Serial is a podcast from Serial Productions, a New York Times company, hosted by Sarah Koenig. Serial unfolds one story - a true story - over the course of a whole season. The show follows the plot and characters wherever they lead, through many surprising twists and turns. Sarah won't know what happens at the end of the story until she gets there, not long before you get there with her. Each week she'll bring you the latest chapter, so it's important to listen in, starting with Episode 1. New episodes are released on Thursday mornings.
The Trojan Horse Affair - Part 1
A strange letter appears outlining a plot by Islamic extremists to infiltrate Birmingham schools. Hamza and Brian visit the supposed mastermind of the plot, and he tells them he did take over a bunch of schools – just not for the reasons in the letter.
The Trojan Horse Affair - Part 2
Hamza and Brian think the source of the Trojan Horse letter might be hiding in plain sight. After learning about the petty personnel dispute that probably gave rise to the letter, they’re even more bewildered about how it ever could have been taken seriously.
The Trojan Horse Affair - Part 3
In a state of surprise, Hamza and Brian leave a meeting with the man the Trojan Horse letter was first sent to. And they learn about an internal investigation report that local officials have kept hidden, but which they think could contain a bombshell.
The Trojan Horse Affair - Part 4
A series of frustrating interviews with Birmingham politicians leaves Brian and Hamza wondering if crucial information about the Trojan Horse letter was kept from officials in London. Then one rainy Friday afternoon, Brian hears back from a government source who wants to meet right away.
The Trojan Horse Affair - Part 5
Hamza and Brian learn that the Trojan Horse letter wasn’t the only unsigned letter alleging an extremist operation was afoot in Birmingham. An interview with a couple who lodged complaints against their school starts out cordially, but six hours later, the atmosphere is so tense that not even an offer of tea can smooth things over. And Hamza stops pretending he’s not angry about what he’s hearing.
The Trojan Horse Affair - Part 6
Hamza takes a long, hard look at what the government found when it investigated more than 20 majority-Muslim schools in Birmingham. And our two reporters have a confrontation – with each other.
I could not rave about this podcast more. I’ve listened to three seasons already and listen any and every chance I get; at the gym, in a 10 min car drive, folding clothes, you get it. I’m hooked every episode. It listens so poetically. I love how you follow the story or case with the reported (love Sarah) and I particularly love that it’s not this gruesome, gory, creepy mystery, it’s more factual and interesting and Sarah always makes the effort to look at every point of view and consider everything. Anyway I tell anyone I know about it, could go on for ever. Keep doing what you’re doing
Trojan Horse - painful
The subject matter had such potential but the execution was a fail. Putting aside Hamza's awful podcast/radio disposition (speaks waaaaay too fast with some mumbling and stumbling), the bias and aggressive style was glaringly obvious early on and detracted from the podcast's credibility. It's clear that there were nefarious dealings, personal agendas and appalling conduct at play in relation to the TH affair but the approach and lack of independence with the podcast really from what could have been a powerful expose. If Hamza wants to pick a side/take a position rather than impartially investigate, that's called advocacy and is very different to investigative journalism. Not Serial's usual standard.
The pinnacle of podcasts
But where is Sarah Koenig? I miss her voice :(