100 episodes

From the newsrooms of The Age and SMH, Please Explain gives you a daily insight into the stories that drive the nation.

Please take the time to rate & review us on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your pods. We love to hear your thoughts and it makes it easier for the rest of the podcast world to find us.

Become a subscriber: our supporters power our newsrooms and are critical for the sustainability of news coverage. Becoming a subscriber also gets you exclusive behind-the-scenes content and invitations to special events. Click on the links to subscribe https://subscribe.theage.com.au/ or https://subscribe.smh.com.au/

Please Explain SMH & The Age

    • News
    • 5.0 • 3 Ratings

From the newsrooms of The Age and SMH, Please Explain gives you a daily insight into the stories that drive the nation.

Please take the time to rate & review us on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your pods. We love to hear your thoughts and it makes it easier for the rest of the podcast world to find us.

Become a subscriber: our supporters power our newsrooms and are critical for the sustainability of news coverage. Becoming a subscriber also gets you exclusive behind-the-scenes content and invitations to special events. Click on the links to subscribe https://subscribe.theage.com.au/ or https://subscribe.smh.com.au/

    What is productivity, exactly, and why does it matter?

    What is productivity, exactly, and why does it matter?

    As the economy slips and slides through pandemics, wars, inflation, wage stagnation and other calamities, a certain word keeps popping up: productivity.

    If you look it up in the dictionary, the definition is, “the state or quality of being productive,” which isn’t especially helpful to understanding what it means when you’re talking about the economy.

    Does it mean working harder to get more stuff done? Does it mean cramming more work into your day so you are seen as being more productive so your boss gives you more money?

    Today on Please Explain, senior economics correspondent Shane Wright joins Nathanael Cooper to get to the bottom of what productivity is, and what it’s important.
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    • 18 min
    Should singers change their lyrics to stop offending people?

    Should singers change their lyrics to stop offending people?

    She may be the reigning queen of pop but that hasn’t stopped Beyonce from becoming a target of activists over offensive language in her latest release Renaissance.

    The chart-topping album includes the track Heated where Beyonce uses the ableist slur spaz. She has since changed the lyrics.

    But it comes weeks after Lizzo was also slammed online for using the word in her track Grrls, leading her to change the lyrics.

    The brouhaha has also started conversations around the fact that both artists who have been attacked for the language have been women of colour despite the fact men have used ableist language in their lyrics for decades.

    But now rapper Eminem has also been called out.

    Today on Please Explain, culture news editor, and host of our sister podcast The Drop, Osman Faruqi joins Nathanael Cooper to talk us through the controversy.
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    • 15 min
    Hopelessly devoted to you: Remembering Olivia Newton-John

    Hopelessly devoted to you: Remembering Olivia Newton-John

    Fans across the world are reeling at the news Dame Olivia Newton-John has died, aged 73.

    Her legacy is enormous.

    Across music, culture, fashion and medicine, Newton-John is being remembered as a style icon, a musical trailblazer, and a fearless advocate for cancer treatment and research.

    And she is being remembered as a friend.

    Today on a special episode of Please Explain, writer Neil McMahon and culture editor-at-large Michael Idato join Bianca Hall to talk about the woman they knew.
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    • 13 min
    Does getting reinfected with COVID-19 make you sicker over time?

    Does getting reinfected with COVID-19 make you sicker over time?

    As COVID-19 sweeps through the community, some people are avoiding it altogether, and some of us are unlucky enough to be getting it twice or more.

    So do we build up immunities over time, or does contracting the virus more than once raise the risk of making us more sick?

    The scientific jury, it seems, is still out.

    A controversial study released in June suggests reinfections could increase people’s risk of bad outcomes.

    Extracting healthcare data, it concluded US veterans who had been reinfected were three times more likely to be hospitalised and twice as likely to be dead.

    But other experts have their doubts.

    Today on Please Explain, national science reporter Liam Mannix joins Bianca Hall to discuss the latest evidence about COVD-19 reinfections.
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    • 11 min
    Anatomy of a scandal: The crisis engulfing the NSW government

    Anatomy of a scandal: The crisis engulfing the NSW government

    The jobs scandal engulfing the New South Wales state government that saw deputy premier Stuart Ayres resign from cabinet this week is not going anywhere fast.

    The crisis began when former Nationals MP John Barilaro was appointed to a $500,000 a year New York trade role nearly seven weeks ago and continues today, amid further revelations this week about how involved Ayres was in the controversial appointment.

    The belated dumping of Ayres, after he insisted for weeks that he played no role in the recruitment process, is just the start of problems the besieged coalition faces.

    Premier Dominic Perrottet’s standing and authority has been weakened, and with further damaging revelations being made daily in the parliamentary enquiry into Barilaro’s appointment, questions are being asked about the future of his leadership.

    NSW state political reporter Lucy Cormack joins host Nathanael Cooper on today's Please Explain to bring us up to speed on the evolving scandal.
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    • 12 min
    Vale The Tie: ridding ourselves of the noose around our necks

    Vale The Tie: ridding ourselves of the noose around our necks

    Parliament descended into momentary chaos yesterday when Nationals MP Pat Conaghan called a point of order objecting to the state of undress of the member for Griffith, Greens MP Mex Chandler-Mather - because he was not wearing a tie.

    Speaker Milton Dick dismissed Conaghan’s concerns and allowed the young Greens MP to proceed with his question to the Prime Minister on public housing.

    But the fracas has raised a question about what counts as proper work attire post pandemic, after we all worked in our pyjamas for two years.

    Is the noose that has hung around the necks of men for centuries an antiquated relic of times yore? Will judges don jeans and public servants get about in Reebok pumps? and does this all mean that society is disintegrating even further than it already has?

    Or is it that men and women’s formal fashion has evolved beyond what has passed down from Croatian mercenaries who wore traditional knotted neckerchiefs to hold the top of their jackets together?

    Today on Please Explain, national fashion editor Damien Woolnough joins Nathanael Cooper to discuss the history and the future of men’s formal fashion.
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    • 8 min

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