Introducing The Explicast: A New Podcast From On Point Radio


If you’re a regular On Point listener, you know as well as we do that the headlines can come — and go — pretty fast. Even if you’re a Twitter fiend, checking on your favorite news sites throughout the day, and watching all the major nightly news programs, it can be hard to feel caught up. And, if you’re like us, you sometimes find yourself wondering about the seemingly basic questions at the heart of stories. Questions we often take for granted. Like, “What does the majority leader of Congress actually do?” Or, “What exactly is the Islamic State?”

That’s why we’re trying out a new side-podcast here at On Point and WBUR. It’s called The Explicast, and we hope it will help to answer some of those questions the headlines forgot to ask. Each weekly episode is short, simple, and to the point. The Explicast is also a way for us to come together and learn a little something in the midst of this overwhelming cascade of news. Context is important, and, we think, it can also be a lot of fun.

So let us know what you think. Leave your thoughts here below, send an email at or follow us on Twitter @TheExplicast. We’re hoping to answer your questions on a regular basis, and we want to know what you want to hear from us!

The Explicast, Episode One: How Do You Win A Nobel Prize In Literature?

Our first episode explores how you go about winning a Nobel Prize in Literature. We got to wondering when this year’s winner, Patrick Modiano, was announced to a collective “Who?” If no one has heard of this guy, we wondered, who is this committee with the power to crown seemingly random literary icons? And how exactly do they decide?

For context, we turned to Daniel Handler, the children’s author known as Lemony Snicket. His Believer magazine column, “What the Swedes Read,” is a great place for further information about the mysterious happenings of the Nobel Prize Committee.


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