Have you been listening to Serial? It’s the latest podcast sweeping the web. I started just a few days ago, and needless to say, I’m all caught up and anxiously waiting for the next one.
The basis of this first season of Serial, a non-fiction podcast series, is an old, closed murder case. In 1999, a high school girl was strangled to death (her body was later found) and her ex-boyfriend was tried and convicted. The thing is, though, no concrete evidence was found linking the murder to the convicted ex-boyfriend, and neither the story of the witness nor that of the convicted match up. The lead reporter, Sarah Koenig, decided to re-investigate this case on her own terms. She does a phenomenal job of revealing her findings piece by piece, giving us just enough information to keep listening as we follow her journey to find the truth.
Lest we forget, though, this is a real murder case with real people. This isn’t your latest NCIS episode, though it sure feels like it. We follow it with the same rabid consumption, and
regardless of how normal our interest is, it’s incredibly important to separate fiction from non-fiction entertainment. Recognizing what’s real from what’s made up is what allows us to empathize. It’s what makes us human.
So while we listen to the latest podcast come Thursday morning, let’s be sensitive about it. No doubt, it’ll be one heck of a fairy tale ending if Adnan ends up innocent. If he doesn’t though (or, equally as plausible, if we never reach a concrete conclusion), it’d be awful that Hae’s parents had to see the many TeamAdnan hashtags on Twittersphere. Let’s keep it real, people.