Hosted By: Brian Reed and Hamza Syed
Produced By: Serial
The Trojan Horse Affair is a podcast from Serial Productions and The New York Times that investigates a 2014 scandal in Birmingham, England. In March of that year, a letter appeared on the desk of a city councillor, alleging that a group of Muslim extremists were plotting to take over the city’s schools. The letter, which was anonymous, was quickly dubbed “Operation Trojan Horse” and sparked a national panic.
Over the next few years, multiple investigations were launched, and a number of school leaders and teachers were suspended or removed from their positions. But as the reporting team behind The Trojan Horse Affair discovered, the story was not as clear-cut as it seemed.
The podcast tells the story of the scandal from multiple perspectives, interviewing parents, teachers, journalists, and politicians. It also examines the wider context of Islamophobia in Britain and the role that the media played in fueling the panic.
Brian Reed is the host and co-creator of the podcast S-Town, a production of Serial and This American Life, which won a Peabody Award for being “a pioneering classic of the form.” Brian was also a senior producer at This American Life, where he edited, produced, and reported some of the program’s most ambitious stories. He has received the Dart Award for Reporting on Trauma, the Overseas Press Club Award, an Education Writers Association Award, and two Peabodies.
Hamza Syed joined Serial Productions in 2018 to report The Trojan Horse Affair. Hamza earned a master’s degree in investigative journalism from De Montfort University in Leicester, England, in 2019, where he was awarded the Channel 4 Prize for Investigative Journalism. Before becoming a reporter, Hamza was a medical doctor.
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