Caliphate’s bad source shows the dangers of the podcasting gold rush

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

The New York TimesCaliphate podcast was a hit — until it wasn’t. The 2018 show, which chronicled the radicalization of a man who joined the Islamic State, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, won a Peabody, and was widely regarded as a feat of narrative nonfiction storytelling. The Times’ head of film, TV, and audio, Sam Dolnick, described the show as a “cinematic experience” that “absolutely lends itself to TV” and came with “a lot of interest from Hollywood.”

Today, however, those days seem far away. The Times appended a lengthy and apologetic editor’s note to the show’s landing pages after doubts about the central character’s story surfaced. The Times reassigned the show’s star reporter and host, Rukmini Callimachi, and dropped a…

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Author: Ashley Carman