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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

"Serial" and the "new" medium of podcasts

     With the demise of many newspapers there is a concern about the loss of the role of the investigative reporter.  This reporting role attempted to look in depth at an issue that had complexity that was often missed in the day to day reporting on the issue.  The report that I mentioned in yesterday's blog was just such a piece of work.   With the work of a podcast called "Serial" the future of this type of reporting may have found a new forum.  This podcast is a 12 part story, done by Sarah Koenig from "This American Life", of a 1999 murder in Baltimore.  The locations mentioned in the podcast will be familiar to many of us living in this area.
     What this podcast does (besides making us all familiar with "Mail Chimp!!!") is to look at many of the issues involved in this murder.  Background and areas of uncertainty show how it is too easy to rush to judgement on solving a crime.  While the reporter in this podcast seems to go back and forth on her feeling of the guilt or innocence of Adnan Syed, the person convicted of the murder, the listener finds themselves examining their own beliefs of how our justice system works and what makes someone murder.
     This week is the 12th and final episode of the series and the reporter has made an appeal for contributions to continue to use this format to provide  an in depth look at other issues in the future.  I think it is a worthy investment for all of us to make.  If you haven't listened to this podcast I highly recommend it.

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