on current events is through word of mouth, and thankfully, there is a podcast for that.
On the days I don’t feel like endlessly scrolling through Twitter, The New York Times’ podcast “The Daily” keeps me in the loop. It has become a staple of my morning routine. It’s calming intro music and Michael Barbaro’s voice has become as essential to starting my day as brushing my teeth.
The podcast is released every weekday morning, just in time for the earliest commuter to have content to consume. Each episode usually focuses on one topic, using interviews with Times writers and important sources, and closes with a summary of recent headlines. Recent topics have included issues such as “The Re-emergence of American Anti-semitism,” “Voters Both Parties are Ignoring” and “Letting Louis C.K. Back on Stage.”
The show’s host, Michael Barbaro, gained renown during the 2016 presidential election. His articles were frequently featured on the front page of The New York Times as he became one of their most prominent writers. In an interview with Laura Hazard Owen of Nieman Lab, Michael Barbaro commented on how the podcast came to be.
“I don’t think we see an on-demand morning news audio program like this out there,” Barbaro said to Nieman Lab. “That observation was a starting point, joined by the reality that we employ a thousand journalists who are really smart, really well sourced, and who are really good talkers. Those are the two most powerful factors.”
With this inspiration, the show premiered Feb. 1, 2017, and discussed Trump’s nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the supreme court. “The Daily” immediately drew a devout fan base and inspired an entire genre of news podcasts which, a little over a year later, has become well established.
“I think people are craving intimacy, and the honesty of a format in which journalists talk not just at them about the story, but are grappling with it in real time and are talking about the process they went through,” Barbaro said to Nieman Lab.
One of the biggest flaws, and only flaws in my opinion, is that it isn’t enough. The 20 minutes of discussion makes me feel as though I am doing my civic duty, that I’m staying educated, but this is inherently untrue. The detail and diversity of outlooks presented by “The Daily” make it a great addition to my routine, but one podcast, despite my desire, could never give me all of the information that I need.
It allows me to feel comfortable in my own complacency. While that is in no way the fault of a podcast, it is an important thing to look for when consuming media. I don’t think I’ll ever lose a taste for the show’s conversation and composition, but I will have to work on finding other sources I find equally informative. Stream “The Daily” on iTunes, Spotify, or your favorite podcast platform.