Radiolab, hosted by Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich, continues to use stories to arouse the world with its curiosity. Stories from the last year include a controversial portrait of a hunter setting his sights on an endangered black rhino in the name of conservation, and a rhapsodic rap tribute to the pathetic sex life of the deathwatch beetle with Hamilton’s Lin Manuel Miranda.
Freakonomics Radio upends conventional wisdoms and explores the hidden side of aspects of how we live, from the economics of sleep to whether migration should be a basic human right. Using the best available data, Freakonomics Radio host Stephen Dubner asked whether there are smarter and cheaper ways to prevent crime, whether handwriting is going extinct and challenges what we think we know about medicine and our health care delivery systems.
Snap Judgment, hosted by Glynn Washington, brings us “storytelling with a beat,” a weekly collection of tales told by fresh talent, mining their lives and experiences and moving us in the process. It is now co-produced and distributed by WNYC Studios across the nation.
Here’s the Thing with Alec Baldwin remains one of the most thought provoking and intimately produced interview programs. Heard as a podcast and occasional series on public radio stations across the nation, Alec brought the audience personal conversations with Molly Ringwald about life after John Hughes’s films, and with Anthony Weiner about life after political scandal.
On The Media
On The Media, hosted by Brooke Gladstone and Bob Garfield, continued to examine the role media plays in the perception of reality. This year with elections on everyone’s mind, On The Media forged a year-long partnership with Nate Silver’s fivethirtyeight.com to understand what makes voters tick and whether the media is reflecting or distorting the electorate and the campaign.
Death, Sex & Money
Death, Sex & Money, the popular podcast about the things we should be talking about more, hosted by Anna Sale, delivered intimate portrayals of life in New Orleans since Katrina, what it’s like to raise two boys with autism and life after heroin addiction.
Note to Self
Note to Self, the podcast about being human in the digital age hosted by Manoush Zomorodi, challenged its audience to fight FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). In February, a series of episodes and challenges called “Infomagical” encouraged listeners to find focus and clearer thinking despite the technology buzzing around us. More than 30,000 listeners took part in the experiment.