What I Think About The Podcast
First all I’d like to say welcome back to my blog! I’d like to start off this post by talking about my personal opinions about the Serial Podcast. I personally found the blog to be very entertaining yet informative. The entertainment stemmed from informality the podcast, coming across as more of a conversation than a documentary type podcast, this made the podcast seem less scripted and illustrated more emotion and personal thoughts from the narrator. I also really appreciated the use of secondary speakers as it made the podcast seem more real. The secondary were effectively able to express how they felt about the subject which made it a lot more real, especially when Sarah called Adnan in jail, telling him he found the missing alibi witness they needed, and he responded it was too late. This really tugged on my heartstrings because he knew it was too late. If the narrator simply said this it would not have anywhere near the same amount of impact than Adnan saying this himself. Another aspect I really enjoyed was being able to hear some of the emotions presented by the author. This enhanced the ability of a listener to connect with the narrator better. It was easy for me to take interest in the podcast considering it was a murder mystery. I have always loved finding the true story behind cases, extrapolating, and making assumptions for myself. What I liked best about the podcast is how relatable it was. All of the characters involved were from high school and did things I find most of my friends doing, such as track, going to the library, and much more. It was also sad to see how a child much the people I know get accused of a heinous crime though there is compelling evidence to suggest he is not.
The Presentation of Investigative Journalism
Presenting the investigative journalism in such a way is very effective in terms of expressing emotions and information clearly. Podcasts are able to display the different feelings and emotions from the various different characters in the investigation. Hearing the different tones and expressions the individuals used in their voice made their speech more relatable and understandable from their point of view.
This investigation contains many pieces of information that need to be pieced together and interpreted by the listener. For many, reading the various sides of the story from different individuals as well as the narration, can be difficult and tiresome at certain points. Having a narrator speak to you makes it easier for the listener to piece the story together and comprehend what is going on better. Reading would also take a lot longer, where as narration turned a three hour piece of reading material and turned into a one hour narration. Reading can also lead to misinterpretation of the text create false assumptions and ideas about what they have read.
Many people in todays generation already listen to a lot more music and podcasts than they did in the past. This presentation of this journalism makes the intake of information much more convenient.
Other forms or media such as televised news and shows would most likely only include important pieces of the story, limiting the stories effectiveness. It is also hard to display emotions in these forms of media as they try to cover the story in a short amount of time.
How Would The Victim’s Family Feel About The Popularity of the Podcast
The victims family is a topic in the podcast that is not covered what so ever. It seems as if the family wanted nothing to do with the journalists work and wanted to remain in the shadows. From this I can only assume that the family does not like the publicity around their daughter’s murder. Losing a family member is one of the most difficult things a person can go through, entangled with sadness, anxiety and depression. Sarah was very polite in not including the family because discussions on this topic would only bring up the emotions they had approximately fifteen years ago. If I were to put myself in the shoes of the family I would be sickened that a journalist had the audacity to make a podcast with so much entertainment and informal discussions with the people involved. The publicity involved would be the last thing I would want for the murder of a family member, especially when the narrator has a clear bias, and is very persuaded that Adnan was wrongfully accused. On the other, looking at the situation in a different light, the family could also be pleased that the journalist, Sarah, went completely out of their way to find all of the missing details from Hae’s murder trial. It may even be beneficial for the family as they themselves may not have know all the details to the murder, and would love hearing input from other people. The narrator also mentions that Hae is a very intelligent and beautiful young woman. For the family this would make them feel happy that their daughter is seen in society as such a person.
Listening Versus Reading
Personally, I would much rather listen to a text than read it. When it comes to this story, I would have had much difficulty trying to keep myself engaged in the story and I would have lost interest quickly. Having a narrator read the story to me made it much easier to keep me entertained, through the various voices, music, interviews, and language used. Reading for many can seem like such an inconvenience, but listening to a podcast, you can take it wherever you go, and you don’t have to sit down for hours on end directing your eyes from page to page. Listening to the story also portrayed much more emotion than what would have been if I read it. The voices give a first hand take on the emotions portrayed by each of the characters during the investigation and makes the story much more enjoyable. Though listening to the story has its benefits, it does have some downfalls. The events take place at a very fast pace, with new characters emerging and different perspectives being told. This fast pace story telling can be hard to follow at times and cause confusion in the reader, making it hard to grasp key ideas, events, and smaller details. Listening allows the listener to freely do what they want during the narration, making it hard to focus on the reading. In contrast, reading forces the audience stay focussed on the text and put in the time to concentrate on what they are reading. As the audience reads they do so at their own pace, making it easier to comprehend the text, and take the time when needed to slow down and think about what they have read, making it easier to remember little details and events. Readers can also easily back track on things they’ve read incase they miss something. Physically reading is also said to help the brain remember better when asked to recall certain pieces of information. Reading also makes it easier to site quotations from the text, more so compared to listening. Even though reading may seem beneficial it has its flaws as well. Reading is known to cause boredom for a lot of younger audiences and can make it hard for the audience to pay attention, especially to details. It is easy for a reader to loose track of the events taking place in a text if they do not understand it. Reading is also very time consuming, as I said earlier, reading a text as long as the podcast could take hours. Understanding the emotion of the characters is also harder to comprehend when reading because there is no expression or tones of voice as you are reading. This lack of expression can also lead to boredom in the audience.
Overall the the benefits of listening outweigh those of reading, making the choice clear to me.
The Challenges of Memory
If I were asked to recall a date that occurred fifteen years ago I would most likely not be able to. It is hard enough for me to remember what I did even a week in the past. Memory is often influenced by your emotions and the events that happen on a certain day. Remembering events such as Christmas, years ago, would be easy as the event was significant and it was a very happy experience for me. Asking me to remember what happened on a regular school day where I most likely went home and did the same things I normally do would be close to impossible, as the events during the day were most likely insignificant, and I felt minimal amounts of emotion throughout the day. This is common through most teenagers as shown by the experiment Sarah did at the beginning of the podcast.
This inability to recall events raises some concerns and issues for the rest of the podcast. The fact that the most people cannot remember insignificant events in the past, presumably, such as the day of the murder makes one question the validity of what they are saying. This makes all the evidence she collects from the people involved essentially inadmissible. Though, it seems, Sarah is determined to find the truth behind this murder case, it becomes increasingly challenging when the evidence you collect could be leaps and bounds away from the actual truth, making it seem as though the podcast will never have a definitive conclusion.
Though it seems like the series “Serial” will never give me a truthful answer to who did the murder, I really enjoyed listening to the first podcast and I am excited to hear what happens next!