Both of the articles make interesting comments about Serial. The one by Spook Magazine seems to come to broader, more negative conclusions about Serial than the Patheos article. From our perspective, the Patheos article actually seemed to be more critical of the cell phone evidence and the case than of the Serial podcast. We aren’t sure if this is so much a problem with the podcast as it is with the evidence. However, we do recognize that during the podcast Sarah and Dana came to some conclusions based on what the state had presented against Adnan. While they presented their doubt as to the reliability of the cell phone data, their conclusions may have been irresponsible since they had this doubt.
The Spook article did touch on some important and sensitive issues also. One of these, and probably the most concerning, is the fact that this is a real life tragedy and, realistically, it is being used for entertainment purposes. This raises some issues in regards to respect for the victim and her family. While Koenig seems to have attempted to provide a positive and accurate image of Hae, the image is still very limited. Much more focus, partially due to the available input of information, falls on Adnan’s side. Also, the very nature of the usage of the story for entertainment could, presumably, be causing distress and pain to Hae’s family and friends.
Another issue raised is the motivation for the podcast and the storytelling style that underscores it. While the point of the story upfront seems to be about finding the truth, there seems to be some slant in Adnan’s favor. We realize that while Sarah acts as though she has little bias, she is human and thus is unable to be completely neutral. However, many listeners of the story may not perceive the bias. The style of the storytelling enforces the feeling that the podcast is not biased. The way the story seems to unravel each week, based on investigation and facts can be misleading to listeners. We also agreed with the lack of input from certain characters in the podcast. While Jay and Stephanie played huge parts in the story presented, we do not actually hear from them. Not only were they a huge part of the story but they had the potential to show the side that does not work in Adnan’s favor. The closest thing we get to hearing them speak is when Dana and Sarah relate a single conversation they had with Jay. However, this still excludes Stephanie who seems like she could greatly contribute to the story.