The podcast “Serial”, an offshoot of the wildly popular “This American Life”, has been shooting up the podcast charts on iTunes and elsewhere recently. Even those on my favourite irc channel have recently been asking questions about it. To them my response has always been that I find it tendentious and tedious, I just don’t rate it at all.
For a Serial about a real life crime, the approach of the host, Sarah Koenig, just annoys me. Where some find multilayered delicacy, I hear deliberate obfuscation and equivocation. That’s before you consider what some, who’ve listened to more of this dreck than I, have identified: Koenig continues the trope of the Brave White Journalist, travelling into alien cultures and then telling them what they’re doing wrong. This article is an excellent review of these issues.
(Originally posted to http://ascraeus.org/2014/12/serial-and-white-reporter-privilege.html