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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

A college student’s guide to podcasts

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Saichand Chowdary
A student listens to a podcast on the Harborwalk. Photo by Saichand Chowdary / Mass Media Staff.

In an era where short-form content is so easily accessible, long-form variations of entertainment are often overlooked. Social media platforms such as TikTok, Instagram and YouTube make it easy and quick to access entertainment, news and information. Flipping the channel to broadcast news stations or talk shows seems to be a thing of the past, especially for younger generations.

Some younger people are leaning into a newer variation of long-form entertainment that is easily accessible and can be consumed almost anywhere—podcasts. A podcast is defined as recorded digital audio content that is distributed across different platforms on the internet. There are thousands of podcasts available on platforms like Spotify, YouTube and Apple Podcasts that feature hosts and guests who discuss an endless variety of topics.

For college students, podcasts are a great way to expand knowledge, receive advice and hear entertaining or motivational stories from people around the world. Podcasts can be consumed while walking around campus, as background noise during a study session or as a way to make mundane tasks more enjoyable. With topics ranging from education, entertainment, advice and more, there are countless useful podcasts for just about any college student.

For first-generation students, or those with questions about financial aspects of college, “The College Investor Audio Show” has all the answers. The podcast is hosted by Robert Farrington, who is regarded as America’s Student Loan Debt Expert, and features financial information from TheCollegeInvestor.com. Topics covered include student loans, dorm life, student budgeting and general explanations of finance such as how to do your own taxes.

For those wishing to learn about a variety of topics, “Freakonomics Radio” covers seemingly every subject under the sun. Hosted by Stephen J. Dubner and a variety of guest speakers, “Freakonomics Radio” covers a mishmash of topics such as A.I., economics and the exploration of questions such as the modern relevance of philosophy. Both “Freakonomics Radio” and “The College Investor Audio Show” are available on Spotify with new episodes weekly.

For those interested in all things science, “Science Vs” by Spotify Studios is a podcast that works to fact check scientific claims in popular media. Hosted by Australian journalist Wendy Zuckerman, “Science Vs” gets to the bottom of scientific claims in an entertaining and educational way. “Science Vs” covers topics such as vaping, exercise myths, the legitimacy of skin care products and misinformation regarding transgender people. New episodes are uploaded weekly.

A quick and easy way to get news on the fly is the “Up First” podcast by NPR Network. With uploads to Spotify every weekday by 6 a.m. EST, “Up First” gives unbiased and unfiltered accounts of global and national news stories that help audiences stay informed. Each episode of “Up First” is under 30 minutes and summarizes relevant stories in an understandable and credible manner.

Another useful podcast for college students is “The Psychology of Your 20’s,” hosted by psychology graduate student Jenna Sbeg (1). With new episodes uploaded to Spotify every Friday, “The Psychology of Your 20’s” helps listeners navigate the psychological turmoil of friendships, relationships and the personal struggles of being in your 20s. Some examples of episode topics include self-confidence, academic anxiety, dating apps and LGBTQ+ identity.

Many college students are most likely aware of TED Talks, which is a platform for speeches from scholars and thinkers around the world that are often shared in classrooms to emphasize course material. “TED Talks Daily” is a daily podcast, available on Spotify and hosted by Elise Hu, that features guest speakers who motivate and educate listeners on specific topics. Some topics include technology, climate change and talks from entrepreneurs.

According to UMass Boston senior Emily Wing, her favorite podcast is “Hot Mess” with Alix Earle on Spotify. Emily stated, “I like ‘Hot Mess’ because it’s relatable.”

Alix Earle is a social media influencer who gained notoriety on TikTok and has crossed platforms to join the podcast space. Having recently graduated from the University of Miami, Alix Earle’s podcast helps listeners navigate dating, friendships and living with roommates in college.

Listening to podcasts can be a great source of entertainment, a study tool or just a way to expand your knowledge on interesting and important topics. Walking around the Campus Center or taking the bus after school doesn’t have to be boring. It can be tough to feel tuned into media when you’re always on the go, but podcasting makes it a breeze!

Sources https://www.theverge.com/2022/11/25/23475382/psychology-of-your-20s-podcast-spotify-anchor-hit (1)