A Response To “Serial”

Serial is a series of podcasts made by Sarah Koenig. The series talks about the conviction of Adnan Syed, who was charged with murdering his girlfriend while they were in high school. All of the episodes of the podcast can be found at https://serialpodcast.org/

Serial Website
The homepage of the website dedicated to the Serial podcast

 

I personally enjoyed the podcast, it had an interesting topic, good research, and the series has multiple episodes so that the listener can continue to listen if they want. The only problem I had was the bias evident in the blog. If someone is trying to convince you of something as serious as the innocence of a man charged with murder, the less bias they show the more believable they are. So, when I was listening to the podcast, I was shocked by the amount of bias. I believe that had there been no bias and only facts I would have had a much easier time taking the side of the creator.

Bias or not, what the creator did was very interesting. The idea of presenting investigative journalism in the form of a podcast is a unique concept, but clearly it worked well, as the series is a huge hit. The audio concept allows people to listen to the work on the go, instead of having to sit down to read it. However one issue that comes with audio work is that someone can mishear something, resulting in confusion and a misunderstanding of the overall work. I personally think that there should be the words of each podcast somewhere that is easy to find on the serial website to avoid this issue.

According to people.com the podcast has drawn up enough attention to grant Syed a new trial. This has somewhat divided people, while one article published by people.com says that there are people who can prove Syed’s innocence, others say they can prove he is guilty. Overall the podcast has made a serious impact on the case.

Adnan Syed
Photo of a young Adnan Syed

What bothers me about the content of this podcast is that I personally do not know if Koenig asked the family of the victim if it would be OK for her to investigate the case. The family was given peace when Syed was arrested, but now there is some random woman becoming famous off the idea that the murderer of their daughter is still out there. After doing some research, I found an article published by time.com saying that the family of the victim was outraged by the fact that the Serial podcast had led to a new trial, and I believe it was safe to assume that Koenig did not have their permission.

While the idea of the podcast is great, I lost all respect for it when I learned that the grieving family of the victim was not asked about the making of this podcast.

 

Works Cited

Adams, Char. “Adnan Syed: New Witnesses Cast Doubt on Alibi Witness Asia Chapman.” PEOPLE.com. Time Inc, 23 Aug. 2016. Web. 20 July 2017.
Carlson, Adam, and Diane Herbst. “Adnan Syed: ‘Serial’ Podcast Subject Will Get a New Trial.” PEOPLE.com. Time Inc, 30 June 2016. Web. 20 July 2017.
Herbst, Diane. “Adnan Syed is Innocent and I Can Prove It: Lawyer Rabia Chaudry.” PEOPLE.com. Time Inc, 03 Aug. 2016. Web. 20 July 2017.
“Police Car Siren and Lights – Android Apps on Google Play.” Google. Google, n.d. Web. 20 July 2017.
“Serial.” Serialpodcast. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 July 2017.

Worland, Justin. “Serial: Adnan Syed Retrial Slammed by Victim’s Family.” Time. Time, 01 July 2016. Web. 20 July 2017.

 

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