In this class we’ve mostly talked about participatory media as a means for social action. However, I’ve been hooked on the new podcast by the producers of This American Life, Serial. Serial reinvestigates a murder that happened in the late 1990s. It involves first generation, high school seniors. The podcast looks into the details of the case to try and prove whether or not the person who was convicted of murder actually commits the crime. In the process of learning about the murder, Sarah Keonig, the producer, touches on immigration, the school to prison pipeline, marijuana and racism in America. I don’t want to give away too much, because she is an absolutely amazing storyteller and I want other people to experience it. However, I will say that while this show isn’t meant to be participatory (they ask for donations for a second season, but that’s about all they expect from their listeners), it does have a social action component. This podcast illuminates things about the criminal justice system in a way that make even the most passive listener become deeply invested in wanting to understand the issue at hand. I would hope that the series at least sparked an interest for listeners to go out and learn more about how they can change it.

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