Episode 51: Serial

Koenig wants to find the truth, whatever it is, more for human reasons than for legal ones. The team started producing “Serial” without knowing how it would end; in fact, they still don’t know. Earlier, when I had asked Snyder about this, she said, “We don’t know exactly how much we have figured out.” They’ve figured out plenty, but what is the whole truth? And how do you know when you’ve found it? Can it even be found?
— Sarah Larson of The New Yorker
It’s funny, I feel like I’m not reporting this any differently than I report any story for This American Life. The structuring is also very much the same, except you’re structuring two things at once: you’re structuring each episode so it’s a self-contained thing that makes sense and has an internal logic and arc, but they’re all a part of this much larger thing that you also have to keep in mind. That’s very different, to have that extra layer of the big story you’re telling.
— Sarah Koenig in an interview with The Guardian's Lilah Raptopoulos

As the most popular podcast of all time with over 94 million downloads since its 2014 launch, Serial deserves the attention, analysis and general interest it has received. It experiments with podcasting, storytelling and uncovering the "truth" behind the 1999 murder of 17-year-old resident of Baltimore, Hae Min Lee. Much of the podcast follows her supposed killer, former boyfriend Adnan Syed and his whereabouts during the tragedy. The host, Sarah Koenig asks crucial questions in both her interviews and of her audience. This week we welcome Gabe Brison-Trezise to review and discuss this podcast and critique Koenig's efforts and her creation.