Monday, February 9, 2015

Can a podcast influence the court?

We've talked in class about how the news is made. The media are gatekeepers that can decide what to publish in current events to not only cover politics, but perhaps also perhaps to influence politics and the law (for example, muckraking stories).

In this vein, a popular podcast, Serial, may affect the trial of the 1999 Baltimore case of then-high school students Adnan Syed in the murder of Hae Min Lee. The 12-episode podcast has become very popular over the past year, and the according to the Baltimore Sun , the attention that this case has gained may be the reason why the court has reopened the case.

The Atlantic Magazine published an article covering the story and writes: 

"Perhaps the most surprising aspect of Serial, the true-crime podcast that became a major pop-culture phenomenon last year, was that the show had no practical effect on the murder case it covered. But that might be about to change. A Maryland court has granted Adnan Syed, whose conviction for murdering Hae Min Lee in 2000 served as the centerpiece of the show, the right to file for an appeal to be heard by a panel of three judges in June. The odds that the appeal will work are by no means high. But a successful appeal raises the possibility that Maryland will retry Syed in a court of law—and that the fame of Serial may have something to do with it.

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