The Reading Room

Guardian Politics Podcast

There are many podcasts I listen to now but if I want a quick political fix then there is only one. Guardian Politics maybe unapologizingly left leaning but it hovers way above the competition. All Guardian podcasts have learnt from the US so they sound light and fresh rather than just the highlights of a news programme. The BBC’s political podcast ‘The week in Westminster’ sound like the droning sound of a vuvuzela in comparison.

The presenters Tom Clark and Allegra Stratton are relatively new to the paper, but their youth and inexperience wonderfully contrasts the wise old owls of Michael White, Polly Toynbee and Andrew Rawnsley who regularly bring the banter to the boil. (Since Michael White retired as Guardian political editor this podcast is now the best way to hear his musings). Then there is the top team of Guardian political correspondents like Nicholas Watt and Andrew Sparrow who all offer real insight and don’t just like the sound of their own voice. (Jonathan Freedland occasionally completely takes over). Andrew Sparrow’s level of detail regarding the latest moves on the W1 chessboard is always impressive. He seems to have cornered himself permanently on the Guardian politics 24 hour running blog so it is nice when he is unshackled and we get to hear him speak.

Furthermore, Guardian politics has great guest reports on culture and media which are increasingly affecting the mother of all parliaments. Their discussion of how the media environment in the 2010 general election was split back to old left right principles was a delightful conversation to listen in on. They seemed to spot the trend before the media did themselves.
Overall the format is relaxed and witty and yet insightful. And it is more proof that the Guardian is at the cutting edge of embracing new media.

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