Peter Wells writes weekly columns about podcasts and technology for the Sydney Morning Herald. You can find his work in @SMH and follow him on @Peterwells.
I’m constantly trying new shows every week from Australia and around the world. Here is a collection of podcasts that have found a permanent home in Pocket Casts.
The news is pretty bleak right now, and for that reason I’ve cut down on many news podcasts. Still, it’s important to stay informed about the biggest story in the world, and Coronacast provides all the news you need to know, in a calming, anxiety free way.
A remarkable look inside the Victorian Supreme Court in Melbourne. Justices take you through their decision making process with great candour, in between ‘fly on the wall’ audio recordings from the courts. One of the best made true crime series, and I say that as someone completely burnt out by true crime stories!
A long running series full of wit and charm, and excellent chemistry between hosts. Ross and Carrie “don’t just report on fringe science, spirituality, and claims of the paranormal, but take part ourselves.” Their long running series into Flat Earthers and the Church of Scientology are must listens, and they've recently examined all the conspiracy theories around COVID-19.
Two Australian therapists talking about psychology. Dr Hunter Mulcare & Amy Donaldson have great chemistry, and a soothing tone when discussing mental health issues. One of the best independent podcasts I’ve found.
Ken White’s sardonic humour as he describes the many legal issues surrounding Donald Trump each week make this an immediate listen.
Practical advice for every parent on raising children. The last three episodes have been fun, friendly shows on surviving homeschooling your children, and keeping kids in lockdown from killing each other.
Deborah Frances-White hosts a comedy and discussion show every week that “explores our noble goals as 21st Century feminists and the insecurities, and hypocrisies that undermine them.” Always a great laugh, with amazing guests.
The Daily might have pioneered the format, but The Signal is a shorter, more entertaining look at the day’s news from an Australian perspective.
A niche pick here, but my favourite Apple related tech podcast, for the incomparable wit of John Siracusa.
Two perfectly produced seasons explore the Mueller Investigation and its conclusion, and a third season takes a look at Vladmir Putin’s interference in Western democracies around the world.
After a few minutes listening, you’ll either love or hate this show based on the truly strange chemistry between Kara Swisher and Scott Galloway, as they talk about big tech, ethics, and business strategy. For me it’s a must listen.
Two comedians watch then discuss the movies that dudes have made them feel guilty about not seeing. A great take on the movie podcast format.
A favourite show that I sometimes fall behind on, but always catch up with. There’s always a few unexpected moments in the stories they tell, and a recent episode interviewing people around the world in lockdown was incredibly touching.
Two mothers of special needs children have created a wonderful show about overcoming life’s struggles, whatever they are. Infectiously joyful.
This plays almost as a director's commentary to Farrow’s book, with extended interviews, and a look behind the scenes of how the book was written.
A great, twice weekly listen for anyone obsessed with US politics.
If you want to know how politics in Australia works (and sometimes doesn’t work) then The Party Room is a great listen.