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The NYCLU’s Favorite Podcasts


2022 Update: Check out Rights This Waya new podcast from the New York Civil Liberties Union focused on the civil rights and liberties issues that impact New Yorkers most. 


Podcasts are a critical and growing part of our media diet. They often provide some of the most thought-provoking, insightful, and inspiring content we consume.

Below are some of the NYCLU staff’s favorite podcasts that inform and impact the work we do and the battles we fight alongside our supporters.

The Criminal Legal System

Ear Hustle
Ear Hustle is produced by inmates at San Quentin State Prison in California. Each episode focuses on a different aspect of life behind bars. It’s a raw and human show about the realities of incarceration.

Running from Cops
Investigates and interrogates “COPS,” the “longest running reality show in TV history — and its cultural impact on policing in America.”

An unexpected and critical look at true crime stories that often leaves you questioning the criminal legal system and always shows there is more to the story.

Racial Justice

Code Switch
Describes itself as “a team of journalists fascinated by the overlapping themes of race, ethnicity and culture, how they play out in our lives and communities, and how all of this is shifting.”

The Nod
A podcast about Blackness, with original, sometimes funny, often poignant stories about being Black in America and beyond.

The Courts

Breaks down what’s happening at the Supreme Court each week and frequently hosts guests who argued in the cases.

Strict Scrutiny
A podcast about the Supreme Court co-hosted by four women law professors.

For Policy Wonks

The Weeds
For a deep dive into government policy specifics and analysis.

Why is this Happening
MSNBC’s Chris Hayes “asks the big questions that keep him up at night. How do we make sense of this unprecedented moment in world history?”

The Axe Files
Former Obama advisor David Axelrod hosts this podcast with lots of policymaker guests. The show provides a bit of personal history for each participant.

Know Your History

Teaching Hard History
Provides a nuanced historical education about the many ways in which racism has been encoded into our country’s laws and culture and how we can learn from this history as we try to forge a future that is more just.

Highlights and discusses critical pieces of investigative journalism and often provides important historical contexts for the current crises our country faces.

Citations Needed
Billed as “a podcast about the media, power, PR, and the history of bullshit,” Citations Needed looks at different subjects covered by mainstream, corporate media and points out the ways in which this coverage is often harmful and uninformative.  

Shameless Plug

At Liberty
A weekly podcast from the ACLU that explores the biggest civil rights and civil liberties issues of the day.

As bold as the spirit of New York, we are the NYCLU.
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Civil Liberties Union