Listening to news is a tricky business with podcasting. Considering that the very nature of podcasting allows you to download podcasts and carry them with you to listen to at your leisure, it doesn't seem as if current events would translate well. However, many people get their newsand even weatherfrom podcasts, keeping up with the shows and putting them at the top of their listening list.
When NPR began podcasting many of its more popular shows, including its news shows, people subscribed. The major television networks followed closely with podcasts of Meet the Press (NBC), Nightline (ABC), and Face the Nation (CBS), as you can see from Figure 3.5.
Figure 3.5. The News and Politics: Featured Podcasts from iTunes lists dozens of different news podcasts.
The corporate podcasters have a monopoly on news podcasts, but it is possible to do your own take on the day's current events. Most podcasters prefer to have a political bent to their news podcasts, but there are a few who focus on current events and weather. Table 3.9 lists a few independent news podcasts.
The M Show
John Wall hosts The M Show out of Boston. This is a great news and entertainment show that is the perfect length to listen to on a short commute or treadmill jaunt. The show is released five to six times a month, with an average length of 10 minutes per episode. The show is G-rated.
The KC Weather Podcast
The KC Weather Podcast is hosted by a meteorologist Ed Roberts, and was the first weather podcast. The show is released just about every day, and the average length is around 4 minutes per show. The show is G-rated.
A more opinionated and sardonic look at the community (called Podcast Island) comes from Russell Holliman of Mobilepodcast.org, who keeps up with current events and gives his own take on them, including predictions on the future of podcasting, both within and without the community. Russell also covers the current events of Houston, TX, as read from the Houston Chronicle, a paper for which he has no qualms in showing his disdain.
Podcasting About Podcasting
There is one area of the news that hosts several independent podcasts, and that's podcasting news. At first, people scoffed at people who podcasted about podcasting, but a few shows are starting to stand out as entertaining and useful. Perhaps the most popular of these is the Podcheck Review (www.podcheck.com), hosted by Scott Fletcher, who recounts the happenings in the community.