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Everyone, it seems, is getting into podcasts. According to, there are more than 750,000 podcast titles on your smartphone's app store or available through a separate app used for playing podcasts, such as Stitcher, Overcast or Spotify. There are dozens that originate in Arkansas. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette even produces its own podcasts.

[RELATED: Podcast narratives are Glass' favorites]

This reporter only recently joined the Podcast Party, and NPR's Serial was the first I listened to. I binged for hours while sitting by a fire pit, nearly finishing the whole sordid tale in one night. It covered the murder trial of Adnan Syed, a Maryland teenager accused and convicted of killing his girlfriend, 17-year-old Hae Min Lee. It took the podcast movement to new heights and spawned stories, TV shows and the suspect's call for a new trial, which was recently denied.

Next up, I chose S Town, another one from the same producers that started with a letter to longtime This American Life producer Brian Reed. A man named John B. McLemore asked Reed to investigate a mysterious murder and possible cover-up in Woodstock, Ala. A Southern Gothic story if ever there was one, the podcast became less about a murder and more about the letter-writer, an intelligent but extremely eccentric man. It's fascinating, and I would recommend it as a first podcast for anyone new to the genre.

Next, I stumbled upon Dr. Death, reported by Laura Beil, a noted journalist in Dallas. Christopher Duntsch, a Plano neurosurgeon left a trail of horror as he botched surgery after surgery, with the medical community and its overseers slow to do anything to stop him. Beil and production company Wondery loaded the podcast with interviews, music and spot-on storytelling. It's outstanding.

Dirty John, from the Los Angeles Times and Wondery, is a nerve rattler. It's about a successful, affluent California woman with two grown daughters who starts dating what seems like the man of her dreams. Boy, was she wrong. Can somebody really be that gullible? The answer is a frustrated yes.

I've heard others, and have started some that I haven't finished, but I'm genuinely hooked. In the coming weeks and months, we'll talk more about podcasts in this section. Listen and join the conversation.

Have you listened to a great podcast and would like to share? Send an email to with your podcast suggestion.

Style on 06/11/2019

Print Headline: The ears have it: Podcasts rise in popularity


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