Commercials, repetition, and pointless “fluff” sold as serious content – with all of these distractions, it’s no wonder that so many young people are investing in alternate news sources for their information. From blogs to online discussion boards, there a number of ways that the web can leave you better informed on a number of topics. One of the most recent and popular shifts is an interest in podcasts (basically a smaller radio format program, available for streaming on the web). These shows are generally impromptu, directed at a certain niche audience, and lacking in most of the above distractions. Below are a list of funny and informative podcasts.

Citizen Radio

A great source of news information with a comedic bumper (they like to call it the “20-minute douchebag buffer”). Enjoy conversations on protests, animal rights and freedom from religion. If you’re interested in guerrilla politics, check out Jamie Kilstein and Allison Kilkenny every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. On top of this, they’re publicly sponsored by listeners.

Democracy Now

If you’ve ever turned off CNN fuming, or screamed “what about Bradley Manning?!” in the middle of a segment, then Democracy Now is for you. This podcast is a great source for hard news, with guests like Naomi Klein and reporters dispatched in Wisconsin and Egypt. This program, though small, is also completely publicly funded. On top of this, the anchor Amy Goodman has been praised for her tough but fair reporting style. If you’ve just about had your fill of Charlie Sheen, hop on over and enjoy hearing some stories you might never have heard otherwise.

Ricky Gervais

You know the comedian, but have you met his friend Karl? The whole program is perfect for anyone in need of a good laugh. The show mostly consists of bringing up ridiculous scenarios, where Karl manages to say something but daft and wildly entertaining. To give you a taste of this, there is a segment called “Monkey News” where Karl suggests that monkeys should own property or were really the first in space.

Savage Love

If you’re looking for a cheeky, fun, mildly political podcast, then look no further. Dan Savage, the widely read sex columnist, answers all sorts of relationship questions while hitting on important points surrounding the LGBTQ community. He was the instigator of the “It Gets Better” campaign, and he is still the go-to guy when it comes to media questions about the gay marriage campaign. Check him out if you have the time, but be aware that the language is salty.

http://wearecitizenradio.com/

http://www.democracynow.org/

http://www.rickygervais.com/podcast.php

http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/SavageLovePodcast/Page/