Monday, April 24, 2017, 5:30pm

Required Reading: Newsletters, YouTube Channels & Podcasts

I read, watch and listen voraciously. Here are a few of my favorites.

Email Newsletters

  • TPM Daybreaker – You can subscribe on the front page of TPM. The subscription box is in the right sidebar, at the bottom. You get ten-ish stories every morning. If you’re reading on mobile the format isn’t awesome, but I think you can click through to a real webpage.
  • Axios AM – Axios Am will prompt you to create a free account to sign up for their newsletter. This one’s newer for me, but I’m enjoying it. You get a handful of news every morning, covering Axios’ regular topics, and on weekends you get a lighter dose of the same.
  • The Week in Lady News – This one turns up every Sunday and offers a handful of cool things women have been up to during the week.
  • Vox Newsletters – You can sign up for Vox Sentences, a quick rundown of the news, and VoxCare, about healthcare policy, on the same page. Both show up weekday evenings.

Honorable Mention: Politico offers a wide variety of newsletters, including their Playbook and Playbook Power Briefing, both of which I quite enjoyed. I ended up unsubscribing from them because the Playbook is pretty heavy duty for bleary-eyed, first-thing-in-the-morning reading. It’s probably better suited to reading after a cup of coffee, possibly on a commute (like if you take the bus or something). I accidentally unsubbed from the Power Briefing at the same time and haven’t gotten around to resubbing yet.

YouTube Channels

  • Chainsawsuit Original – You want this one specifically for their “Movies with Mikey” videos, where Mikey spends 10-15 minutes explaining in entertaining detail why a particular movie is amazing on a technical level. Great for writers and probably filmmakers too, but I’m not one of those, so I’m just guessing.
  • Healthcare Triage – Dr. Aaron Carroll explains health insurance, medical research, health policy, and all kinds of awesome doctor-y things in 5-10 minutes videos a few times a week.
  • Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell – Kurzgesagt puts out a video every couple of months or so, explaining some science, social, technical, math, political or other complicated thing in a neat, tidy, animated 15-ish minute video. Great stuff.
  • Nerdwriter1 – Nerdwriter pops out a 10-ish minute video once every couple of weeks or so where he explains why something is awesome, or how something works, or takes something apart to look at its working bits. He usually talks about pop culture things, but occasionally he talks politics.
  • PBS Idea Channel – Mike Rugnetta posts a 10-15 minute video usually once a week where he tackles the deeper meaning of pop culture phenomenon from a philosophy viewpoint.

Honorable Mention: Do I need to tell you about the Vlogbrothers? I feel like I shouldn’t have to, they practically invented the Internet. They do awesome short videos twice a week about whatever catches their interest, and they’re almost always amazing.


  • Code Switch – Code Switch talks racial identity and racial politics and covers a pretty wide variety of topics from a “People of Color” viewpoint.
  • NPR Politics – The NPR team covers politics – this is a great way to catch up on some of the week’s craziness, particularly if you don’t have a lot of spare reading time.
  • Welcome to Night Vale – How many times do I have to tell you about this show? Seriously, it is amazing. Just listen to it. It’s twice a month, a half-hour long, and it’s uplifting, joyful, bizarre, terrifying and marvelous.
  • Alice Isn’t Dead – Alice Isn’t Dead is made by the Night Vale folks. It’s a road trip through hell. Season one is complete, and season two is just now coming out.
  • Planet Money – Whoever thought economics could be interesting? The Planet Money guys do a great job of making economics entertaining. They make one or two 20-minute videos a week, covering all kinds of fun and interesting economics topics.

Honorable Mention: I’m pretty sure everyone’s already listened to S-Town, but just in case you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t heard the unending amount of buzz this podcast got, you should go listen to it. It lives up to the hype.

What did I miss, folks? Tell me your favorites on Twitter or Facebook. I’m always looking for new things to check out.

But wait, where do I comment? No comments, sorry. Talk to me on Facebook or Twitter, instead.

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