News media junkies, here’s a bag of newsletters, podcasts, and streaming content to check out
The past 18 months or so — more than any uninterrupted period of time in recent memory — has shown millions how important a robust news ecosystem is. National politics, for example, has probably never been more important to many Americans. We’re still in the middle of a devastating pandemic, and even the simple pleasures we enjoy in life, whether it’s watching a movie at the cinema, eating at our favorite restaurant, or enjoying a public spectacle like a professional sports competition – all of this undergoes seismic changes. Transitions we rely on a vibrant press to chronicle and help us calibrate so we can better understand what’s going on.
In addition to the daily news regimen we all have, whether it’s our favorite morning paper, or Twitter and media sites throughout the day, below are recommendations on how to increase as well this news regime. With everything from informative email newsletters suitable for news junkies, to podcasts and streaming content. Regarding the latter, we have a pair of new journalism-themed TV and movie suggestions, to complement the streaming recommendations. found in this previous post (which focused on movies and TV shows on Netflix, HBO, and Apple TV+ that have a journalism connection).
We’ll kick things off, however, with two email newsletters:
- Reliable sourcesfrom CNN Brian Steler (subscribe here)
- Press Runby Eric Boehlert
It can be argued that if you were to detach yourself from the digital network all day and only check your phone at night when the Reliable sources newsletter arrives in your inbox, you will be caught up to date with the most important stories of the day that have even the slightest connection to the media world. Pros: This is both a quickly scannable, easy to digest newsletter, and has the added benefit of having a ton of content as well. From job changes among industry movers and shakers to a schedule of the week’s big media news like results and streaming releases, and much more. Disadvantage: If you had to pick one thing here, the newsletter can often be quite political at the top. Which might turn some people off if they try to avoid politics all day long. But, again, it’s also just the nature of things now, that you can’t talk about what’s going on in the media right now without touching on some kind of political narrative soon enough.
Where Stelter goes for breadth, meanwhile, Press Run is ideal for depth. And for the perspective Boehlert brings to the issues he writes about (each edition of the newsletter seems to focus on a few big topics – like recent interactions between the White House press corps and White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki). In a world of pack mentality and hive minds, Press Run almost always gives me something new to think about. As in the last edition where Boehlert asked why the press isn’t demanding that Trump “walk away” the same way it did for Hillary Clinton when she lost in 2016.
Here are two great news-focused podcasts to check out that are a bit off the beaten path (since shows from publishers like Axios and The New York Times tend to be among the most frequently suggested on such lists).
- What a dayby Crooked Media
- Tabloidby Lighting
twisted media What a day podcast is an airy 20-minute recap of the day’s big news. The hosts (comic Akilah Hughes and journalist Gideon Resnick) presentation style is “what fox and friends it would be like being hosted by two people whose parents read to them when they were kids. That’s how the podcast gets known, and you get the vibe pretty quickly. As in a recent episode, when Hughes gave Resnick the baton to explain why the CDC was backtracking on his face mask mandate. Basically, he explained, it’s because “we’re in some (expletive)”. The podcast, by the way, is available Monday through Friday starting at 5 a.m. EST and available on all major podcast platforms.
Lighting Tabloid, meanwhile, is about gossip posts that “are not just guilty pleasures. They are revelators, electrified by the tripwires of culture: race, class, gender and politics. Season 2 delves into the sordid side of Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee’s messy romance.
Private network: Who killed Manuel Buendia?
This Netflix documentary unpacks a tale of how dangerous a profession of journalism in Mexico is. Manuel Buendia was a renowned journalist working for a leading newspaper in Mexico City, when his dogged reporting that exposed the corruption and evil acts of powerful men led to him being shot outside his office in 1984. This is a another in a list of exciting and important journalism themed movies that have been released over the past year.
Small Town News: KPVM Pahrump
This six-part, half-hour documentary series arrives on HBO starting Monday, August 2. It chronicles the difficulties and adventures of running a small private television station in a desert town just outside of Las Vegas. At first glance, it seems to have some sort of Office-feel of style. Unless translated from a paper company to a TV channel. And, you know, the fact that it’s real.