a. the great success of “Serial,” the break-out hit podcast in which Sarah Koenig documented an investigation into a real crime;
b. the spread of smartphones – which means almost everyone has an MP3 player in their pocket, which they listen to instead of the radio;
c. bluetooth-enabled car stereos, which is shifting people from listening to the radio when they drive
d. podcasters are getting better at it so producing shows people actually want to listen to (notably by improving the sound quality);
e. podcasts from established broadcasters (eg the BBC and NPR) are getting people used to them.
My own podcast, Development Drums is intended to be the audio equivalent of “long form” writing – that is, self-indulgent blather in need of a good editor designed to super-serve a niche audience with in-depth analysis. I’ve been surprised how many people want this: each Development Drums episode is downloaded tens of thousands of times (some even more).
I’ve recently been enjoing the CGD podcast hosted by my friend and colleague Rajesh Mirchandani. Rajesh is a former BBC radio and TV presenter, and it shows in the quality of these interviews. These are shorter, less technical introductions than Development Drums. If you haven’t been listening to these, you really should. You can get the CGD podcast on iTunes or Stitcher as well as on the CGD website.
Here is a list of podcasts on development and economics that I’m subscribed to. What am I missing?
A list of podcasts for people interested in development and economics
- Development Drums (Feeds: iTunes Stitcher RSS)
<self promotion> My own long-form podcast, aimed at super-serving the development crowd with in-depth interviews.
- The CGD Podcast (Feeds: iTunes Stitcher RSS)
Rajesh Mirchandani, my colleague at the Center for Global Development, interviews key opinion formers and thinkers in development.
- EconTalk by Russ Roberts (Feeds: iTunes Stitcher RSS)
Russ Roberts does to economics what I try to do to development – a different topic discussed in-depth each episode.
- Tiny Spark (Feeds: iTunes RSS)
an independent podcast with in depth reports on philanthropy, nonprofits, international aid and for-profit social good initiatives.
- Humanosphere (Feeds: iTunes Stitcher RSS)
Tom Murphy and Gabe Spitzer discuss an eclectic range of development issues.
- European Centre for Development Policy Management (Feeds: iTunes RSS)
Our friends and fellow think-tankers based in Maastricht and Brussels
- Mission Creep (Feeds: iTunes RSS)
Brendan Rigby, Carly Stephan and Weh Yeoh (the team from WhyDev) tackle a range of development issues.
- More or Less (Feeds: iTunes Stitcher RSS)
In this BBC programme, Tim Harford and colleagues take a look at statistics in the news.
- NPR Planet Money (Feeds: iTunes Stitcher RSS)
Terrific economics podcast
- World Weekly (FT) (Feeds: iTunes Stitcher RSS)
Gideon Rachman of the Financial Times looks at an international political story.
- Freakonomics (Feeds: iTunes RSS)
Hosted by Stephen Dubner, who with Steven Levitt wrote “Freakonomics”. The podcast aims to teach us all to think a bit more creatively, rationally, and productively.
- International Monetary Fund (Feed: RSS)
IMF economists and other experts discuss key economic and financial issues.
- LSE public lectures (Feeds: iTunes Stitcher RSS)
Some of these are very interesting; some not so much.
- BBC Africa Today (Feeds: iTunes Stitcher RSS)
A round-up of Africa’s news stories.
- BBC From Our Own Correspondent (Feeds: iTunes Stitcher RSS)
Insight, wit and analysis from BBC correspondents, journalists and writers from around the world
- Global Dispatches Podcast (Feeds: iTunes Stitcher RSS)
Mark Leon Goldberg conducts long form interviews with foreign policy influencers, and deep discussions with experts on topical issues in global affairs
[Update on 29 June] Here are other podcasts which I haven’t listened to myself but which have been recommended by readers in the comments:
- Slate Money (Feed: iTunes)
A weekly roundup of the most important stories from the worlds or business and finance, hosted by Felix Salmon.
- Weekly Economics Podcast (NEF) (Feed: iTunes)
The New Economics Foundation breaks down the big issues in macroeconomics in the UK and beyond.
- DFID UK (Feed: iTunes)
Occasional podcasts from UK Department for International Development
- Return to the Source (Feeds: iTunes Stitcher RSS)
A podcast on excellent writing about Africa
- Harvard Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research (Feed: iTunes)
Two series of podcasts on humanitarian law and policy.
- Deeper Than Data
AidData looks at the human stories at the heart of its research
- Taxcast – The Tax Justice Network (Feeds: iTunes RSS)
Monthly podcast from the Tax Justice Network.
- Terms of Reference (Feeds: iTunes RSS)
Stephen Ladek interviews development and aid professionals
- This Week in Global Health (Feeds: iTunes Stitcher RSS)
A weekly roundup of Global Health news
- The Lancet Global Health Audio (Feeds: iTunes RSS)
Tim Dehnel and Dara Mohammadi, report on health news around the world, while providing a rundown of the latest news from The Lancet publications.
- How Aid Works Podcast (Feeds: iTunes Stitcher RSS)
Australian Red Cross aid workers talk about the challenges of providing aid – in the crises that make the news and the ones that don’t.