With school work and other activities, I cannot always find the time to sit down and read about current events. I am often saved by “The Daily” podcast, which allows me to access an in-depth report of a timely topic in pretty much any location.
Hosted by Michael Barbaro, “The Daily” airs new episodes every Monday through Friday, covering a broad range of news and feature stories published by the New York Times in about 20 to 30 minutes. With few exceptions, the show typically showcases an article accompanied by the journalists who wrote the stories.
I find this aspect of the podcast particularly rewarding. Like most, the impressiveness of New York Times articles usually leaves me wanting more. “The Daily” gives me just that: more.
It feels like a privilege to be able to listen to the thorough and extensive conversation between the journalists and Barbaro as they cover the depths of the topic. The journalists often discuss what sparked their interest in writing the story, information that did not make it into the piece and their experience writing the story and gathering information.
The podcast is powerful as a storytelling medium. The content is naturally augmented by the occasional and wisely placed music in the background, which only helps in the smooth transitions.
While the podcast first aired a few years ago, its importance feels more relevant than ever.
With the ongoing (and seemingly never ending) developments in the Coronavirus outbreak, the circulation of information has been fluent and often overwhelming. This podcast, however, has allowed me to digest the information at an appropriate rate.
Whether it is the detrimental economic effects of the virus or how to navigate this new reality, for 20 to 30 minutes a day I allow myself to consume the information, take it for what it is and then try to breathe.
Last Friday, the podcast released a short 11-minute extra episode titled “A Bit of Relief,” along with their typical daily story. With last week being as intense and anxiety-ridden as it was (with no end in sight), Barbaro recognizes the need for a deep breath, seeing that the world requires “more than news and information.”
The staff at “The Daily” asked multiple journalists at the Times what they are turning to for comfort. One journalist read a passage that highlighted the hidden beauty of sharing uninterrupted time with a spouse without “hurry or excess.”
But what really struck me was an excerpt read by the executive editor of the newspaper from C.S. Lewis’s “On Living in an Atomic Age,” which was written in 1948 during the dawn of the atomic age. The ending line of the quote spun around in my head for days as it unequivocally relates to our current times.
“They may break our bodies (a microbe can do that) but they need not dominate our minds.”