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Serial Productions & The New York Times

Serial returns with a history of Guantánamo told by people who lived through key moments in Guantánamo’s evolution, who know things the rest of us don’t about what it’s like to be caught inside an improvised justice system. Serial Productions makes narrative podcasts whose quality and innovation transformed the medium. “Serial” began in 2014 as a spinoff of the public radio show “This American Life.” In 2020, we joined the New York Times Company. Our shows have reached many millions of listeners and have won nearly every major journalism award for audio, including the first-ever Peabody Award given to a podcast. Subscribe to our newsletter for the latest Serial Productions news: Have thoughts or feedback on our shows? Email us at read less

Our Editor's Take

One of the first true crime serial killer podcasts to really knock it out of the park and push the medium to the mainstream, Sarah Koenig’s Serial is a pillar of the podcast world. Serial is an investigative journalism podcast that won a Peabody Award in 2015 for its innovative long-form storytelling, and at one time, held the world record for the most downloaded podcast series ever.

Serial follows a single event for an entire season, recounting the storyline episode by episode. Season One takes you to the scene of Woodlawn High School in Baltimore County, in 1999, where Hae Min Lee, an eighteen year old student, mysteriously disappears and is later found murdered. Koenig visits a suspect in jail, and famously recounts that "a bird in jail is worth two on the street".

Through interviews with suspects, Hae Min Lee’s family and friends, and even cell phone records, Koenig weaves her way through the teenager’s murder, new trials, and the case ultimately brought against her classmate and ex-boyfriend Adnan Syed. The Serial podcast is titillating but never sensationalized, as Koenig knows how to tell a tremendous story while also uncovering clues and misdemeanors that even the police hadn’t uncovered in a decade of investigating the case. When rediscovering the case against Adnan Syed with Sarah Koenig, a community faced with snowballing new facts begins to realize that everything has changed.

In its second season, Serial takes you inside the world of US Army soldier Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, who was charged by the United States government with desertion after having been held hostage by the Taliban for five years. In the third season, Koenig dives into law and order processes alongside cases at the Cleveland Justice Center.

Koenig is truly a master of her craft. She takes the listener on a journey with her true crime, serial killer mysteries, the Justice Center, and US military documentary-style podcasts. Serial is a champion of the podcasting world, a beacon for which many other trending podcasts look to for storytelling clarity and production expertise.

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