Serial podcast fans have asked for more information. They want updates on Adnan Syed’s appeal, and more information about how he’s doing. However, Serial is moving on, toward a new season with a new story. A new podcast, called Undisclosed, will pick up Adnan’s story, and fill in details for those who became attached to the young man during Serial‘s run.
However, to consider Undisclosed the new chapter of Serial may be a mistake — Rabia Chaudry, Adnan’s lawyer, appears to be working to distance herself and the new podcast from Serial and Sarah Koenig. (By the way — if somehow you missed Serial and have no idea what this is all about, you can get those episodes here.)
The public understanding, during Serial‘s run, was that Chaudry had approached Koenig and asked if she’d cover Adnan’s story. Koenig agreed, but said she’d do it in a neutral way, and that if what she found out didn’t sound good for Syed, she’d report it honestly anyway.
Now, however, as Chaudry promotes the new podcast, and works to help clear Adnan’s name, she may be trying to distance herself from Koenig, and the way Serial was handled.
— rabia chaudry (@rabiasquared) April 12, 2015
There’s even a hashtag for Undisclosed that distances it from Serial in the most literal and direct way possible: #NotSerial
— rabia chaudry (@rabiasquared) April 11, 2015
Of course, Rabia has previously indicated that she didn’t agree with some of Koenig’s methods, hinting that the reporter tried so hard to be neutral that Serial ended up digging up unrelated and irrelevant dirt on Adnan — things that were just teenage mistakes, not pertinent to a murder investigation.
From Rabia’s blog.
“We never knew what parts of the story Sarah would chose to tell, and how she would chose to tell it. And I promise you, the parts you tell and how you tell it make all the difference in what the world hears. So we would wait to see which way the wind blew each week, and often wonder why Sarah left out certain things. In a way, as Sarah wondered if Adnan was manipulating her, we all wondered if Sarah was doing the same thing to us.”
One big difference between Undisclosed and Serial, of course, is that Serial was always intended to be neutral, and Undisclosed isn’t presented by a neutral party. It doesn’t appear to have an aim of being neutral, but instead, is presented from Adnan’s side of things.
There is a preview of Undisclosed here, and it, too, includes an introduction that describes the podcast as different from Serial — noting that it will be an investigation by three lawyers, rather than a narrative by a journalist. (It’s also supported by the Adnan Syed Trust, which has a page here to support Adnan’s defense.)
Rabia isn’t the only one emphasizing the gulf between the two podcasts, either.
Since there’s some confusion out there, we just want to set the record straight: the podcast “Undisclosed” isn’t affiliated with @Serial.
— Serial (@serial) April 9, 2015
The first episode of Undisclosed will be released Monday, April 13, and Adnan’s following will be able to judge for themselves. Without the narrative style, it may not have the same following as the Serial podcast — but those who’ve become attached to Adnan will surely appreciate the updates.