The rise of the podcast is something that has been well documented. From the gripping narrative of “Serial”, to the conversational sporting analysis of “Off the Ball”, this nuanced media forum has something for everyone. A career for many, a hobby for most, and due to an undoubtedly saturated market, it can often be difficult to find the podcast that suits you. This endeavour can be even more difficult for students, whose journey to the Shangri La of their ideal podcast is thwarted by an array of fourteen year olds who bought a microphone online, and RTE’s many subsidiary channels attempting to stay relevant.
However, the exasperation of disillusioned students ends here, for what follows is a comprehensive guide of what you should be listening to on the bus into college, on that long, cold walk to Goldsmith, or while you lay in your room attempting to drown out your roommates’ mind-numbing attempts at conversation.
1. The Joe Rogan Experience
The Joe Rogan Experience is perhaps one of the most popular podcasts on the market. Hosted by stand-up comedian and mixed martial arts (MMA) enthusiast Joe Rogan, the show is often the subject of mockery for being the basis of opinions of teenage boys around the country. Having said that, the podcast is extremely enjoyable to listen to, and undoubtedly suitable for student listeners. When he is not discussing MMA, Rogan promotes thought provoking discussions regarding student politics, the science of sleeping, and the world at large. He analyses current affairs from the familiar standpoint of an unassuming voyageur, and explores poignant issues in a way which is accessible and entertaining. The podcast also has vast comedic value, thanks to the laughable conspiracy theories of recurring contributor Eddie Bravo, while other guests such as Elon Musk undoubtedly capture the imagination of listeners. It is in many ways the gateway podcast, and one all students should try.
2. Our Sexual History
This podcast is perhaps more directly relevant to college students, as Shauna Scott, the proprietor of Sex Siopa, brings sexual education straight to the earbuds of whoever may want it. With many students having gone through the Irish education system without any form of effective sexual education, this show should be mandatory listening. Each episode explores a different sexual subject throughout history, making observations as to their impact on how and why we have sex today. It is humorous yet infinitely beneficial educationally, and in an environment where consent and sexual expression are often alien concepts, its relevance for college students cannot be understated. For any potential listeners, the Irish Times recommends starting with the episode about Irish mythology, which is described as “terrific”.
3. The Bram Stoker Podcast
The imminent launch of the Bram Stoker podcast, run by the sub-committee of the Phil is one which students should make themselves aware of. Described by chief orator Ciara McLoughlin as “a platform for students to write about any topic of their hearts’ desire”, the show involves students reading aloud their theses, which are on a wide variety of nuanced topics. Examples include an exploration of classism on the Titanic, the legality of Dublin’s nightclub scene, an inquiry into whether Doctor Who is a champagne socialist, what it means to be Northern Irish in Dublin, and where it all went wrong for Eminem. With such a fine array of subject matter, this podcast is sure to provide authentic, thought provoking, and easy listening.
4. Weekly General Meeting
If the thoughts of like minded intellectuals isn’t your thing, how about cultural intellectuals who are that bit older and wiser? Weekly General Meeting (WGM), epitomises the casual conversational ease that makes podcasts so great. Produced by accomplished humorists Shane Langan and Niall Conlan, this show focuses on universally appealing subjects, covering a huge range of topics, from movies to comedy and everything that comes in between. From a student’s perspective, the podcast provides some easy yet equally hilarious listening, while previous guests have included recognisable faces including Domhnall Gleeson and Hozier, whose segments are sure to inspire and entertain the more artistic heads among us.
5. In The Dark
In the Dark is definitely worth a listen. While Serial catalysed the more than fruitful collaboration between podcast and thriller, In the Dark takes this to another level. Described as a sharp true crime podcast, season one focused on the harrowing cold case of eleven year old Jacob Wetterling. Honing in on the failure of the local legal system, the mini series serves to educate, shock, and grant students an escape from the real world. Season two is equally as impressive, focusing on Curtis Flowers, a black man in Mississippi who was charged six times for the same series of 1996 murders. Informative, shocking, and poignant, this series has a little bit of everything. Whether you’re a studious Hamilton resident or simply an Arts Block loyalist in search of an informative scare while you sip your Perch coffee, “In the Dark” will not disappoint.
These are just five examples – the list of podcasts that appeal to students is extensive. It is a form of media which covers anything and everything that can be spoken about. Who knows, your very own Joe Rogan might be just around the corner.