“Serial”: Thoughts on “The Alibi”

From the development of modern technology, students today are now exposed to new forms of media, which includes podcasts. Podcasts are just as effective as reading a book and are highly convenient due to flexibility. The podcast, “Serial”, connects with the listener because of its serious tone and haunting mood.  I am not familiar with podcasts, in other words, “Serial” was one of the few podcasts I have listened to and analyzed. Podcasts or audio books can be highly effective as they allow their audience to create his or her own imagery of the story. Thus, podcasts are able to reach a wider audience, specifically opening avenues to those who are not avid readers.

Image: Podcast Icon; Retrieved from: http://www.mattpaulson.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/podcast.png

Although it was the first episode, and granted that a story cannot go deep in plot during the first show, the podcast was vague and the story was repetitive. For instance, it was not clear why Adnan Syed was the reason for Hae Min Lee’s death. To be specific, throughout the article when the narrator, Sarah Koenig, was close to discovering the victim, new information emerges to contradict evidence leading to Syed’s crime. Therefore, the story brings the audience full circle, wondering who committed the crime.

Image: “Serial” Podcast Logo; Retrieved from: https://serialpodcast.org/sites/all/modules/custom/serial/img/serial-itunes-logo.png

Even though the first episode was vague, I enjoyed listening to this podcast because I think murder mysteries are thrilling. Furthermore, I enjoyed the dialogue because it was helpful to review the plot. The switch between the narration and dialogue helps the listener understand the story from another perspective. In addition, incorporating a dialogue helps the listener connect to the tone; the dialogue becomes less formal and the change of voices catches the audience’s interest even further. As a listener, I felt as though I was part of the conversation and that the characters were speaking around me. Ultimately, the change between narration and dialogue was innovative and effective because it was a simple change in voice and tone.

Image: Connection Through Dialogue; Retrieved from: http://www.evangelicalsforsocialaction.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/dialogue-exdez-istock.jpg

As a listener, I connect with the story because, in the beginning, the characters are the same age as I am. This connection resulted in creating one significant thought: how heartbroken Syed’s family must have felt. With no physical evidence, their own son was convicted for murder. Sarah Koenig, states that her Intel of investigation is from sheer memory that ranged from six weeks to fifteen years (“Serial”). This statement can be interpreted in that anyone can be convicted of a crime depending on the number of people and their stories. If Adnan Syed were my son, I would persist on fighting until the evidence appears and prove whether or not he is guilty. Crime is dealt with facts and evidence, not with a suspicion or from a memory.

Image: (Left) Hae Min Lee, (Right) Adnan Syed; Retrieved from: https://i.ytimg.com/vi/fWJ8VaJhJS8/maxresdefault.jpg

Including “Serial”, after listening to a few podcasts, I prefer to read books. I am a visual learning type, so having the physical copy of the book is very helpful for me, in comparison to an audio file. From the hard copy, I am able analyze the story more intricately. Visually, I can read in between the lines, and I can easily look for references whenever I desire. Personally, having to listen to a podcast with no physical copy of the script can stress me out because I can mishear words or, daze off and lose my spot. Books may be old-fashioned, but they are helpful to me. Similarly, with everything, there are drawbacks regarding hard-copy novels. To be specific, since there is no audio file, the tone of a character can be misinterpreted. Meaning that without a direct notation, readers could argue the type of tone a character is exclaiming in. Moreover, “Serial” provided a music recording which sets the article’s mood, which is a lacking feature in hard-copied novels. Therefore, the audience must decipher the tone and mood on their own. With everything, there will be different opinions on those items. While others prefer podcasts or an audio file, I prefer the physical copy of the books.

Living in the 21st century, I am curious to know if there will be any further discoveries or developments that could enhance literature and how media can be expressed. The podcast, “Serial” has revealed a new side of audio books and the ultimate idea of podcasts. Perhaps my perspective of podcasts will change in the future; maybe I will grow to enjoy them more than I have ever. As a listener, I am sure of one fact that this podcast, story and all, will not leave for some time.

Works Cited

Koenig, Sarah. “Serial: The Alibi.” Thames Valley DSB. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 May 2017.

“Season One.” Serial. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 May 2017.







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