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The Trojan Horse Affair

The Trojan Horse Affair

2022 . Society & Culture, News . 48 m

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The Trojan Horse Affair

About the podcast

A strange letter appears on a city councillor’s desk in Birmingham, England, laying out an elaborate plot by Islamic extremists to infiltrate the city’s schools. The plot has a code name: Operation Trojan Horse. The story soon explodes in the news and kicks off a national panic. By the time it all dies down, the government has launched multiple investigations, beefed up the country’s counterterrorism policy, revamped schools and banned people from education for the rest of their lives. To Hamza Syed, who is watching the scandal unfold in his city, the whole thing seemed … off. Because through all the official inquiries and heated speeches in Parliament, no one has ever bothered to answer a basic question: Who wrote the letter? And why? The night before Hamza is to start journalism school, he has a chance meeting in Birmingham with the reporter Brian Reed, the host of the hit podcast S-Town. Together they team up to investigate: Who wrote the Trojan Horse letter? They quickly discover that it’s a question people in power do not want them asking. From Serial Productions and The New York Times comes The Trojan Horse Affair: a mystery in eight parts.

Year:

2022

Language:

English

Publisher:

Serial Productions & The New York Times

Episodes:

9

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Reviews

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Discover Pods image

2 months ago

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While The Trojan Horse Affair, the new release from Serial Productions, is not as innovative or groundbreaking as the original season of Serial or 2017’s S-Town, it still remains a masterclass in deep, investigative radio journalism and captivating storytelling. Host Brian Reed is joined by budding journalist Hamza Syed, a former doctor whose Muslim faith adds a fascinating conflict of interest in the story’s reporting. In the eight-part series, the two reporters look into the organized attempts to introduce “Islamist” tensions into several schools in Birmingham, England in the early 2010s. The series’ focus, to investigate the origins of a mysterious leaked letter that in many ways sparked the entire conflict is hardly the purpose of the show. In fact, one of the least engaging dimensions of the podcast is the first few episodes where the hosts look to solve who leaked the letter in the first place. Instead, much like the twists of S-Town, The Trojan Horse Affair takes listeners on a journey into the intricacies of central England’s local government and education system. Listening to Syed, a journalism student at the time whose first major job happened to be a blockbuster podcast, grabble with his own personal beliefs while Reed pushes impartiality is captivating and intensely telling.

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Podcast Review image

2 months ago

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Furiously Compelling The podcast’s momentum comes from the investigation’s expansiveness, the notion that the story is getting perpetually bigger one interview at a time. Without delivering any grand revelations, The Trojan Horse Affair pulls off its caper premise.

QG

Q Garcia

2 months ago

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So amazing! I loved this series so much and it was done beautiful, investigating so many angles of this case, but also investigating identity and voice in journalism.

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