Podcasts have a low-barrier entry point—anyone with access to audio equipment can develop a platform. Currently, podcasting is also free from government regulation—creators aren’t required to get a broadcast license as radio stations do, and podcasts don’t need to conform to Federal Communications Commission broadcast decency regulations, although copyright law does apply—and anyone can claim to have expertise on a given topic. How do you know if you can trust the information you hear?
The best advice is to follow the old adage, “Trust but verify.” These tips can help you find trustworthy information:
Examine the credentials of podcast hosts and confirm any information you hear through other sources—even a quick Google search while listening can be useful.
How transparent are the podcast hosts? Do they announce conflicts of interest when they occur? Do they have guests of varying research and clinical opinions, or do they represent a perspective?
How current is the information that’s presented? If information shared doesn’t include up-to-date sources, or if information shared is routinely more than 15 years old, consider researching the topic to find more relevant content.