Murdering the Podcasting Game

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By Soraya

This American Life is one of the most popular podcast on the radio and one of my personal favorites. However, when This American Life announced that they would be launching a spinoff series, I was worried. In recent years, the podcasting world has become somewhat humdrum. Many podcasts use similar formatting like short story, rant, and interview styles, but not adding much to the landscape of audio media.  Remember that spinoff I mentioned, well it is definitely making waves. The new show is titled Serial and is hosted by Sarah Koenig, a long time producer and contributor to This American Life. Serial focuses on one story for the entire season, letting the tale unfurl a little bit more each episode and leaving Serial’s audience craving more. Serial’s story is the reinvestigation of a 1999 murder of a high school girl in a suburban Baltimore area. Koenig and her team thoroughly sift through 15 year old information and mixes in new interviews with people involved in the murder case. Sarah weaves a confusing epic about love, religion, murder, innocents, and much more. The podcast draws listeners in by taking on a crime novel, slash soap opera feel while still remaining honest and intent on the truth. Koenig admits that she is not a crime or law reporter but she might be better. Sarah is a storyteller of the highest caliber who is able to revive a narrative long forgotten. That being said, the podcast is about death and betrayal therefore, it can be upsetting and emotionally rigorous. Still, this is a podcast worth hearing, one that cuts through the noise. Serial is released weekly and can be downloaded from iTunes. I know I’ll be listening to the next episode.


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