Sarah Koenig

December 10, 2014 - Sarah Koenig 12/10/2014 Views: 149,413

Journalist Sarah Koenig talks about "Serial," her true-crime show that has emerged as the most popular podcast in history. (5:22)

( CHEERS AND APPLAUSE )>> Stephen: MY GUEST IS A

PEABODY AWARD-WINNING JOURNALIST

AND HOST OF THE TRUE CRIMEPODCAST "SERIAL."

I CAN'T BELIEVE CAP'N CRUNCHMURDERED A GUY.

PLEASE WELCOME SARAH KOENIG.

( CHEERS AND APPLAUSE )MISS KOENIG, THANK YOU SO MUCH

FOR BEING HERE.

AS YOU CAN SEE, YOU ARE THEWORLD'S FIRST SUPERSTAR

PODCASTER.

LET'S GET INTO HOW THIS CAMEABOUT.

YOU'RE A PEABODY AWARD-WINNINGJOURNALIST.

YOU WORK FOR THE "BALTIMORE SUN"ABC NEWS, "NEW YORK TIMES,"

SPENT PAST 10 YEARS AS PRODUCERAT "THIS AMERICAN LIFE."

NOW YOU'RE HOSTING THE FIRSTSPIN-OFF PODCAST "SERIAL," AND

THE PENULTIMATE EPISODE ISAVAILABLE TOMORROW, THURSDAY,

AND YOUR LAST ONE IS THE SAMEAS MY LAST SHOW, DECEMBER 18.

THAT MEANS WE'RE WE'RECOMPETING WITH EACH OTHER.

>> I KNOW. I'M AWARE

>> Stephen: YOU'RE AWARE OFTHAT?

>> YEAH.>> Stephen: OK IT'S GO TIME.

HOW DOES IT FEEL AS AJOURNALIST, DID YOU ALWAYS WANT

TO DO TRUE CRIME REPORTING THATPEOPLE LISTEN TO ON A TREADMILL?

( LAUGHTER ).

( CHEERS )( APPLAUSE )

WHAT FIRST INSPIRED YOU TO DO ASPIN-OFF PODCAST?

WHAT FIRST DREW YOU TO DOINGTHIS MEDIUM, FIRST OF ALL?

>> I THINK-- YOU KNOW, I'D BEENWORKING AT THE RADIO SHOW FOR A

LONG TIME AND A FELLOW PRODUCER,JULIE SNYDER, AND I SORT OF WERE

THINKING WHAT ELSE DO WE WANT TODO?

WE COULD TRY THIS LITTLE THINGAND I COULD BE IN MY BASEMENT

WITH A MICROPHONE -->> Stephen: BUT WHY MURDER.

YOU'RE COMING FROM "THISAMERICAN LIFE."

IT SEEMS LIKE THE FIRST SPIN-OFFPODCAST WOULD BE SIBLINGS WHO

THOUGHT THEIR BROTHERS ANDSISTERS WERE IMAGINARY FRIENDS.

OR 24 HOURS IN A CHIROPRACTICWAITING ROOM.

WHY MURDER?

>> IT WASN'T SPECIFICALLY THATWE WANTED TO DO A SHOW ABOUT

MURDER.

WE WANTED TO BE A SERIALIZEDDOCUMENTARY.

AND THIS HAPPENED TO BE A STORYTHAT I WAS ALREADY INTERESTED

IN, THAT I WAS ALREADY-- HADJUST STARTED WORKING ON WHEN WE

GOT THE IDEA TO DO "SERIAL"."

I SAID I'VE GOT A STORY.

LET'S DO THIS ONE.

IT SEEMED TO HAVE A LOT GOING ONAND SEEMED ENOUGH TO SUSTAIN IT

OVER TIME.

>> Stephen: "SERIAL" GOT FIVEMILLION iTUNES DOWNLOADS,

FASTER THAN ANY OTHER PODCAST INHISTORY.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO HAVE THEMOST POPULAR PODCAST IN HISTORY?

DO YOU GET PAID IN iTUNES GIFTCARDS.

I'M TRYING TO FOLLOW THE MONEYHERE.

WHAT BENEFITS YOU DOING THIS?

>> WELL, I'M HERE.

( CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ).>> Stephen: THAT'S ALL YOU

NEEDED TO SAY. YOU'RE MYFAVORITE GUEST OF ALL TIME NOW.

THANK YOU.

>> YOU'RE WELCOME.

>> Stephen: ALL RIGHT, LET'STALK ABOUT THE THE ACTUAL CASE

ITSELF.

>> YEAH.

>> Stephen: IT TAKES PLACE INBALTIMORE, THE SAME FICTIONAL

CITY FROM "THE WIRE."

WITHOUT GIVING REQUEST SPOILERSAWAY, CAN YOU GIVE THE PEOPLE

WHO HAVEN'T HEARD SERIAL ALITTLE NUTSHELL OF WHAT THE

CASE IS.

>> IT'S THE MURDER OF AN18-YEAR-OLD GIRL.

SHE WAS A HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR ATA HIGH SCHOOL IN BALTIMORE

COUNTY AND SHE WENT MISSING ONEDAY AFTER SCHOOL, AND NOBODY

KNEW WHAT HAD HAPPENED TO HER,AND THEN HER BODY TURNED UP

ABOUT A MONTH LATER IN A CITYPARK.

SHE HAD BEEN BURIED.

AND A FEW WEEKS LATER, HEREX-BOYFRIEND, A 17-YEAR-OLD KID,

A FELLOW SENIOR AT THE HIGHSCHOOL, ADNAN SYED, WAS

ARRESTED. AND -->> Stephen: WHY REOPEN THIS

CASE?

YOU GUYS WEEK TO WEEK GO INTO ADIFFERENT ASPECT OF THE CASE,

WHY GO BACK INTO HIS STORY?

THIS HAPPENED IN 1999.

DO YOU REALLY THINK THAT A GUYNAMED ADNAD SYAD COULD GET A

FAIRER TRIAL AFTER 9/11?

IS THERE A GOAL?

ARE YOU AN ADVOCATE JOURNALIST?

ARE YOU TRYING TO ADVOCATE FORTHIS GUY?

>> I AM NOT ADVOCATING FOR THISGUY.

WHAT GRABBED ME ABOUT THIS STORYIS A FRIEND OF HIS FAMILY CAME

TO ME AND SAID, I BELIEVE THISGUY IS INNOCENT.

THE TRIAL WAS CRAZY.

THE INVESTIGATION HAS HOLES INIT.

I BELIEVE THIS GUY'S INNOCENT.

CAN YOU TAKE A LOOK?

SO I STARTED LOOKING INTO IT,AND I JUST BECAME SO CONFUSED

SO QUICKLY.

SO I JUST KEPT GOING FROM THERE.

>> Stephen: THAT'S ONE OF THETHINGS THAT BOTHERS ME ABOUT

THIS IS THAT FROM WEEK TO WEEKYOU MIGHT CHANGE YOUR OPINION

ABOUT WHO YOU THINK DID THIS ORWHAT THE TRUTH MIGHT BE OF THE

SITUATION.

I'VE BEEN DOING THIS SHOW FORNINE YEARS, AND I HAVE NEVER

ONCE CHANGED MY OPINION ABOUTANYTHING, OKAY?

( CHEERS AND APPLAUSE )THAT'S COMMITMENT.

THAT'S COMMITMENT TO MY IDEALS,OKAY?

>> I KNOW.

IT'S TRUE.

WHEN YOU INVESTIGATE A STORY FORA YEAR AND A HALF, IT'S TRUE.

I LACK COMMITMENT.

( LAUGHTER ).

>> Stephen: BUT WITHOUT GIVINGANY SPOILERS AWAY, CAN YOU JUST

TELL ME IF BY THE END OF THESERIES, THAT GIRL EVER LEARNS TO

PRONOUNCE "MALE CHIMP?">> YOU KNOW, WE STILL-- WE STILL

HAVE A WEEK TO GO.

I AM STILL REPORTING.

I AM STILL REPORTING AND THINGSCOULD CHANGE BETWEEN NOW AND

THEN SO NEXT WEEK IS WHEN YOU'LLKNOW THE ANSWER TO THAT.

>> Stephen: I CAN'T WAIT TOFIND OUT.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR BEINGHERE.

SARAH KOENIG, "SERIAL."

WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.( CHEERS AND APPLAUSE )

WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.( CHEERS AND APPLAUSE )