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Mena Arkansas News covering Polk County and the surrounding area

The Beginner’s Guide to Podcasts

By Trey Youngdahl

As technology changes, consumers are presented with several options for new kinds of entertainment and media. Be it social media, or even video streaming services, there has been a constant stream of exciting innovation pushing the boundaries of entertainment and media options. Podcasts are arguably becoming the fastest growing form of entertainment. 

What is a podcast?

Podcasts have been described as ‘talk radio on demand’. They are recorded conversations uploaded to the internet for instant and convenient consumption. Imagine the possibilities of radio legends such as Larry King or Howard Stern in your pocket ready to be streamed at any time.

Some podcasts are made with a centralized theme, like local podcaster Steve Stillwell’s ‘The Ouachita Bushcraft and Survival Show’, which covers specifically topics relating to the outdoors. Others are more broad conversations like ‘The Ouachita Chronicles’, another local podcast which shares interesting stories from people in or around the Ouachitas. With a broad assortment of hosts and topics, the podcast market has been quickly flooded with creators ready to make their voices heard. 

How do I listen to a podcast?

Most major music streaming platforms host podcasts. Google, Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, and Pandora all have a myriad of podcasts from a wide assortment of creators and topics. Some podcasts, like The Ouachita Podcasts, even stream from their website, At any given moment, there’s a podcast easily accessible for you to enjoy. 

What podcast should I listen to?

If you are wondering if there is a podcast fit for you, you can guarantee that there’s one out there. Whether you want something funny, interesting, informative, or even true crime- it’s definitely been done. Here are ten of the most popular podcasts: 

1. The Joe Rogan Experience- “The Joe Rogan Experience podcast is a long form conversation hosted by comedian Joe Rogan with friends and guests that have included comedians, actors, musicians, MMA fighters, authors, artists, and beyond.” (

2. The Daily- “a daily news podcast and radio show by the American newspaper The New York Times. Hosted by Times political journalist Michael Barbaro, its episodes are based on the Times’ reporting of the day with interviews of journalists from the New York Times.” (Wikipedia)

3. Crime Junkie- “Crime Junkie is a weekly true crime talk show podcasts dedicated to stories about solved and unsolved murders, missing people, serial killers, and wanted fugitives.” (IMDb)

4. This American Life- “This American Life is a weekly public radio program and podcast. Each week we choose a theme and put together different kinds of stories on that theme.” (

5. My Favorite Murder- “My Favorite Murder is the hit true crime comedy podcast hosted by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark.” (

6. Stuff You Should Know- “If you’ve ever wanted to know about champagne, satanism, the Stonewall Uprising, chaos theory, LSD, El Nino, true crime and Rosa Parks, then look no further. Josh and Chuck Have you covered.” (

7. Office Ladies- “The Office co-stars and best friends, Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey, are doing the ultimate The Office re-watch podcast for you. Each week, Jenna and Angela will break down an episode of The Office and give exclusive behind-the-scenes stories that only two people who were there, can tell you.” (

8. Pod Save America- “Four former aides to President Obama—Jon Favreau, Jon Lovett, Dan Pfeiffer and Tommy Vietor—are joined by journalists, politicians, activists, and more for a no-holds-barred conversation about politics.” (

9. Planet Money- “Imagine you could call up a friend and say, “Meet me at the bar and tell me what’s going on with the economy.” Now imagine that’s actually a fun evening.” (

10. Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!- “NPR’s weekly current events quiz. Have a laugh and test your news knowledge while figuring out what’s real and what we’ve made up.” (

Or, you could listen to our very family of podcasts, The Ouachita podcasts! The shows are as follows: 

The Ouachita Chronicles- “Everyday people often have remarkable stories that go untold. The Ouachita Chronicles uncovers those interesting tales and talents. Join Ashley and Jeri as they learn the story behind the people who live in or originate from the Ouachita Mountains region and get to know their amazing stories and personalities.” 

The Ouachita Bushcraft and Survival Show- “The Ouachita Bushcraft & Survival Show aims to be your go to for tips and tricks when it comes to staying alive in the great outdoors. With notable guests, and a knowledgeable host, you are sure to be entertained and informed. And who knows, you might just find yourself in a similar situation as Steve and his guests have!”

Regrettable- “A dynamic showcase between 3 differing personalities, displaying opinions on topics they probably shouldn’t be talking about. Sometimes brutally honest, occasionally thought provoking, but always in the spirit of what we think is funny.”

Hosting Hochatown- “Host Jay Wesley Lindly with Shilo Brock Martin, bring you along on their travels through Hochatown Oklahoma. Featuring guests from local businesses including: restaurants, outdoor and indoor entertainment, vacation rentals, retail establishments, wineries, breweries and more. It’s a glimpse of Hochatown at it’s finest!”

Uncle John’s Remember When- “Resident historian and all-around crazy guy John Guess  recalls some of the good ol’ days of yesteryear in his own unique and funny way.” 

Trivia Tracks- “Trivia Tracks is a weekly show featuring trivia on just about anything you can imagine. No call-ins, no prizes…just random trivia delivered to you by the Treasurer of Trivia himself, Pryce Robertson. Every Wednesday on Trivia Tracks is Rasslin’ Wednesday, a look at the people, places, and promotions in wrestling from largely pre-9/11.” 

Why listen to podcasts?

Because of the broad range of hosts and topics, there is a podcast for everybody! Also, you can listen to podcasts in several different scenarios. On a long car ride, cooking or cleaning your house, or maybe have it on in the background while you work. Furthermore, because podcasts are streaming-based and not broadcasted, they can be broken down into bite-sized pieces for a busy schedule. No matter who you are or what your interests are, there’s a podcast for you!

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