Where to Find News Media in the Age of “Alternative Facts”: Suggestions for the Undergraduate Policy Wonk

Sara Kelly, International Relations and History. Class of 2020.

Despite the recent discussions on “fake news” or “alternative facts” in the news, there are still some sources out there that continue to release reliable news based on current events. The only alternative thing about this article, for instance, is my suggesting alternative ways to consume news media and learn about topics that are related to International Relations and current events. While the bulk of these are podcast recommendations, I’ve included some YouTube channels as well, because I know the struggle of paying attention to a podcast without a visual aid to keep your eyes busy.

Ones to Listen to:

  1. Pod Save America & Pod Save the World

Pod Save America is a conversation between former aides to Barack Obama that balances the seriousness of the daily news with the comedic relief of guys who want to reach millennials. Pod Save America focuses a lot on D.C., so if you are looking to hear about what the deal is on the Hill and can handle the occasional “F-bomb,” this is the podcast for you.

Pod Save the World focuses on US foreign policy through a weekly Wednesday podcast. The host, Tommy Vietor, was on Obama’s National Security Council, which allows him to offer an interesting look at behind the scene experience at foreign policy and gives deep analysis into the past and present security and foreign policy issues.

  2. The World Next Week

My personal favorite podcast, The World Next Week,  was a show that Dr. Gioioso posted on blackboard as interesting news for my Introduction to Global Politics during my freshman year at SJU. This show is an introduction to next week’s international news. Look out for the host’s figure of the week, which could include a significant number or person that will be important in next week’s international news.

 3. The Ben Shapiro Show

This self-proclaimed conservative publishes podcasts almost every day on issues of American policy and other news. He can come off very passionate in his “hard-hitting” news relay but is a good podcast to add to your repertoire if you’re looking for a well-rounded news base.

Ones to Watch:

  1. Phillip DeFranco

DeFranco talks about news very frankly and includes some offbeat topics. DeFranco keeps his show engaging and really caters to an audience that wants a platform to respond to the news. He gives a quick rundown of the news without leaving out the important facts. I found this to be a very informative way of taking in the news that did look at both sides of the aisle. After one video, I felt very #Philledin.

    2. The Kyle Kulinski Show/Secular Talk

Instead of a quick rundown of news topics, this show picks a relevant topic and expands on the details while analyzing the impact of whatever Kyle Kulinski is focusing on in this episode. Definitely suggest for a deeper look into the news if fast news digestion isn’t for you. (Rated: R)

Those looking just for fun, not for news:

  1. Geography Now

An awesome low budget informative YouTube channel is great for those IR majors that want a thorough look into the geography of one specific country and the characteristics of their peoples. This channel is alphabetically working through each country in the world, so if you’re looking for a video on Zimbabwe, you might have to wait a bit.

    2. Crash Course

John Green (the author) turns history nerd in the World history crash course youtube channel. This channel is particularly helpful to learn more about a snapshot in history that is particularly relevant today. It also gives IR students a good base knowledge on anywhere that might be overlooked in class and develop further understanding of world events from a historical point of view.



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