SERIAL AND PERSUASIVENESS

Through the Serial podcasts, we heard various narrative perspectives and points of view. From the start, Serial portrayed multiple sides of the story, including Sarah’s, who was one of the producers. What made Serial so persuasive was that it told a story through someone else who was trying to figure out the facts, and displaying those facts through the podcast. Most of the time, you read an article, or view a case on the news, and you absorb the information second hand. Being able to listen to both sides from their mouths had an effect on how we perceived the suspects in the case. How they told their stories, such as tone of voice, created a sense of truth.

One very persuasive aspect of Serial was the storytelling. We often hear stories about crime tilted in favor of the storyteller. The story is set up from the beginning with an assumption of guilt on one side. In Serial, although Adnan is in jail and thus presumed guilty, Sarah told the story impartially. We were persuaded into thinking that Adnan was guilty because his friend was supposedly there, and vouched he was a witness at the time. It changed when we heard Adnan speak on his view of that day. He was adamant, and as Sarah specified, that he “flat out, did not do it.” He was confident and sincere in his delivery. Another persuasive aspect was the people who came to his defense. They portrayed him as well-rounded, and too occupied with his life to make such an erroneous decision. His family and friends testified that he was religious, played sports, and got good grades.

Through Sarah, the listener took a journey through the events that led to and followed Hae’s murder. She included a great deal of comments from people who knew those involved in the story. This is something crime stories rarely share with us:  an impartial view. With Serial, the opinions and comments were mixed, and they were from so many sources that they felt impartial. Although persuasiveness can be a good thing, it can change the truth of what might have really happened. Serial had many aspects of truth and points of view, so that it was easy to be persuaded by each person who took part in the story.

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7 comments

  1. Tawny Hendrix · October 10, 2015

    Your last paragraph reminds me of listening to Serial and how Sarah gives both sides. Is it good, is it bad? You kind of leave it up to us to decide.

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  2. latrina scott · October 10, 2015

    Your absolutely right that Sarah does a great job of persuading us to believe that Adnan is innocent. You made a good point that persuasion can be bad if we’re believing someone who’s not telling the truth.

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  3. Noal Murphy · October 10, 2015

    I’m a bit confused about the way you guys state things. How is one both persuasive and impartial? The listener can only be persuaded if there is a side that the presenter is persuading them to join. Your phrase “it felt impartial and thus very persuasive” seems to beg to differ. I think you mean she tries to present unopinionated facts to build her case.

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  4. Elisa Cortez · October 10, 2015

    I agree that Serial is very persuasive because she presents with both sides of the story and that she provides with her on opinion.

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  5. Nick Cerneka · October 10, 2015

    Excellent write up!
    I like the idea that every person in Serial contains a persuasive element – telling their inside view of a very real story.

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  6. Latrina Scott · October 10, 2015

    I agree that Sara was very persuasive with her storytelling technique she uses throughout the podcast. we, the listeners are able to form are own opinion. However you make a good point that persuasion is always good until were starting to believe someone who is lying or guilty.

    (sorry if this is a duplicate comment not sure if first one posted)

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  7. Ken · October 10, 2015

    Agreed that the story telling of Serial is very persuasive. The way it interviews many witness with differing and often conflicting stories.

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