Recommending The World

If you’re trying to keep up with the news but can only take so much, I highly recommend listening to The World, it’s available as a free podcast online and features some great reporting from around the world and claims to be public radio’s longest-running daily global news program. Marco Werman is the regular host and I think he is pretty good. I’ve listened for years and linked to stories they’ve reported on like one about Rachel Lopez’ incredible documentation of the colorful taxi cab ceilings of India.

Unfortunately, the news of Russia invading Ukraine is incredibly sad, but The World gives us a bit under an hour of reporting on this and other stories and it seems like a fair dose to keep up-to-date. For example, today’s broadcast has Werman’s interview with Elena Chernenko which is very good to hear, Chernenko is a reporter from Russia who organized an open letter opposing the war with Ukraine.

Listen to The World via Apple Podcasts or the RSS feed.


The Shinchonji Cult

PRI’s The World continues to have some pretty fascinating stories I wouldn’t otherwise come across. Recently The World told us about colorful taxi cab ceilings in India. Now, their Matthew Bell is covering this crossover between two of my favorite subjects, South Korea and doomsday cults, in Shinchonji:

Lee, the director of the Bible study center I visited, says she has been a member of Shinchonji since 1999.

“We offer a very deep course of study into the Bible,” she says. “This is different than other churches.”

“The students would like to come to class seven days a week, but we limit it to five,” Lee says.

“Shinchonji members are very successful in life,” Lee adds. And then, without being asked about it specifically, she says that some members of Shinchonji have had problems maintaining relationships with their families and keeping up with their careers. But she says such cases are the exception.

Throughout my visit to the study center, a young Korean man in a jacket and glasses points a digital camera at me as I do interviews and observe the scene. When I say his filming is making me uncomfortable, he puts the camera down for a few minutes. Then, he goes back to filming me.


The Colorful Taxi Cab Ceilings of India

Rachel Lopez is a journalist in Mumbai and she has been documenting the amazingly colorful taxicab ceilings of India this month on her Instagram. Here are a few of my favorites:

If you’d like to know more you can catch an interview about the series on today’s The World.