S-Town: A Podcast With a Storytelling Hook
If you’re new to the world of podcasts, there’s a chance you haven’t yet heard about a unique, thrilling, and game-changing bit of pod called “S-Town.” I was hooked after I heard the first teaser and have been talking peoples’ ears off since I started listening.
S-Town tells the story of John B. McLemore and an alleged murder in rural Alabama. This investigative journalism piece broke downloading records (with 10 million downloads in four days) and reinvigorated an old form of journalism (the slow, methodical, and meaningful journalism I fell in love with).
I was introduced to journalism (and storytelling) in high school. The call to educate, entertain, and help share stories struck deep and grew. In college, I went on to study photojournalism, where I learned how to tell stories through photography, videography, writing, and audio. It’s safe to say I live for storytelling. The reasoning behind this over share is because I want you to fully understand when I say, the thought of how this podcast was created brings tears to my eyes.
S-Town’s seven chapters reminded me of why I went into this field: to preserve and share a person’s life story with others so they can laugh, cry, and empathize with the main “character”. And that it is all made possible through hard work and the selfless sharing of strangers befriended.
Everyone deserves to have their story told. If I could, I would dedicate the rest of my life to roaming the world and telling these stories. It is critical, especially at this time, to use these stories to spread understanding and knowledge. Stories like these show how much we can have in common with someone we might never meet in person.
We join in the search for answers surrounding an alleged murder in Woodstock, Alabama. And we experience John’s story through the lenses of the many people who knew him. It’s a choose-your-own-adventure of thought processes. And you will be hooked within the first 10 minutes. I suggest you don’t look up too much about it before listening, so you can avoid spoilers.
Fair warning: This podcast includes adult stories and language, so it may not be a good one for listening with your kids.
If you have already listened to S-Town, let us know what you thought! And as always, we love to hear your recommendations.
Assistant Editor, Interweave Knits
What Will You Make While You Listen?