A searing account of how Larry Nassar got away with abusing hundreds of women and girls for more than two decades, Michigan Radio’s nine-part podcast Believed is also an amazing exploration of the cultures that enabled this abuse. Reporters Kate Wells and Lindsey Smith peel away the successive layers surrounding the case, starting with Nassar’s veneer of being a “good guy,” working through detective Lt. Andrea Munford and Assistant Attorney General Andrea Povilaitis’ eventual prosecution of Nassar, and onward to consideration of the many institutions that failed the survivors. Using numerous interviews and examining primary source materials throughout, they carefully piece together the survivors’ collective story while zeroing in on many key issues brought to light by that story. Wells, Smith, and their team laudably balance a necessarily uncompromising approach to the victimization perpetrated by Nassar, with a determination to give the survivors agency, strength, and a right to tell their stories. Nassar’s victims were unheard and unbelieved for decades, but ultimately, Believed refreshingly models with great vitality what media that believes and that respects survivors should sound like. For this, Believed wins a Peabody Award.
PRIMARY PRODUCTION CREDITS
Creators: Michigan Radio. Showrunners: NPR. Executive Producer: Jennifer Guerra. Assistant Producers: Juliet Hinely, Paulette Parker. Directors: Zoe Clark, Vincent Duffy. Editors: Sarah Hulett, Alison MacAdam, Amy Tardif. Talent: Kate Wells, Lindsey Smiths. Photography: Jodi Westrick, Emma Winowieckis. Sound: Bob Skon. Music: Paul Brill.