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8 podcasts to listen to before the Australian election this year

Photography By Dustin Giallanza
Published 04.05.22

There’s less than three weeks to go until the Australian federal election on May 21.

While we’re excited (probably because we’ve done our homework and know who we’re voting for this year) we understand not everyone shares our enthusiasm. Elections can be confusing and overwhelming times, especially if politics isn’t your expert subject.

If this sounds familiar, don’t stress. Whether you need help to make an informed decision at the ballot box or simply want to deepen your understanding of politics and policy matters, these are the best podcast shows to get you up to speed before the election this year.

Full Story

Presented by Laura Murphy-Oates, Full Story is a daily news podcast produced by Guardian Australia. It features reporting by some of the country’s best journalists and regularly discusses a range of issues we care about, like the environment and climate change. While it’s been covering Australian politics since well before the election was called, it has ramped up coverage with Campaign Catchup: a special series that recaps the biggest political news stories of the day. It’s a good show for anyone who likes news, but doesn’t always have the time to read it.

Episode highlights:

Special mention to this five-part series looking back on how Australia’s behaviour across decades has made it a climate change outcast – and discussing what can be done to change course: Australia v the climate.

Australian Politics  

Also from the Guardian, Australian Politics is a show hosted by the publication’s political editor Katharine Murphy. Together with Guardian Australia’s political team, Murphy examines what’s happening in Australian politics – and why it matters for voters. Don’t be intimidated if you’re new to politics; while the episodes are more in-depth, they’re still accessible no matter where you sit on the spectrum of political knowledge.  

Episode highlights: 

7am  

Hosted by award-winning investigative journalist Ruby Jones, 7am is another one of our favourite daily news podcasts. Like Full Story, the show has upped its election coverage with The Vote, special instalments that deliver original reporting, interviews with political candidates and analysis from the campaign trail. The episodes are short and digestible (perfect for the time-poor), and informative without being exhaustive. 

Episode highlights: 

Disha Sheta

Left Right Out 

Left Right Out is for anyone who wants to be politically informed – but isn’t really sure where to start. Hosted by journalists and authors Elfy Scott and Justine Landis-Hanley, each episode tackles a topic or question submitted by listeners. That could be something like “Which party is best for women’s economic equality?” or the seemingly basic (but surprisingly confusing) “How does voting actually work?”. A recommendable series for anyone who generally finds politics overwhelming.     

Episode highlights: 

No Silly Questions  

From the creators of viral Instagram news page The Daily Aus, No Silly Questions is a podcast aimed at helping younger voters understand what’s at play this election. It’s presented by political journalists Billi FitzSimons and Tom Crowley and features in-depth interviews with key politicians, experts and advocates. The episodes are short and sweet (between 10 and 15 minutes long) and the show is a safe space to tune into if you have burning questions about politics and policies that you feel too embarrassed to ask out loud. 

Episode highlights:  

A Rational Fear

Hosted by Dan Ilic (the guy responsible for these iconic billboards), A Rational Fear is a weekly podcast that “savages” the news and drills down on climate change. Journalist and TV presenter Jan Fran recently joined the show to host a special eight-part series called Jan Fran Has Issues which focuses on the issues voters care most about in the lead-up to this federal election. All episodes feature a bunch of interesting guests including comedians, politicians and journalists, and you’ll find it hard not to be entertained while you’re being informed.

Episode highlights:  

The Tally Room  

Hosted by former member of the Greens Ben Raue, The Tally Room is a blog and podcast dedicated to politics and elections in Australia and other English-speaking countries. Raue has written election analysis for the Guardian and Crikey and has appeared on various national radio stations to talk politics. It’s definitely a show for those who have their heads a little deeper into politics and want more detailed coverage and analysis. 

Episode highlights:  

Serious Danger

You might not think a comedian is the best person to turn to for election news. But Tom Ballard’s latest podcast venture – Serious Danger – offers a refreshing take on Australia’s political scape. Co-hosted by leftist activist and former candidate for the Greens Emerald Moon, Serious Danger is about our broken political system and its greatest threat: the Greens. In each episode, the pair discuss different Greens policies and speak to key figures from the left movement. If you’re interested in or passionate about progressive politics, then you’ll enjoy Serious Danger.

Episode highlights: 

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