It’s hard to believe that it’s been 10 years since podcasting was born, a fact that Slate recently celebrated with a series of features on the history if the medium. It seems fitting then that on this significant anniversary the podcasting world has arguably found its first real breakout hit. Serial, a true crime podcast hosted by This American Life producer Sarah Koenig, has recently taken the internet by storm, pulling in an average of 1.2 million downloads per episode and sparking discussion like no other podcast has before. But is it a masterwork of non-fiction storytelling or is it just a sensationalist sham of questionable journalistic credibility?
Focusing on the 1999 murder of Baltimore high school student Hae Min Lee and the conviction of her ex-boyfriend Adnan Syed, the podcast has been trying to shed new light on the case one episode at a time. While the initial presentation of evidence had a lot of people hooked, the show has increasingly relied on speculation and hearsay to continue the investigation (largely because so much time has passed). Somehow this seems more acceptable when framed by Koenig’s gee-whiz narration, and while some have questioned her motivation, to be fair the podcast has potentially helped Syed get a new appeal. So what do you think? Are you a fan of Serial? Was the final episode satisfying or was it just a wet noodle? Who do you think killed Hae Min Lee? Give us your thoughts here on Open Forum Friday.