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Recently, I’ve been using the BBC Podcasts for my news.
The BBC News Catch-Up playlist is always at the top of the podcast page. It usually has about a dozen items on it — a mix of quick headlines and longer format news stories. The playlist’s tagline line is “Today’s top stories and the podcasts to make sense of them.”
From BBC News Catch-Up, I followed the excitement of the England’s women’s football (soccer) team and their unexpected rise to the finals in the World Cup. I heard the scandalous and sad story about the trial of a neonatal nurse who killed babies in her care. This week brought the disruption of air travel caused by a technical glitch at Heathrow.
I enjoy listening to BBC News Catch-Up in the early evening to get a sense of what’s been going on in the world.
I’ve also liked the longer-form investigative journalism in multi-part podcasts. Here are three that I’ve found interesting in the last few months:
A Very British Cult. This cult isn’t based on religion; it’s based on what we would call “self-help.” Since I tend to think of Americans being more into the self-help genre, I wonder how much of this sort of thing is going on here.
Marianna in Conspiracyland. An exploration of how conspiracy theories that developed during COVID lockdowns are continuing to spread in Britain.
Fever. An investigation into the origins of COVID. At first, I wasn’t at all sure about this, but after listening to Conspiracyland, I figured that I’d trust the BBC reporting on it more than a lot of sources.
Episode 3 of Fever reminded me of why I had a discomfort around thinking about the origins of COVID. Given the way that Trump talked in 2020, most of us felt like we had a choice between a racist conspiracy theory of a lab leak or the scientific theory that COVID originated in bats.
But, of course, in normal ways of thinking, that isn’t the choice. You don’t treat a lab leak as a weapon against the country where the lab happened to be located. You don’t treat every person from that country or that part of the world as personally responsible for the problem.
If a lab leak is suspected anywhere in the world, the responsibility is for every lab in the world to make sure that their procedures and practices are changed to reflect the lesson learned. With COVID, that common sense approach got needlessly complicated by many factors.
I haven’t finished Fever, yet, so I can’t give any spoilers of the conclusions drawn, but it’s been a fascinating story, so far.
BBC Sounds is a great alternative news site for getting both headlines and in-depth reports. I enjoy sources for news that are well away from the American viewpoint. Besides news, BBC Sounds also has terrific programming on history and culture from a British perspective.
What sources do you like to find different vantage points for the news? Rick watches an English-language YouTube channel from Germany that provides insights from a European perspective — DW News.