Podcasts Bringing Attention to Foreign Policy
Over the years, there has been a shift in popularity from traditional media to mass media outlets—specifically podcasts. Whether for entertainment or education, podcasts help leave listeners with engaging and insightful information. Here are five podcasts bringing attention to foreign policy and international relations in the United States.

5 Podcasts Bringing Attention to Foreign Policy

  1. Fault Lines: The National Security Institute’s (NSI) “Fault Lines” explores hard-hitting national security and foreign policy issues with guests representing both sides of the political spectrum. This foreign policy podcast features four recurring hosts; NSI Founder and Executive Director Jamil N. Jaffer, NSI Senior Fellow and former Staff Director of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Lester Munson, Former Staff Director of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Jod Herman and Former Senior Democratic Staffer for the Middle East on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Dana Stroul. With over 40 episodes, the podcast covers topics some topics including attempted coups and virus crackdowns in Latin America; the United States’ approach to international agreements and treaties; and U.S.-Iran relations. Some episodes to check out related to foreign aid are episode 14, “Can the U.S. solve foreign crises before they start?” and episode 19, “Aid in the time of COVID.”
  2. Global Dispatches: One of the podcasts bringing attention to foreign policy is “Global Dispatches.” This show is hosted by Mark Leon Goldberg. He is the editor of the United Nations global affairs blog “UN Dispatch.” He invites guests ranging from journalists to Nobel Peace Prize winners to discuss minimally covered global issues. This foreign policy podcast is committed to having an equal number and men and women appear as guests. Examples of guests include journalist Robin Wright, political policymaker U.S. Senator Chris Murphy and scholar Joseph Nye. This podcast features episodes dating back to 2013. It covers topics like the “girl effect” in international development. It also talks about the impact of energy poverty on job growth in the developing world and the consequences of others excluding women from peace talks. An episode to listen to related to foreign aid and global poverty is episode 235, “How better data can fight global hunger.” One could also listen to episode 283, “New trends in global trade are changing how women work in developing countries.”
  3. Pod Save the World: “Pod Save the World” is another one of the podcasts bringing attention to foreign policy. This weekly podcast breaks down the latest developments in international news and foreign policy. Former member of President Obama’s National Security Council Tommy Vietor and former Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes host “Pod Save the World,” interviewing experts on foreign policy issues as well as witnesses of major political decisions. With weekly episodes airing since January 2017, this podcast has covered a variety of topics with numerous guests. One notable episode addressing women’s involvement in foreign affairs is episode six, titled “Running the state department with Heather Higginbottom.” This talk discusses Higginbottom’s journey to becoming the first woman to serve as Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources. It also contains topics like refugee vetting, pandemic response and current women in foreign policy.
  4. The President’s Inbox: Sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations, host James M. Lindsay delves into a variety of foreign policy challenges facing U.S. President Donald J. Trump during his time in office. Each week, Lindsay invites two experts on a specific foreign policy issue to discuss their opinions on how to solve it. This foreign policy podcast is recorded and uploaded until the week of the Iowa caucuses. Topics covered include the effects of the coronavirus in the Middle East, the challenging landscape of domestic terrorism and the impact of women in political power. A few episodes to check out relating to the United States’ involvement with developing countries include episode five, “Should the United States do Less Overseas?” and episode 27, “U.S. Global Leadership Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic.”
  5. Foreign Podicy: Host Cliff May discusses U.S. national security and foreign policy on his podcast “Foreign Podicy.” May is also the founder and president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a nonpartisan policy institute created after 9/11 dedicated to national security. This podcast offers over 60 episodes covering regions like the Middle East, South America and Central Asia as well as issues such as the use of military power, extremism and socialism. A few episodes related to developing countries include episode 28, “The Uses of Military Power,” episode 39, “Syria’s Sorrow and Pity,” and episode 59, “The Failing State of Lebanon.”

With the popularity of podcasts continually rising, the topics they cover are endless. With the help of these podcasts bringing attention to foreign policy, listeners gain unique perspectives on issues all over the world.

– Sara Holm
Photo: Pixabay

Podcasting Fights Global Poverty
In a rapidly changing society with the constant technological revolution, humanitarian organizations have to think outside the box in their strategies for community outreach, education and goal achievement. Another outcome of this continually evolving technology accompanies the rise of the Internet as a new form of news media: podcasting. Today, podcasting fights global poverty in myriad ways.

Podcasting to Fight Global Poverty

Podcasts have become a part of communication culture importantly. They cover topics from niche series to major global issues, and they can reach a wide variety of consumers in a fast-paced world. Whether completing a train commute, taking a car ride or cooking dinner, podcasting fills the need for auditory media in a way that exposes significant issues and inspires insightful conversations.

Podcasts are an effective method of spreading information about international issues like global poverty. Take “Poverty Unpacked,” for example, a podcast led by Keetie Reolen. Reolen is a Research Fellow with the Institute for Developmental Studies in the United Kingdom. She uses this medium as a way to archive her research and educate listeners about the intricacies of global poverty. She converses with leaders in this field to offer thoughts on global poverty that are otherwise underrepresented in traditional media.

In one recent episode of “Poverty Unpacked,” Reolen interviewed the author of “The Shame Game,” Mary O’Hara, about the stigmatization of poverty and those experiencing it. In another, she talks with Andrew Fischer, an Associate Professor at the Institute of Social Studies in the Netherlands, about reducing poverty on an international stage. Her survey of experts highlights innovative approaches and new directions for humanitarian organizations and governments to take when tackling this issue. These podcasts also normalize the practice of having intellectual conversations about a topic so many people know on the surface level, but many never engage with on a deeper level.

Support from International Organizations

On the other end of the spectrum, globally renowned groups like the World Bank host podcasts to highlight the organization’s work as well as that of experts to tackle poverty. The World Bank has short-form podcasts, allowing the group to explore a variety of subtopics under the umbrella of global poverty podcasts. A multi-episode special entitled “Afronomics,” for example analyzes the World Bank’s efforts in Africa through testimonies from multiple authorities. Another podcast, “Water World,” provides a detailed rundown of the World Bank’s Water Scarce Cities project.

Inspiring Listeners to Create Change

Podcasting fights global poverty by providing a creative opportunity to educate the public in a way that connects with listeners beyond the statistics. Innovation, technology and research in this field should have a platform for connecting with the public, not just other researchers. Educating people in this intimate way will allow them to not only better understand global poverty, but also equip them to incite positive change.

– Riya Kohli
Photo: Flickr