Code Switch

A weekly News, Politics and Society podcast
 18 people rated this podcast
What's CODE SWITCH? It's the fearless conversations about race that you've been waiting for! Hosted by journalists of color, our podcast tackles the subject of race head-on. We explore how it impacts every part of society — from politics and pop culture to history, sports and everything in between. This podcast makes ALL OF US part of the conversation — because we're all part of the story. "We're talking to people who have been marginalized and underrepresented for so long, who are so hungry to see themselves represented fully and with nuance and complexity," says Shereen Marisol Meraji, co-host of Code Switch, Apple Podcasts' first-ever Show of the Year for 2020. "People recognize that, because we had been having these conversations for so many years in advance, we're a trusted place where they could go to better understand all the stories about race filling up their newsfeeds and social channels." Their weekly podcast launched in 2016 but truly came into its own during this historic, transformative year, as Meraji and co-host Gene Demby examine issues of racial, ethnic, and cultural identity through frank one-on-one discussions and incisive non-fiction. In a year dominated by discourse about race, this indispensable show furthered them by providing powerful and timely insight, offering diverse and empathetic personal perspectives to a broad audience. "There are certain lenses that we are bringing into, both as journalists and the people that we're bringing to these stories," Demby says. "But also, we are specific people with specific fascinations and broad curiosity. If we're telling these stories, you should assume that they're going to look and sound like us."
Host
284 episodes
Host
284 episodes
Producer
284 episodes
Editor
284 episodes
Editor
284 episodes
2019 review: I have always liked Code Switch but it was elevated to a new level for me this year because I saw some of the team present on a panel at Podcast Movement in Orlando. I was already impressed by Gene Demby but hoooo, I was fangirling hard there. There was an excellent discussion thread about what it's like to report on race when you work for one of the whitest places in audio. The thing about Code Switch that makes me love it so much is that it forces me to view something I normally see through one pair of glasses through someone else's pair. And I truly believe we should all be doing that much more than we do now. It's so easy to just chug along with your privilege. But is that making the world better? No. This year I loved The Black Table in the Big Tent, Dora's Lasting Magic, and Oh So Now It's Racist?
Code Switch—first the blog and then the podcast—was some of my first introduction to critical work on race, and I will be forever indebted to the whole team for the education they've given me. Since then, I've listened to a lot of other shows and read a lot of essays, articles, and books, but what makes this show continue to stand apart is how intersectional it is. It's not just covering stories about one marginalized group or another, it's showing how all of it's connected. So we hear stories about issues affecting different racial groups as well as how race intersects with gender, sexuality, class, and other social phenomena. This is some of the best work coming out of NPR, I think.
"It's complicated, y'all." A phrase that's often used by the Code Switch hosts. Race and identity are complex subjects, but Code Switch does an incredible job of offering a thoughtful and engaging conversation around a wide range of extremely fascinating topics. I often go into a story having a strong opinion about the topic and then leave the experience feeling more conflicted. I also enjoy how open and transparent they are about their own struggles at Code Switch and NPR to decide on the language they should use in their own stories or whether or not they should explain every cultural reference. It makes you feel like they're learning and growing alongside you.
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Podcast Details

Created by
NPR
Podcast Status
Active
Started
May 9th, 2016
Latest Episode
May 5th, 2021
Release Period
Weekly
Episodes
284
Avg. Episode Length
30 minutes
Explicit
No
Language
English
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