Current Events In Podcast Form: A Review of “The Daily”

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Keeping up with current events is important, but it can also be overwhelming. Where can one go to find news that is more than a tweet, but less than an article that takes forever to read? VALLEY suggests “The Daily,” a podcast by The New York Times.

Podcasts have increasingly grown in popularity and provide listeners with everything from comedy to entertainment to current events. “The Daily” takes on one hot-button issue five days a week, and thoroughly dissects it for 20 minutes. Listeners are not just simply hearing the outcome of the investigation, but rather are made to feel like an active part of the investigation as it is occurring.

Take, for example, the July 30 edition of “The Daily.” This particular episode examined the recent crisis of the Boeing 737 Max airplanes, in which the operating system has caused serious malfunctions and multiple crashes, causing Boeing to pull the entire fleet. Podcast host Michael Barbaro starts with a brief synopsis of the issue, then allows field reporters to take over weaving the story from there. Listeners travel with reporters as they knock on the doors of current and former Boeing employees and hear them talk through the roadblocks they face and new leads that end up as dead ends. 

By the end of each episode, listeners not only have a firm grasp on the issue itself and what has caused it, but also a more complex understanding of why no issue can be boiled down to one cause or person. Involvement in the investigative process naturally encourages listeners to consider the varying perspectives and causes offered in the context of a given issue.

Unlike many current events podcasts, “The Daily” is not just a rundown of everything happening in the world. This podcast examines only one issue, and in doing so, allows for in-depth reporting and thorough investigation of different viewpoints. Those interviewed for the episodes are presented with the opportunity to share their opinions and respond to those of others without the looming time constraints that typically constrain interviews. Instead, everyone has their say and, in turn, listeners are given much more information to make decisions about who and what they agree with.

“The Daily” is, of course, not without its faults. While it is often intriguing to hear the investigative process from start to finish, that is not the case for every episode. It can be redundant to listen an episode focuses on a heavily publicized topic. Additionally, since it can take weeks or even months to gather all the information and interviews for various issues, some episodes cover events that were first reported months ago. Though it’s true that they are generally covered with a fresh perspective and new information, it can make the podcast feel less “current” and more “events.” 

That being said, VALLEY still encourages avid podcast listeners with a desire to better understand the news give “The Daily” a try. Its unique format and on-trend topics give listeners a different way to hear their daily news.


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