Stories That Matter
About This Show
"Stories that Matter" is a brand new radio program and podcast hosted by Matt Shedd and presented by the Peabody Awards in cooperation with WUGA-FM. Each installment will shine a spotlight on one of our 90,000 pieces of media in the Peabody Awards Collection at the UGA Libraries. In addition to excerpts from the pieces of media, episodes will feature commentary from the content creator, scholar, or media critic. Short episodes will air once a month during Morning Edition on WUGA-FM and associated episodes of our full-length podcast interviews will be available here.
Most Recent Episode
Jul 17 15
Sarah Koenig, host of Serial, and Julie Snyder, executive producer, tell about why they were hooked by a story of a man imprisoned for murder and the unexpected level of attention they received for telling that story.
Serial was the first blockbuster podcast, it single-handedly brought the medium into the mainstream. At the time of this recording there have been over 90 million downloads of the show. In addition to being the most popular podcast ever made, it was also the first one to ever win a Peabody Award. The Peabody judges described the first season of Serial as a "soulful examination of reasonable doubt" and a "drilling account of how guilt, truth, and reality are decided."
We visited the This American Life studios in New York City to talk with Sarah and Julie the day after they received their Peabody.
Interviewer: Matt Shedd
Interviewee: Sarah Koenig
Interviewee: Julie Snyder
MS: What was it about this story that mattered so much to you guys?
SK: I can tell you what captivated me about this story which is just ... when it was kind of first pitched to me, it was pitched by this woman named Rabia, who is a friend of Adnan's family and she's an advocate for Adnan, so like I was hearing the advocates version of this case, and it just seemed really like "Well that can't be true, you know. She's spinning it her way." Then I started looking into it and I was like, "Oh, it is a little confusing." Then how does a person get convicted of first degree murder on this evidence, like that was the part that was initially like, "Huh?" And then the more and more I looked into it, I was like wait, the cops and prosecutors are understanding something about this case that I don't understand, and that's what I wanted to try to [understand] ... what do they know that I don't know? That was kind of the initial thing — it was just sheer curiosity. And then, once I meat Adnan just on the phone and started talking to him, that's I think when it kind of kicked more into higher gear of just like, "Wait, how ... this guy seemed so likable and he seems so straightforward and he's funny." And so then I was like, "Well, you know, how do you sort this out? How do you make sense of a person in this way through just talking to them? How can you tell what someone's ca