I have to admit I'm not really "up" on them.
I listen to NPR on the drive in, which consists of a half hour or so of Michigan Radio's morning program including the Marketplace and Environment reports and a half hour or so of "Newshour" from the BBC. This means I usually hear absolutely nothing relevant to what other people are talking about on a daily basis, although I do know quite a bit about the Six-Day War now. The podcasts I download don't help (Wait, Wait - Don't Tell Me; Science Friday; and RadioLab). We don't have cable anymore, so I can't get my hour of news and snark via Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert.
What's a busy mom to do? I've tried watching Headline News at lunch, but people come in and go "Ughhhhhh, are you WATCHING this? Millionaire is on!" (seriously), so that's out. We don't subscribe to any newspapers, although that may be the most cost-effective solution.