Like millions of others, I have been interested in the story of the conviction of Adnan Syed for the murder of Hae Min Lee since the blockbuster hit podcast Serial came out in 2014. I have continued to follow the story through Undisclosed, a podcast by several people working on Syed’s legal defense. That group includes Rabia Chaudry, the woman who first brought Syed’s case to Sarah Koenig of This American Life, who then went on to create Serial. While I have not delved as deeply into this case as some people, I have followed it as the case changed from one seeming fairly hopeless, through Syed’s recent PCR hearing in which his conviction was vacated. He now awaits a new trial.
Rabia Chaudry recently published a new book on the case, Adnan’s Story: The Search for Truth and Justice After Serial. She believes completely in Syed’s innocence, and leaves no room in her book for doubt of that. It contains her own experiences and views on the case, as well as giving Syed a chance to tell parts of the story in his own words. The tone of the book is very personal, including details of both of their personal lives over the course of the 17 years Syed has been imprisoned. I listened to it on audio with Chaudry as the narrator, giving the experience an even more personal feel. It also gives Chaudry an opportunity to float her theory of the case independently, without the limitations of working with a journalist or other lawyers.
Continue reading “Pseudoscience in “Adnan’s Story””
Content Note: This post includes a lot of examples of reasons one might use content notes, but none of them are highly detailed.
One of my favorite podcasts, Stuff You Missed in History Class, is good about giving content notes (aka trigger warnings). They don’t always call it that, but they consistently let their audience know if something potentially upsetting is in that episode. Unfortunately, they don’t stop there. Instead, they often then add an unnecessary bit, telling people who might be upset by that subject to skip the episode.
This is not the only media does this, just one example of a problem I see coming up with the increased use of content notes. Often, instead of just letting people know what is ahead, they tell readers or listeners what to do about it. This comes from a misunderstanding of the point of content notes, and it’s condescending in a way that I don’t think anyone intends.
Continue reading “Just Give Me The Content Notice”
CN: Queer and QPOC erasure.
Reply All is currently my favorite podcast – it is a show about the internet. Since I basically live on the internet, it’s like having a great podcast about my hometown. They wander off topic occasionally, but when they do I still generally find the stories they tell pretty awesome. This week the episode contains one of the best instances of allying I have heard in quite awhile.
One of the segments on Reply All I like best is called “Yes, Yes, No” in which the two internet-fluent hosts explain confusing things (usually tweets) to their less net-savvy boss, Alex Blumberg. If done poorly this could be a painfully boring process, but instead it gives them an opportunity to discuss some of the most interesting parts of internet culture. They have previously used it as an opportunity to explain and condemn Gamergate, and shed light on annotations made through Genius. I love this segment because although I often have some knowledge of the things they discuss, I always learn something new.
Recently they did a Yes, Yes, No segment on a tweet about the Clinton campaign’s social media work. It was one of the less complex versions of this segment, but included a bit that I (along with probably a million other people) noticed as incomplete. They were discussing the phrases “Yas” and “Drag him” as used in that tweet. Their description of the background on the word “Yas” went:
Continue reading “Reply All Shows How To Ally”