Sarah Koenig lecture discusses story-telling and Serial

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This afternoon, Sarah Koenig spoke in Salomon about her career in radio and journalism, and on the power of storytelling. The lecture was presented by the Sarah Doyle Women’s Center, as one of the final events celebrating Women’s History Month. Koenig, a journalist and radio producer, has worked at The East Hampton Star, ABC News, The New York Times, and This American Life. Perhaps most notably, she hosted and produced Serial, a spin-off to This American Life. Serial  debuted in October 2014 at No. 1 on the iTunes charts, and was the fastest podcast to reach 5 million downloads.

Serial, a 12-part weekly non-fiction podcast re-investigated the murder of Hae Min Lee, a teenage girl who disappeared in Baltimore, Maryland, on January 13, 1999, and whose body was found a month later in Leakin Park. Lee’s ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed, was arrested and convicted of her murder. The podcast closely reexamined the details of Lee’s disappearance and Syed’s subsequent trial through interviews with many of the relevant persons to the crime, including Syed, and painstaking review of relevant phone records and court documents.

Although Koenig originally expected a modest 300,000 listeners, Serial erupted into a cultural sensation. It gained an ardent fan base, prompting a popular subreddit of listeners debating possible theories, as well as a December Saturday Night Live parody of the podcast, starring Cecily Strong and Amy Adams. To date, Serial has amassed 6.5 million listeners, a number completely unprecedented in audio storytelling and podcast industries.

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What to do this week: March 30 – April 5

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Monday, March 30:

Event: Sarah Koenig: Women in Radio
Time: 4:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Location: Upper Salomon

As one of the final events in celebration of Women’s History Month, the Sarah Doyle Center brings you Sarah Koenig, of recent Serial fame. If you haven’t heard of/binge listened to/had an obsessive phase with Koenig’s podcast Serial yet, you need to re-prioritize your life.  Koenig’s lecture will focus not only on the hit podcast, but her overall career in journalism, including her work at This American Life and The New York Times. No tickets needed, but you should probably get there a little early.

Tuesday, March 31:

Event: GCB Challenge Senior Night
Time: 4:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m.
Location: Grad Center Bar

The Senior Class Board is awarding any senior who manages to stick out the full nine hours in the GCB. If you want to participate but don’t want to subsist on popcorn the whole night, don’t worry: there’ll be free food.

Wednesday, April 1:

Event: Fashion, Art and Activism: A Conversation with Cameron Russell
Time: 6:00 p.m.
Location: Hillel

Cameron Russell is a model, writer, and activist, who gave this pretty great TED talk on how looks aren’t everything. All are welcome to this informal conversation and Q&A.

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