Curious minds select the most fascinating podcasts from around the world. Discover hand-piqd audio recommendations on your favorite topics.
Malia Politzer is the executive editor of piqd.com, and an award-winning long-form journalist based out of Spain. She specializes in reporting on migration, international development, human rights issues and investigative reporting.
Originally from California, she's lived in China, Spain, Mexico and India, and reported from various countries in Africa, Europe and the Middle East. Her primary beats relate to immigration, economics and international development. She has published articles in Huffington Post Highline, The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, Vogue India, Mint, Far Eastern Economic Review, Foreign Policy, Reason Magazine, and the Phoenix New Times. She is also a regular contributor to Devex.
Her Huffington Post Highline series, "The 21st Century Gold Rush" won awards from the National Association of Magazine Editors, Overseas Press Club, and American Society of Newspaper Editors. She's also won multiple awards for feature writing in India and the United States.
Her reporting has been supported by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, The Institute For Current World Affairs, and the Global Migration Grant.
Degrees include a BA from Hampshire College and MS from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, where was a Stabile Fellow at the Center for Investigative Journalism.
Each episode of the podcast series "Terrible, Thanks For Asking" is essentially an in-depth interview and profile chronicling the interviewee's hardest journey in life.
The host, Nora McInerny, was inspired to start the show after the worst year of her own life: The year her father died of cancer, she had a miscarriage, and then subsequently lost her husband, Aron, to a brain tumor—all within weeks of each other. After this experience—and feeling like she always had to answer the question "how are you?" with some sort of disingenuous platitude while she was in the process of grieving—she was inspired to create a podcast that looks unflinchingly at tragedy and asks people to honestly talk about how they feel.
One episode details the life of a woman who lost her father to suicide and who fights her own suicidal urges. Another episode highlights the experience of a woman who struggles with fast-growing facial tumors and is constantly having to go in for appearance-altering surgery, while in a third, another woman turns to online dating, falls madly in love ... and discovers that the love of her life is a pedophile.
While this may sound like an extremely depressing premise, the show is actually uplifting: First, there's the element of complete honesty and vulnerability throughout the interviews that is quite beautiful. McInerny does a good job of meeting her interviewees where they are—neither turning them into saints nor tragic victims, but merely showing them as people who are going through true challenges. Each episode is also imbued with tremendous empathy. We are invited to identify with the interviewee and walk their path alongside them.
Ultimately, "Terrible, Thanks For Asking" creates that feeling provided by a good support group—the knowledge that you are not alone, but without any semblance of preachiness. We are left with each episode feeling stronger, knowing that if the worst were to pass, we could also ultimately come through it and survive.