The first episode of the podcast series, Serial, is the suspenseful story of the murder of Hai, supposedly killed by her boyfriend, Adnan. Below, is a photo of Adnan Syed; convicted of murder. From the first minute of the podcast, I fell in love and became intrigued by the story, and the style of presenting the case, which is a podcast. I have been meaning to start listening to podcasts, but I would always procrastinate it and binge on Netflix. But, now, I don’t think I can ever turn back from podcasts! The idea of presenting investigative journalism in this format allows for a window of discovery, wonder, and creativity. When listening to such a detailed case, with multiple sounds and speakers, it is important that we do not get distracted with silly reenactments of the scenes taken place, as they do in documentaries on Netflix.
One issue with this podcast, is that the victim’s family may not feel so great about Serial becoming such a popular podcast. The death of a loved one is a scar that cannot fade, and being constantly reminded of it may hurt. As well, judgement against the family may occur.
“Why couldn’t Hai’s parents have just been more chill about her having a boyfriend? Why did she have to pick up her little cousin from school anyways, doesn’t her cousin have her own parents?”
These some pretty easy questions someone could be wondering. I would not want the story of the unsolved case of my own daughter’s death to be exposed to the public, and I would not want constant questioning and hatred to be pressed against myself with a broken-enough heart.
What’s so great about this amazing podcast series is that for me, listening to podcasts is much better than me than reading. I get easily distracted when reading a book. But, when listening to a podcast, my headphones are in and I am completely zoned out from the world, and my attention is undivided.
But, here comes the bad news. One important concern I have with this podcast is that when Koenig opened the podcast by discussing the challenges of memory, it made me worry about the story. Hai’s death occurred in 1999, and the podcast was released around 2014, and a few of the speakers in the podcast mentioned that they do not remember their memories too clearly. The small changes in each person’s recollection may end up setting a drastic effect on the true story, similar to the butterfly effect. Perhaps the unstable flap of a butterfly’s wings in Canada could cause a hurricane in North Africa, and perhaps the detail left out of a simple memory recollection could be life, or death for Adnan.