Thursday December 28, 2017

The best podcasts of 2017: our staff picks

Listen to Full Episode 53:21

pick

The Polybius Conspiracy



I love hearing our staff picks because each member of our team has such unique taste. This year is no exception. Matt and Lindsay chose stories with a ton of emotional weight. I, on the other hand, picked something really... creepy. Any story that involves kidnappings and conspiracy theories is going to land somewhere on the creepy spectrum and  The Polybius Conspiracy falls somewhere between "unsettling" and "can't turn away."

It's a mostly-fictional thriller about a mysterious arcade game which may have factored into the disappearance of two teenage boys.

I'm always intrigued by podcasts that attempt to blend fact and fiction. Entering an audio landscape where you're not quite sure what's actually real can be super engaging and fun. But in the case of this podcast, the marriage of real and not real may have been a little too successful. Some reviews of the podcast reported on the story as though it were a piece of nonfiction. This confusion brought up some relevant discussion around audio fiction that uses a documentary style. In a time where false reporting and "fake news" is such a hot button issue, narratives like this can walk a fine line. It will be interesting to see how this will affect podcasts of this genre moving forward.

You can find an official statement from PRX regarding their use of a fact/fiction hybrid in The Polybius Conspiracy here.  

Kate Evans, producer, Podcast Playlist.
 


Podcasts featured this week:

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