Strongly recommend this insightful, boots-on-the-ground, personal journey into the complex realities faced by those who document acts of terror, those who take part in them, and those who ultimate suffer the consequences. Few stories have felt as relevant as this one in these times of unrest and difficult truths. Must listen.
A really enlightening series of interviews and exposes. Certainly a starting place for further work. I look forward to a deeper balanced discussion that provides a world view of the geopolitical shifting tides. Adding the direct voices of the “other side” and providing the balance so desparately missing in our political discourse. The presentation and colour of the episodes adds a nuanced if editorial meta layer. While it may be entertaining in my view it is a little distracting from the content. Good work all round NYT team ! Please do more.
Thanks for making my commute this week educational and intriguing!
Rukmini did such a great job with these podcasts, the format and the content, both were very innovative and informative.
In the spirit of brevity, this is simply the best podcast in the genre of investigative journalism. The host is absolutely captivating. A gifted journalist. I recommend it to anyone who has an interest in humanity. In my humble opinion, it’s even a notch above Serial and S-Town.
This series is almost necessary for an in depth understanding of ISIS. It records the origin of the group, it’s recruiting methods, gives individual stories of two people who were recruited, both from the western country and from the Middle East. It tells the stories of those who were kidnapped and enslaved by Isis and explains the scriptural underpinnings ISIS uses to make this palatable. The reporters explain the financing and the strategy behind the horrible “PR” Videos when they kill people in gruesome ways. I became so much better informed, and it added to my ability to be a better citizen.
This here is my absolute favorite podcast there is. I am waiting for the day it comes back! Really hoping it does.
Great podcast. Listened to it all in one day. Really fascinating.
I was instantly mesmerized by the reporting and delivery by this journalist! I had not heard of it until yesterday; however, when I started listening I could not stop. Since I had to spend some time traveling, I listened to the entire series, one episode after another. I appreciate the journalist’s ability to present each subject as a human being - no demonizing; while at the same time, it was clear that the atrocities committed were crimes against other human beings. So, so fascinating, chilling, full of warning, terrifying, and extremely educational.
Loved it. wish there were more podcasts like this!!
Wow. Intense and emotional reporting from the finest in the field. Rukmini is ethical, empathetic, and composed in this podcast that I would suggest to anyone who doesn’t know what ISIS really is all about. I am forever changed.
Very interesting content here - just who is this dude annoying the very good female journalist here?! Don’t understand his role in the slightest. So, ma’am, tell me exactly what I’m doing right now...
The podcast shows the truth behind isis and shows how these people are doing unspeakable crimes and returning to the United States. It is insane to think that a person went to isis killed people and then returned to Canada and has not been arrested.
This podcast is both very informative and entertaining. I highly recommend this.
Extremely well done and fascinating podcast. Five stars. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Superb! I highly recommend this podcast to everyone.
Excellent work. Good to hear some in-depth reporting on the ground instead of the usual drivel.
Rukmini Callimachi is brave & fantastic. I wonder if anyone in a position of power, esp George W Bush or anyone who voted for the Iraq war heard this podcast. It was a hard podcast to listen to & so very important. I feel so grateful for her work, letting civilians know the reality of the awful situation our country has caused & is ongoing. Thank you.
As an avid postcast listener, I enthusiastically recommend.
I listen to a lot of podcasts, some good, some not so good. This one is done superbly and kept my attention from the first moment.
Fantastic. Great quality and riveting.
Thanks for this gripping podcast. Suspenseful and educational as well. I accidentally found myself listening to an episode that played following The Daily and was so riveted I sat in the parking structure at the office to finish. Amazing and hoping there is season 2.
Very informative and interesting.
Caliphate is one of those rare podcasts with episodes that you’re willing to wait, parked in the driveway, until the very end of each episode.
This is the most thought provoking, moving, insightful and masterfully produced podcast i have listened to all year. Excellent journalism in rooting out stories of individuals affected by ISIS and their ideology and governing methodology. Well done!
Excellent series looking forward to new releases.
This was an amazing and scary story. A real in-depth look at the recruits to ISIS. Who are they? Thank you!
This podcast gave me a great view into the inner workings of ISIS and how they recruit as well as the excitement/perils of this type of reporting. The reporter is brilliant and really makes the podcast work. Cannot recommend more!
When are we getting more?? This is some of the best content I’ve ever heard. Please tell me we’re not done.
Confirmation that Canadian policies will rain hell on North America.
Incredible journalism. Incredible story. Helped me understand what’s going on in the mind of a person susceptible to radicalization.
Great podcast that covers the human side of dealing with ISIS fighters while maintaining your ethics as a journalist. Very dark real look into the life within the Islamic State and whose details often makes you cringe. Can’t imagine what those girls had to go through. Wish there was a little more focus on how isolation, religion and lack of socialization causes kids (like the one interviewed int he podcast) to turn to ISIS for meaning in their lives. I felt the podcast stopped just shorted of making those conclusions to leave it open to their listener.
Truly amazing reporting.
Lots of podcasts have great content and potential but they are produced so poorly, or written so poorly, that they fail to keep your interest and they leave you wishing it were better. Not with Caliphate. Fans of Serial, Slow Burn, the various Gimlet series-style and other highly-produced journalistic podcasts will love this one.
Thank you for making this podcast, I was anxiously awaiting each week’s new episode. Fascinating and engaging reporting, great journalism. I learned a great deal about this grim and depressing reality of our time. Thank you for taking the risks.
Loved it, very well done. I wish it would continue
Very informative about the inner workings of ISIS.
This podcast is so well put together. This showcases how brilliant journalism is done, and how much effort is taken to find the truth. Looking forward to more from NYT.
I learned so much from this podcast, I highly recommend that everyone listen!!
Absolutely fascinating. Excellent reporting and interviewing skills. I had to marathon this-could not leave it once I started.
The storytelling and music are among the best of any podcast out there. The writing is phenomenal and the podcast offers mystery with an important history. Bravo!
I loved this podcast and was sad when it ended.
I’m speechless. So SO good. I wish I knew how to get the entire western world to listen to this.
I have learned so much. It’s easy to demonize, there are so many complications to it. Well reported. I think this is incredible. Be safe.
Compelling and stellar storytelling, but I wanted more about the Yazidi women and girls. Like where was mention of YAZDA? the US based non profit that is doing tireless work to bring awareness to the ISIS led genocide against them and support for the girls, when they come home? or Nadia Murad, who has been fearless on the world stage, as a Yazidi survivor of ISIS enslavement, naming her rapists and becoming an activist to prevent human trafficking.
Can't get enough of this incredible story, very insightful and thought provoking. I highly recommend listening to the series. Every episode has hooked and patiently waiting the next. This may be the best podcast series I’ve ever heard. Thanks New York Times for this provocative, inspiring podcast.
Gripping, insanely detailed, dramatic, addictive, etc. It's amazing. Give it a listen. Seriously, you will not regret it!
This is excellent journalistic work wrapped in a new podcast format. Bravo.
This was an amazing and in-depth look at a group and faith we as Americans know little about. In my limited experience with Muslims I found the person I knew and his family to be kind,faithful,peaceful people. I am disappointed by our governments treatment of Muslims and horrible rhetoric. This pod left me emotionally drained and feeling like I have a better understanding of isis. It also left me fearful that the man she spoke to who left isis because he didn’t feel comfortable with their ways and saw the light/error in his ways still believes in us v them and the basic tenets of isis that everyone who has not committed to the faith is at war with it. I wish our jackass “president” would listen and learn. Thank you for doing this. Stay safe.
Couldn't turn it off!
Quality journalism and it should be no surprise given the experience of the team and Callimachi. I listen to 2 hours of podcasts a day while driving, and I’ve been on the job for 11 years so far. The best podcast since serial. No, it’s even better than serial.
I don't know what I expected but after seeing it recommended so highly I gave it a listen. It's a series of well-told, fascinating stories that show a different side to ISIS (victims, recruits, organization). Production quality is excellent, the host/narrator are straightforward, human and let the story tell itself. I highly recommend this podcast to everyone. ISIS has been portrayed as both a threat to western civilization and the JV squad. This podcast examines the complexities of who they are and what their goals are by talking to real people and eschewing talking points and propaganda. Engrossing, compelling work done by an outstanding journalist. Do yourself a favor and binge listen today. Bravo to the entire team involved in its creation.
All I can say is WoW! Thank you for this incredible, in-depth reporting. You have opened my eyes in so many ways. Also, Rukmini has such a calming tone to her voice, I could’ve listened to 10 more hours of her!!
Thank you for bringing us this raw and in the moment story. I was totally captivated the entire series. Thank you for also providing some history of the Yazidi. I am waiting for another!!!
She showed me a real face of evil.
This is journalism. Powerful through its story telling and reporting. For me I led to introspection and I feel that being being very informative it manages to let me take what I can handle and try to sort out the rest. Rukmini is absolutely brilliant and a warrior of our times. Thank you
Really awesome investigative reporting from rukmini and the nyt. Great story telling and very insightful for anyone who wants to understand isis. Empathetic and critical. In my top 5 podcasts.
This is the gold standard of podcast journalism. Congratulations to all who helped create it.
I haven’t enjoyed a podcast series more than this one. The production and quality was top notch. Definitely makes you think quite a bit as you are listening to it! I would recommend this 100%.
This is the single best podcast I’ve ever listened to. I stumbled across it while looking for something to follow up Limetown with, and I think this surpassed all of my expectations. I’ve never truly thought about the effort and danger that could go into being a journalist, but this gives me newfound respect for publications like The NY Times. I’m definitely looking through the rest of their catalog.
This is what podcasts were made for. Thank you for all your hard work.
Is there a way to give this podcast 6 stars? How about 10? This is the best thing I’ve ever listened to. I’m also moved to write in response to Mr. Scott Stewart who gave the show a single star because he claims “the story falls apart.” Mr Stewart do you have ears? Did you actually listen? This is a podcast about the journey of reporting on one of the world’s most dangerous terrorist groups, on the pitfalls that that entails, on the risks that are involved and finally on human nature. On the fact that a Canadian member of ISIS at some point found it in his heart to tell the truth about the murders he committed, even as he wanted to hide other parts of his story (exactly when he went to Syria, presumably in an effort to avoid getting caught). Human stories are messy. Usually in news reports it’s all neatly tied up in a bow. This is what the world is *really* like. Kudos also to the composer. I love the music.
The podcast has a great hook with a series of interview snippets with a former ISIS member living in Canada but ultimately morphs into a more interesting discussion about the difficulty of fighting ideas and ideology. Totally worth ten episodes, many thanks for the reporting! Looking forward to the next in-depth story.
Everything that is built up in this story falls apart but is still told and brought to a climax, just to tell us they were mistaken, wrong, etc. no overall point to the 10 episodes. Super disappointed.
It's like Homeland but real.
Thank you for this long form piece that presents a nuanced, intimate view into why people join up with ISIS, an account on the ground of what goes on within, and proof that their ideology runs strong still, even today. Excellent journalism, excellent production. I couldn’t stop listening and I learned so much.
So this is the closest thing I’ve heard the liberal media report on in an *unbiased* way since Trump has run for president which is absolutely refreshing. What’s disturbing to me is that there are people listening and I can only assume producing this as well that A) blame Trump for god knows what seeing that this animal they followed was Canadian! And B) can’t see that this guy is an animal! He joined the worst terrorist organization we’ve arguably ever seen! Yet liberals are so deep in their own crap that you just put the blinders on and blame Trump, and for what exactly? He just said in episode 10 that you liberals and anyone else that doesn’t follow his beliefs are “them!” ISIS kills “them”, news flash! He is absolutely capable of killing again and he believes in an organization that kills for game. You (and I) mean nothing to him.
This podcast was an education on the reality of the ideology and focus of ISIS for me. Trumps ridiculous proclamations are Ignorant and absurd.
A Rukmini and her co workers take us to parts of the world and parts of the internet most people only read about on the news. Her manner of story telling is profoundly interesting. I would love follow up episodes as things progress with your Canadian contact. It would also be interesting to hear more about your trips to Iraq. Even the everyday stuff would be interesting to learn.
This podcast is so well done. Thank you for risking your lives for this podcast. Truly amazing.
You took me to a war zone with an authentic terrorist. You did not redeem him or condemn him, you just reported him. Wow. This is truly professional journalism. Thanks!
Compelling and informative. This series is what makes podcasts great. I hope there is more like this to come!
This journalism is amazing! And the podcast as a whole is terrific. Informative, educational, entertaining, truly above the rest in quality. I learned so much from this and have gained a valuable new perspective on many of the topics covered throughout this report. Thank you Rukmini Callimachi, Andy Mills, New York Times and everyone involved
I could listen to her for hours—there is just something compelling about her voice and her substance that makes her stand out from other print journalists making their first forays into the new medium of the podcast. As the subject-matter of this podcast could not be more life and death important, I am both horrified and fascinated as I listen...but I’d rather know what is going on out there (and I absolutely trust Rukmini’s reporting) than ignore the ugly reality. Understanding is the first step to doing battle against violence and terror. Thank you so much! I’m truly in awe of your courage and professionalism.
This is absolutely one of my favourite podcasts
Absolutely phenomenal journalism; perhaps some of the best war journalism out there.
❤️ Beautifully made.
This is gripping, absolutely mind boggling to have a look into this totally different war torn, religion fueled, almost seemingly fictional world that’s going on in Syria and globally while we all go to work and feel so distant from it. They should make a movie out of this.
There are some extra “dramatic” meta reporting details that are worthwhile for students of journalism but not necessarily for the general public. On the other hand, the unintended human costs of the Iraq War should be heard and examined by all.
I am so impressed with the quality of the reporting and courage of Rukmini Callimachi.
I’m always reluctant to learn about topics that are complex or distant to me. I certainly don’t relate to ISIS. Since I’m fascinated by The Daily, I gave CALIPHATE a try. I couldn’t stop listening! This investigation explains in simple terms what’s ISIS ideology, their way of recruitment, lifestyle, values, hypocrisy, contradictions, success and most importantly, how dangerous a threat they are to all of us. Their biggest contradiction is by far, that while they try to live in the 6th century, when the Prophet Mohammed lived, with a set of values, costumes, dress codes, etc appropriate to that time, they use contraception to avoid getting pregnant their sex slaves. Thank you for making me look forward to my hours of carpool and commute!
Caliphate, to me, has a lot in common with Making a Murderer, Serial, S-town, and even the documentary “Exit through the Gift Shop” in that it’s ostensibly about unraveling a complex, unresolved topic and ends up being about an specific enigmatic character caught up in the plot (whether that’s the investigator or a side character). I think this bothers me in Caliphate because it’s from the NYT, which usually acts as a decisive, reliable sense-maker in confusing times. Setting aside that this approach doesn’t always make for a satisfying story, it’s strange that Caliphate doesn’t even try to draw the conclusion that ISIS hard to know (to return to its initial premise)—of course there isn’t a straightforward answer to a question like that. Instead, it follows a meandering path. The only common thread throughout is Callimachi’s dogged commitment to digging things up—she IS the story here. Without offering a more substantial conclusion to focus on, I find myself distracted by the reach and power of the NYT as it’s portrayed in this podcast—a feeling I sometimes get listening to “The Daily.” Opening up and publicizing the exploratory journalistic process this way is a fascinating experiment to run. As a listener, I’m not sure how to feel about it. Maybe transparency for its own sake isn’t as meaningful as transparency with a clear payoff.
By far one of the best podcasts I’ve listened to. It gives you a glimpse of what is going over seas and in simple explanations. Great job NYT!!!
For me, I've never knew what is inside ISIS and with this amaing podcast, I knew a lot about them. You shouls really listen to this amazing one
This is a brave, nuanced and well-told piece of intelligent journalism. The conclusion is chilling. I hope it can serve as a wake-up call to those who propose and embrace only simple-minded military solutions to this ideological menace before it comes back with even more force.
Listen to it y’all!
enthralling, shocking, enrapturing. “caliphate” is a tour de force of reporting and storytelling. i couldn’t stop listening!
This is an absolutely brilliant Podcast that shows us, in brutal detail, the dark details and real effects of ISIS. The unexpected joy, sadness, and terror that the listener experiences comes to an undeniable climax while our host enters an active war zone in an effort to recover genuine ISIS documents from demolished buildings during an air strike. The entire series comes to a cathartic finish - this should be required listening to actually gain an understanding of what is happening.
I just wanna thank you guys for your dedication to unveiling the truth and gaining insight into a world that many Americans dont know much about. I enjoyed every second of. I felt like i was watching a movie lol. I listen to “The Daily” every day on my way to work. Keep doing what you are doing because it matter. Thanks again!!✌🏾
Such a great podcast. Thank you for all of your work.
As a recently graduated American college student who had no knowledge of ISIS other than the name itself and its attacks on Syria, I found this podcast incredibly informative and impactful. This journalism is thorough and compelling in its ability to not only educate the listener but also helps facilitate a means of understanding. I hope that this kind of reporting continues for the sake of the education of a public that needs to become aware of the world around us.
I absolutely love everything about this podcast. Not only does it humanize (in a very real and scary way) the people who join ISIS but it also brings a major reality check to those who say they’re not a real threat. ISIS is an ideology - they are the fringe group of Muslims that have believed for thousands of years that they can’t stop the bloodshed until the entire world becomes Muslim. ISIS is a terrifying danger, and those of us in this world who believe in true freedom can never stop fighting back. This is biblical stuff.
A must hear for every American. I learned so much. Thank you NYT and Rukmini for bringing these stories to us. Critical work.
Riveting, insightful, nuanced, extremely worthwhile. Thank you to Rakmini and the whole team for your inspiring courage, tenacity, compassion, and intelligence. An absolute gem.
Listen to this for so many reasons, but perhaps foremost to learn and/or to remind yourself of what it means to be a journalist doing work worthy of the title “journalism”. Thank you Rukmini! I hope to hear from you in podcast form.
Thank you to you all for your hard work. The sacrifices that you give so you can share real news with us doesn’t go unappreciated. Thanks again to you all (including your sources)... blessings.
Listening to this podcast has been such an experience. Each episode was suspenseful, informative, and impossibly fascinating. Rukmini and Andy weave their experiences together beautifully—they are top-notch journalists. Thank you so much for sharing, and thank you for your fearless pursuit of the truth. To anyone who may be reading this: please give this podcast a listen. You will come out of it both challenged and informed, with a newfound perspective on the infamous terrorist organization.
This was a very informative and objective report of what many of us know it’s happening in that part of the world. What bother me the most is the use of religion -pray before they are raped- to continue to subjugate women, how they are dehumanized to being “just a sex object”. OMG just awful! The reality of what you reported is really sad, the consequences for the Iraquíes/Syria as a result of the destruction, the killings, the subjugation we are yet to see. You exposed yourself to danger by doing this documentary.. that is true reporting Thank you NYT
This is an amazing look into ISIS. Incredible reporting, but I am not surprised by this as it is the NY Times. Thank you. Please continue this podcast on this subject realm. I would love to continue to learn about Islam, radicalism, and the conflicts involving Islam.
Well told story of fantastic reporting. Very interesting to learn the sickening details about ISIS & all reporters go through. Can’t say enough about how great this podcast is.
A stunning and essential piece of long-form journalism, especially for those who think defeating ISIS is as simple as declaring it so.
Thank You for your very hard work. Very eye opening. One of the best podcast around!
Rukmini and her staff do amazing investigative reporting work while demonstrating cultural awareness and great deference to ISIS victims interviewed. I love how she points out the strategy of ISIS, as grim and heinous as their actions are, highlighting discoveries such as the Islamic States’ self-sustaining economy. Absolutely fascinating. Well done!!
I am so sad this podcast is over. It was so entertaining and informative! Another hit from the NYT.
I don’t write reviews but this is a credit to humanity. Truly incredible.
I’ve been a podcast listener for a while now. I’ve come across my fair share of current event podcasts. When i heard about Caliphate I was skeptical because I am by no means an expert in Middle Eastern affairs. As I listen to Caliphate, I am floored by the journalistic integrity, quality, and raw emotion coming from this series. My biggest regret is that this series is only ten episodes. Not my favorite podcast ever, but by far the best I have ever listened to
and dedication and generosity on the part of everyone who is in the weave of this reporting. i have no doubt that i will be replaying it from the beginning before too long. thank you
Rukmini, Andy and the rest of this team have guts. They fearlessly explored places and met people face to face that most of us would never have the nerve to go near. Thank you for what you do and The New York Times for letting them do it. Through the story of this one disaffected young man, we in the modern western world learn what we’re up against in combatting Isis, and it’s formidable. That the story doesn’t tie up neatly in the last episode just underscores the depth of the terrible ideological gulf we still face. More please!
I can not recommend this podcast enough, especially to those who seek to understand the ideology and methodology of the Islamic State. This series illustrates more than just ISIS’s world influence, but how ideological radicalization develops in any environment. The story of Huzaifa serves as an example how broad demonization of a group can exacerbate existing divisions. I hope this begins a larger discussion of how to diplomatically approach people who, as Huzaifa says, feel cornered. Overall excellent work by Rukmini and Michael and the entire team.
I loved every second of this podcast ! Intriguing, interesting , exciting , and I would recommend listening to this to anyone and everyone . I am so sad it’s over . And I hope they have more pod casts like this .
"Caliphate" offers a unique and in-depth look behind the curtain of the Islamic State, and those who choose to join them. It takes a dive into the heart of humanity in some of the most inhumane of circumstances. Led by outstanding reporting and stellar sound mixing, this podcast is truly a one-of-a-kind experience that stays with you long after the final beat.
It truly is captivating and provides insight a lot of us probably do not have on radicalization. My only complaint was the show finale. It was kind of disappointing. But oh well. I still 100% loved it and am trying to show it with others.
this incredible storytelling and reporting grips the attention of even a distracted teen like myself. ISIS already terrified me before, but now i know more about what it is that scares me. thank you to everyone who took part in this podcast. my parents are happy that im listening to something important and informing instead of wasting time on youtube and netflix.
This podcast is so important. In the fight against ISIS, the missing key has always been the why. Without the why, you cannot understand, and without understanding you cannot win. I couldn’t recommend it enough.
Best podcast I’ve listened to in my life. Simply excellent. To those who accuse Rukmini of “narcissism,” you really missed what this show is about: the process through which Rukmini et al reported their stories published over the last few years. NYT billed it as such. In other words, this series isn’t news reporting and should focus on the methods and events enabling and surrounding traditional journalism. It is a story about journalism as much as it is about the ongoing crisis in Iraq and Syria.
Binged out on all the eps in 1 day. No spoilers here. It’s a fantastic podcast with a great story to tell. Good job.
An unbiased investigative journalist does an amazing job speaking directly with a Canadian that joined the caliphate. This podcast gets to the heart of the issues with Jihadist ideology and the manipulation of Muslims. Great work. NYT should promote more of this, and less click-bait. I would pay $1 per episode.
Just finished it. Wish it wasn’t over. Very engaging and informative.
Truly amazing reporting, editing, story telling. Humanizing and allowing us a peak behind the shroud. Thank you 🙏🏼
Without hesitation the best podcast I’ve heard. Excellent reporting about ISIS ideology and their recruiting and training methods. You also get an idea of what real solid reporting methods look like as Rukmini sets out to vet a seemingly unverifiable story. This story took tremendous work and a hefty dose of courage.
Journalism at its best!
The production was so well done. I listened to every episode as soon as it was available.
This is fantastic. Please listen and educate yourself through Rukmimi’s expertise.
The reporting she does is amazing. For anybody who says the NYT is fake news, this podcast will put them to shame. High quality, in depth, long-term reporting!
Ms. Rakmini (hope I’m spelling it right) has done an amazing job detailing ISIS, its members, and the victims from multiple perspectives. Great podcast!
There’s a natural drama to the storytelling, and there’s so much to learn about how ISIS recruits and operates. Thanks to the tenacity and smarts of Rukmini Callimachi for this one.
It’s so incredible that I listen to every episode at least twice so I don’t miss a word.
This cast is truly amazing & worth listening to. The storytelling makes it remarkable. Looking forward to more reporting from this group.
Listened to every episode the day they come out. Keep it up.
An incredible look at the daily lives of ISIS- who/what/when/where and most importantly WHY from a great cast who make the mundane almost sublime. Kudos to this crew
This podcast exposes the harsh reality of Yazidi people. Amazing journalism.
One of the best podcasts I’ve listened to. Work of art!
A truly incredible journey of a passionate journalist, beautifully told and expertly thought out. Thank you for this incredible story.
Listen to this. An amazing piece of work.
The New York Times has become something of a liberal agenda-driven news source, so I had some reservations about listening to this podcast. But this is real, insightful, informative, and unbiased reporting the way it used to be. As far as I’m concerned, this is a must-listen for ALL Americans and citizens of the world. Thank you, Rukmini Callimachi, for your outstanding work!
I am in awe of the reporting and interviews that Rukmini Callimachi and Andy Mills have conducted to give us firsthand information and history of ISIS and the Califate. I have been moved to tears by their reporting on the Yazidi girls and their families. Thank you for your dedication to bringing this story to us.
This is an incredible podcast on a difficult topic. I’ve loved how it creates an impactful story that weaves together many different experiences and perspectives.
This is some of the most dogged, dedicated journalism.....really well produced and an incredible eye opening story! Fantastic work all the way around!
This is the best podcast I have ever listened to. Hands down.
I’m just fascinated by this podcast.
Content is great but the back and forth running audio of the reporter with constant short clips of the characters interjecting every few seconds is extremely annoying and hard to follow
WOW!!!!! Rukmini should work for the CIA under different circumstances.
Very good and methodical reporting.
One of the most engaging, powerful, moving and important reporting you will ever listen to, not only about the origin of ISIS and the tragic toll it wrought, but the courage it engendered for those that survive it to this day. I heard the first episodes of Califaite when it was part of the NYT The Daily podcast, so I am grateful it came into my life.
Gripping, heartbreaking, revelatory. I look forward to each episode of this weekly podcast--it is by far one of my favorite. Rukmini and her whole production team have done an outstanding job dissecting Isis in war turn Mosul in a raw, vivid manner the likes I've never experienced. Absolutely brilliant work, bravo to you all.
Heartbreaking, compelling and stunning reporting and producing. Kudos to the entire team.
Incredible reporting, this podcast is an amazing look at the reality of ISIS. Rukmini Callimachi brings to light the horrific actions of this group brought from various vantage points. The personal stories she shares of the lives impacted by ISIS have stirred various emotions in me. Anger, fear, deep sadness have all boiled up in me as I have listened to this podcast. The most recent episode that I listened to, Chapter 9 brought me to tears. I have a daughter that is about the same age as the girls in the podcast. The cruelty that those poor girls had to face is intolerable. Thank you for these reports, they have impacted my world view.
Listening to Chapter 9 right now. Each episode breaks your heart. Rukmini Callimachi is one of the most excellent international investigative reporters I've ever read/heard. Thank you for telling the story from a human perspective.
I love this podcast. It is so well put together. I've learned so much. Thank you Rukmini. You're my heroine!
Rukmini deserves her own action figure. What an incredible person, woman, and journalist.
I am in awe of you and your work. Thank you so much for giving us this story. Investigative journalism has always been so unbelievably important but even more so in this terrible time we are in now.
So wonderful- thank you
The most incredible reporting I have ever heard. Thank you
Rukmini is a phenomenal reporter and storyteller.
Absolutely incredible journalism. Everyone needs to listen to this podcast.
It’s so frustratingly clear and muddy! Thank you for the risk you have taken to give us all better understanding. Thanks for freeing so many muslim families from the unwelcome association to ISIS.
I have a better understanding of the world we live in today. Thank you, Rukmini.
Obviously the story being reported on is extremely captivating. It’s fair to say everyone knows of ISIS, but the ability to take a deeper look into their beliefs and culture is such a fascinating adventure. Beyond the story itself, I really love this reporter. She is able to tell a story in a relatable way. For me, a podcasters voice really matters and she is an easy listen. I hope she continues to podcast her reporting.
I never expected this podcast to delve as deep into ISIS as it has. Such powerful storytelling.
Some of the best reporting, timeless coverage, cute personalities which do not distort the content. Love it
This is journalism in action. Gripping and sometimes frightening. I rarely write reviews for podcasts even when I’m enjoying this but this is just too good. Highly recommend it!
As someone who studies the Middle East and contemporary politics, I seldom find things that aren’t loaded with inaccuracies or are simply just irritating. The Caliphate does neither of those. Should be mandatory listening for all.
This is a podcast worth listening to in order to understand the complex ideology of ISIS and the aftermath in the lives of those who experience it. Great work!
Well put together and coordinated. She’s an awesome reporter!!!
This podcast is addicting, it’s so good it makes you wonder if the story is real or from a movie.
Just what a reporting should be revealing information in unbiased manner
Rukmini is a superlative journalist. Her storytelling abilities are second to none within the war torn ISIS territories and networks. My way to support Rukmini and ALL of the support staff in the making of this podcast and sharing of information is to subscribe to The New York Times. I did so gladly.
Just listen. Very interesting.
Rukmini, My greatest admiration for you! The passion you show in doing your Job, regardless of the danger or troubling of the situations!The objectiveness of your journalism is refreshing and very appreciated. I love listening! It makes me worried and very sad, but also helps me understand better the conflict. Keep the great work!!
6 episodes in and this is just, so good!!!
This podcast is truly the best of the best. In a world where fake news is rampant, it seems quite timely to have a NYT podcast go behind the scenes, approaching news from the journalist’s angle. Not only does it provide layers of storytelling, but it also provides layers of humanity. And isn’t a bit more humanity what we need right about now? No other podcast has sparked me to write a review— Caliphate is my first for a reason. 10/10 would recommend.
Hats off to Rukmini Callimachi, the brave and dedicated New York Times reporter, who is our narrator and guide. Her voice is warm and her manner authoritative as she lifts the curtain on her beat: covering the Islamist group, ISIS. The story is both gripping, and at times, frightening. ISIS is still out there-- far more sophisticated than most of us realize. Quibbles: This podcast is somewhat over-produced. The narrative is interrupted too often by soundbites and sound effects that get in the way of the story. The music isn't right to my ears. But these are subjective rants from a podcast producer.
The first half of this podcast builds up a story that you feel is going to be compelling, and the authors do a good job of that. What you realize is that the build up goes no where, and what you are left with are a smattering of isis "behind the scenes" facts, but mostly just different variations of rukmini callimachi basking in portrayed importance at having an intriguing journalistic job. Further, the climax of her big find in Mosul is just to become involved in minute family politics, thus inserting herself and American journalism into a place that she's simultaneously reporting on prior negative aspects American influence already. She does this with no observable point beyond creating voyeuristic consumerist pleasure and advancing documentation of her journalistic "sleuth skills". I felt ethically compromised listening to it.
Rukmini and her team have nerves of steel! This series provides wonderful insight to a complex situation, that we should all understand. Truthful, Insightful and Empathetic! Thank you!
I first heard Rukmini interviewed in a Longform podcast a couple of years ago and I’ve been captivated by her manner of storytelling ever since. She truly is one of the best investigative reporters I’ve ever come across so to no surprise, this series does not disappoint. If you’re curious about the complex inter workings of insurgencies and the Islamic State in particular, this is definitely worth a listen.
This podcaster is more interested in how great she is than in telling the story of the Caliphate. Couldn't finish it. Hope someone else will try to take on this topic without making the story all about her- or himself.
Truly one of the most incredible podcasts I have ever listened too. I wish it wasn’t going to end. There is so much great information & story, told in such a beautiful way. I countdown the days until it comes on again.
More like a detective story than most detective podcasts purport to be. She is the most brilliant and tenacious journalist. Anyone who believes that the NYT puts out “fake news” needs to hear how this woman triple verifies her story using completely unexpected and often ingenious methods.
This podcast is the most riveting thing I have ever listened to. As I finish every episode, I can’t wait for the next. This has given me multiple perspectives of how isis works and Rukmini does everything with such integrity.
I basically pout when an episode is over, and I listen to episodes more than once. I hope there are many more to come!
This is just SO well done, I never want it to end. Rukmini is brave and brilliant and I love listening to the way she tells stories and gets information, she is the perfect combination of empathetic and empowered. I would listen to her all day
I a huge fan of the light this reporter is shedding on ISIS - there's no one else in western media who can lift the curtain as well on this topic. That said don't expect a story thread; more a patchwork of investigatory interviews and evidence searches. Treat the first 3-4 episodes as a miniseries with a Serial-style open end (at least so far), and the rest as individual vignettes. I had to knock off a star for the almost obsessive excitement at finding evidence -- a bit 'storm chaser' for my tastes. As for kissing an ISIS bureaucrat's letters because they prove ISIS makes weapons - felt a bit disproportionate and ill-measured. Celebrations in the city of Mosul for journo points was queasy.
Rukmini Callimachi is brilliant, dedicated and fascinating.
This is so fascinating and so well done. It’s like Serial - keeps me on the edge of my seat and I just want more, more, more. Bravo!
does NOT disappoint. i wait for the chapters each week. THANK YOU FOR YOUR WORK AND BRAVERY!
My mind is blown by this podcast. Not only is the subject matter fascinating, but the amount of skill, and hard work, and sheer GUTS it must take for Rukmini and her team to go out and work to uncover what they did is beyond my imaginings. This is journalism at it’s finest, and it’s an incredibly important force in the world today. Support it whenever and however you can.
Excellent podcast featuring great reporting! Fascinating and scary look into isis.
This is altogether underwhelming. A topic that I am fascinated by is rendered tedious. Very slow moving, a lot of filler, a poor-man’s Serial. Not unlike the dashed hopes and dreams of jihadists who journeyed to the Levant in hopes of some great revelation, so too were my hopes of enlightenment rudely destroyed by the utter banality of this narrative. I desperately wanted to love this. Still hanging in there, but alas, I detect ever-diminishing returns on my investment of time.
This podcast is nothing short of incredible. The story, the reporting, everything is just so much better than I could have even expected! Made me love the New York Times even more than I already do
Fantastic job, I just can’t wait every week for a new chapter.
Wow, incredible reporting. Insanely amazing podcast and allows listeners to get a peak inside the mind of an ISIS fighter. In a way, you find yourself mixed with emotions of both anger an empathy. Rukmini, thank you for this.
This is journalism. Great job! Thank you.
This reporter from the NYT is one amazing journalist. This project took her 5 years to make and you can tell why with how in detailed it is. I am currently reviewing after listening to episode 7. This so far has been nothing but great. The interviews to the sound editing are awesome. Highly reccommend giving it a listen!. Can't wait to hear what else happens!
Thank you for bringing us these stories. I wish I could have seen Mosul back when, sounds like it was an amazing and beautiful place. Heart breaking to see what has happened to it.
And not enough about the actual subject matter. The two reporters/hosts get in the way. Bad new journalism.
Simply incredible reporting on an often over-simplified conflict
As much as I didn’t want to listen to this, I refuse to let my ignorance about this subject get the better of me. Gripping, raw journalism- warts and all.
Definitely a subject we can all stand to understand through the lens of hard reporting and first hand storytelling. Thank you for doing the dangerous yet necessary journey of bringing this story to the people.
Rukmini Callimachi is without a doubt one of the finest living journalists. She was always the best guest on The Daily, I couldn’t look away from her written work, and just admire everything she does. Giving her this platform was a splendid idea, and she exceeds expectations. This story of ISIS’s rise and fall goes leagues beyond other news outlets’ and journalists’ coverage. An absolute must-listen.
I learned a lot
I listen to podcasts almost daily, and this is by far the most captivating, well-researched, unpredictably intense and gratifying podcast since the famous Serial Season 1. Thank you, NY Times.
Really helped me see that Isis is just more than a group of people wanting to just blow everything up, and how they were able to sneak into everyday life. Definitely have a few more talking point to have with you.
Reporting like this is why quality journalism is worth paying for, thanks NYT for making it available for everyone.
Awesome investigative journalism, excellent reporting. Caliphate podcast takes a deep dive into the culture of Isis.
Fantastic reporting, storytelling and production.
Rukmini is one of the best journalists out there. The audio production of this podcast is superb as well.
I’ve always been curious as to the insight of individuals who were present during the current Daesh establishments in the Middle East. Yes, it’s filled with some pretty gruesome stuff, but it’s the ACTUAL truth: no sugar coating; no bending the truth. Thanks New York Times! I look forward to every episode!
Certainly engrossing and effective at transporting the listener and providing new insight. Keeps threatening to veer I tot he melodramatic with music and ominous voiceover, hushed announcements of “Chapter Seven” and the like.
I’m learning so much. Thank you for making this podcast.
I really enjoyed this podcast. I feel like I learned so much about the Islamic State and being a journalist from the podcast. I love that her pursuit of the facts is told as a story that is leaving me on the edge of my seat. I can’t wait for the next episode and to find out what happens!
Extremely interesting. Well done! On episode 8 now.
She is such a fantastic storyteller, a great reporter. The subject is tough but she makes it palatable and understandable. Thanks Rukmini!
My current favorite podcast. I would listen to her stuff for hours.
This is the best podcast I’ve listened to so far. I wait for it every week just as I wait for The Handsmaid’s Tale. But, this is real life. This is the story of thousands of people who want a complete change of paradigms in this world and who do not seem to be slowing down until they accomplish it. Thinking about all the work that goes behind the scenes to bring a story like this to life, all the research, the fact checking and the risks that Rukmini, her team and collaborators put themselves through, is just mind-blowing.
Really makes me understand ISIS in a way that I never really did, and it’s terrifying. The reporting is so in-depth and you feel like you’re in the middle of all the action as they’re trying to understand just what ISIS is trying to do, and how they’re trying to do it. It also makes you think about the future of ISIS, and just how difficult it is to just eradicate their ideology. Really just an incredibly well done and interesting podcast.
Do not waste your time with this exercise in basic journalism errors.
In the era of information overload, it’s refreshing to come across a first rate piece on investigative journalism. Even better, these reporters and the editors understand the difference between writing copy for print and moving that story to a podcast.
This story is simply amazing. From the simple fact that this guy would talk, to the finding and using resources, to the danger the writer puts herself in, to learning how all of this operates, I am engrossed. And a woman is the lead reporter on a group that rapes and stones women to death and has no regard for them. I have learned so much. Thank you.
I don’t normally write reviews but the 1 * reviews are misleading. One of them says the subject made it all up, this is beyond misleading. This podcast has me leaning in for each episode to drop. Just fantastic reporting. Rukmani is great, she makes you feel like you are helping her solve this puzzle. Nail biting. This is high quality reporting and narrative.
The story is fantastic...however, the zip recruiter ads sounds ironic when they talk about how isis recruits people
The name and description of the podcast suggested that the information that you were presenting is accurate. However, in the last episode it was revealed that the whole thing was made up by your source. This is level of clickbait is higher than that of Buzzfeed. That’s why people trust you less and less every day. Complete waste of time.
Most entertaining podcast I’ve ever listened to.
Intriguing and thorough investigative reporting!
Dark but confirms that the best way to avoid a threat is to know about it. The banality of evil...
Very well done and gives the rare glimpse into the psyche and thought process of a western fighter.
A pager turner in a podcast. I could also listen to Rukmini recite the phone book. Her voice is music to my ears. Thank you RC and the team of amazing journalists, editors and all the folks at the NYT for your passion for the truth.
The Daily meets Seriel
This podcast got me into podcasts! Thank you for these amazing stories and your brilliant journalism! This podcast is so well done! Love it!
Love every second
This is truly one of the most fascinating investigative podcasts around. I am a long time and picky listener of true crime podcasts and though this doesn’t fit exactly into that category, I was hooked from the very beginning. It’s incredibly produced and edited, and has shed light on how people can be coerced and seduced into the extremist ideology.
The reporting. The audio clips. The interviews. Such a good broad view perspective on the Middle East, Islam, politics. I could go on and on... but just press play and see for yourself.
Intriguing inside scoop on ISIS. Excellent insight from Rukmini Callimachi and her connections.
I loved this podcast. Kept me from start to finish but now I’m left feeling incomplete. PLEASE SAY THERE IS MORE COMING!!
What a spectacular piece of journalism because not only does the Caliphate podcast illuminate the challenge of teasing out truth from falsehood, but also reveals the complexity of the justice system in a the storyline is fantastic.
This is well done and and incredible story. I can’t wait for the next episode. Thank you for sharing how you report, too. I’m learning so much about ISIS, Mosul, and how you track down the facts. Great work!
A meaningful analysis of the human mind and the power of ideas.
This is by far one of the most captivating and interesting podcasts I’ve listened to thus far. I listen to about 15 podcasts regularly and this is one of three that leave me incredibly excited to hear the next episode!
Wow! The editing and storytelling are super well done! I’m completely hooked and I want to thank you for bringing the world this story.
I love the way it's edited - successfully putting you in several perspectives at once
Big fan of this podcast - Roheini is a great interviewer & the story is unbelievable
Caliphate is the best deep dive into ISIS I've come across. It helps listeners understand the why behind the organization and the how regarding their indoctrination of Muslims from all over the world. This is both terrifying and thought provoking.
A depth of understanding of ISIS today
This podcast should be required listening in high schools, along with ones that focus on racism, refugees’ experiences, insight to middle eastern cultures and the various other areas that American ignorance exists and is capitalized on by tyrants like Trump. Start with teens and help them to learn how to think critically and for themselves. This is one example of how impressionable teens are turned into killers. Amazing expose.
The Muslim Canadian at the heart of the story is a self absorbed, neo sociopathic coward. He admits killing more than a few citizens for Isis and Allah but in the end, is concerned only for his own well being and his relationship with his Mommy. He is now considering absolving himself within the religious community. Really now. Where is your conscience?!? You killed people, destroyed families and left a wake of destruction!!! You should be punished, not processed with fellow worshippers and forgiven. This guy is depraved, no better than a school shooter. The interviewers clearly made him feel special and he opened up like a misunderstood teenager for them. The most disturbing podcast Ive ever listened to.
I became addicted to Caliphate episodes on The Daily podcast. It’s fascinating and disturbing and worth a listen.
The content is truly terrifying and eye opening and interesting! I’d like it better if they left out the useless chatter between the two main folks putting this podcast together. Nobody wants to listen to that!
This is a very intimate portrait into the life of a former isis recruit. I couldn’t wait for the next episode to come out each time I listed to a chapter.
Great listen so far. Very interesting and informative. Well done all those involved in making this
Intense reporting of the inside working is Isis . The podcast show corrupt and hippo critical a version of Islam Isis is!
As a news junkie who graduated from SU Newhouse I am hypercritical of all the new broadcasts, but this is real NY Times in depth reporting in a world class format. If you like the Daily this will hook you, the format is perfect and the subject is riveting.
So apparently he has changed his story and has said that he lied about the killing he did in Syria - he apparently did not of what he describes in the podcast.
I listened to the first 4 episodes in one day. Stellar reporting and fascinating inside knowledge. Highly recommend for anyone— but especially those interested in world events, international relations, and the politics of fear.
Crazy story, I cant wait to hear the next one. I Cant stand the ads in the middle of podcast. get them out of the way before or after the podcast.
Hear first hand the attraction of Islamic fighting and the first thing I’ve heard that humanizes the longing and also the mental trickery to get people to do horrific things
the FBI needs to interview this woman. she associates with terrorists and calls it journalism.
23 minute podcasts with advertisements is hard to get into. This could’ve been produced better, 5 episodes could’ve easily been 1.
The journalist is very brave for meeting with this man/ monster. He should be in prison for murdering two men, who probably did nothing wrong! I know American soldiers who did far less and are now serving lengthy prison sentences. He is a coward and I can’t help but hear him giggle when he talks about these atrocities. Wanted to write this as a private email but could not find where to do that.
Best podcast ever.
Incredibly informative, detailed, captivating and frightening. Outstanding research and reporting. A must-listen.
It’s so cool to hear how a nytimes journalist finds her stories and sources, especially when the story is about isis and the source has first-hand experience.
The hosts have a great story telling ability on what is going on in our world today. I wish there were more episodes. Very interesting, worth the listen.
A really fascinating and scary look into ISIS
This is an insane story, and it is nuts to hear how this person who started out relatively normal was gradually radicalized and fit into a terrorist system, and then gradually pushed further and further. No idea where it is going, but I’m along for the ride.
As a huge Podcast Fan I Can Truly Say That This PodCast Is Vivid, Detailed and Creates With A Genuine Passion That Is Clearly Conveyed Immediately After Listening To Episode 1....Amazing Work:
So capturing. I couldn’t stop listening. Great informative podcast! Keep it comin!
This is absolutely worth a listen !
Could listen to her tell stories all day. Love this podcast. Great format. Compelling storytelling.
I am so glad this series has come out. Rukmini Callimachi (and all the reporters involved) has gone all out for us. Here’s hoping this will lead to solutions.
Love Rukmini Callamachi. However, producer Andy Mills is known throughout the radio world to sexually harass young women in radio in a variety of settings, including when he was at WNYC. Despite this, he continues to get promoted because he's protected by the old boys club of public radio.
From courageous reporting to fabulous sound editing, and evocative music, Caliphate is an amazing telling of the Isis saga as experienced firsthand by a Westerner. The series delivers a powerful experience - revealing and shocking - augmented by unique music, sound effects, and editing cuts that make you feel as if you are there.
I love this podcast but I dislike that paid subscribers to NYT get exclusive access. I get why they do it, but that doesn’t mean I agree with it. It’s 2018, digital media should be free.
:) two thumbs up
Every time an episode starts playing ending music I go “nooo I want more!!!” And then impatiently wait until next week. So yeah I love this podcast. I think it’s one of the best ones around right now.
As anyone with some understanding of Sociology will recognize upon hearing this series of recordings, this ongoing war is about commercial and commercialized interests both large and small. Time - just as blood - flows as easily as sand.
It’s hard to wait each week for it to come out! Thank you to The Daily for playing the first episode because it’s fantastic. The lengths this woman goes for knowledge and truth. She’s so inspiring.
This is a fantastic, deep dive into why one person joined ISIS/ISIL and why he left. If you like Serial or solid journalism, you’ll love this podcast. When I heard that NYT subscribers could access the next episode early, I figured I would be lazy and just wait for the next podcast on iTunes, but after listening to two, I started listening through the NYT mobile app.
I’m really enjoying the reporting and it’s very interesting, but I can’t help but see the humor in the fact that the pod is sponsored by Zip recruiter while the pod is about recruiting for a terrorist organization.
Although the subject matter is compelling and the need to know “why” understandable- the giddy laughter of the reporter, when faced with tales of literal murder, and plans for mass murder, is really off putting. Would she, I wonder, laugh convivially to cajole conversational common ground from the likes of an Adolph Eichmann? It’s not remotely funny. It’s disgusting - people who, like the interview subject, who’ve committed religiously motivated, state funded murder, should be ostracized (and prosecuted). They were just following orders? Enough already. I’m shaken not only by the demeanor of the interviewed killer; he has a vapid, banal, jokey manner of an irresponsible teenager- as if he’s not actually killing real people but playing a video game, but also by the the journalist’s too. She’s articulate but totally removed from her subject’s despicable acts. Maybe she’s too terrified to deal with it outright? Like one of the cool kids she claims she was never part of, accepting of “whatever”, and giggling girlishly about an Isis flag planted over Greenland? All of it gave me chills.
Rukmini strikes me as curious, driven, smart and strong - and with humility. This is important work. Can’t wait to hear where she takes us next.
This podcast is captivating. It provides insight into a vastly mysterious, even taboo at times institution of our society that is the Caliphate. What I love most about this podcast is how the passion and years of hard work to develop this story truly shine through. Great podcast, astounding work, and a true example of excellent investigative journalism. Keep it coming New York Times!
Horrifying yet fascinating. Well- produced. And brave journalism. Looks like podcast format is promising medium for quality journalism.
Very impressive journalism. Absolutely riveting.
I agree this is a brilliant podcast with superb reporting. I was in the car listening to episode 3 and was shocked at the graphic description that I was not prepared to hear. It was very disturbing and I would have appreciated a warning prior to listening. It is an important story and needs to be told - just be ready.
Great podcast and I love the host. Very interesting topic delivered in a easy to follow way!
How this is happening around the world is just mind-boggling! Excellent and assertive reporting, as one expects from the NYT team. I smell a Pulitzer...!
Please listen to this. It is so important. Thank you for this reporting.
Fascinating and informative.
Very interesting podcast
Amazing journalism! Thank you NYT for creating this fascinating podcast. Well done- keep it coming!
And I know that it’s not a Barbs (I’m assuming that’s what everyone who knows him calls him (why wouldn’t they?)) podcast per se, but seeing as he’s set the podcasting genre’s bar so high at the Times, any submission P.B. (Post Barbs) can’t be any geek off the street, if you know what I mean. The caliphate is sinceriously, ridiculously good. A perspective and insight that nobody has ever bore witness too outside of Isis till now. Rukmini Callimachi got the interview of her career, and I for one am very grateful that she and The NY Times are presenting it to us in this fashion. Homeboy is fascinating (I’m up to episode 4) and I look forward to knowing what happens/happened to him, as he clearly can’t just disappear back into society after being the focus of this podcast. Or can he? Nawwwww....not possible. Anyway, thanks NY Times. Great podcast, and a nice break from your normal routine of laying bare the ‘real news’ about our mind numbingly incompetent President. Not enough ‘Stars’ available to give to give to you for your work.
This podcast has a high production value and it’s very interesting. I highly recommend this podcast, but I have one small complaint. Please get rid of the music at the end of each episode, because with the way it’s currently set up, you don’t notice right away that it’s the end of the episode and that music is pretty annoying.
It’s because the first two episodes were premiered on ‘the daily’ podcast. They were awesome.
Rukmini is amazing, but the scaremongery sound design is more appropriate for a horror movie than what I'd expect from the NYT. Meh.
Also could do without the 1 minute instrumental outros
Informative and pleasant to listen to—this podcast provides a welcome relief from the banter of talking heads and the alarms sounded about “breaking news.”
Concise, cogent narrative filled with deeply personal perspectives.
Am I the only one who sometimes has to check and make sure I didn’t accidentally hit the increase speed button? Sometimes she talks so so so fast! That is my only criticism.
You guys always come up with great stuff but Fatmini (sorry, I just couldn’t resist) really outdoes herself. I am on the edge of my seat waiting for episode 3. Thanks NYT and Rukmini.
Very gripping and well produced podcast. Cannot wait for more....
Rukmini Callimachi is exceptional. She’s a top-class investigative reporter capable of pulling you into her well-delivered and well-researched stories. I consider her a national treasure (thank heavens for immigrants)!
The narrating is good. Lots of details well explained. Looking forward to chapter 3. My only critique is that I would rather it be an hour long vs. 30 minutes.
Have been waiting for something like this for ages. I've followed everything Callimachi does with intense interest and this doesn't disappoint. Production value, reporting, and storytelling are of the highest quality, as one would expect from the NYTimes. I sincerely hope this podcast will have a long run (and longer episodes, too, please!).
Howdy there friends!
Good podcast but the music ... dreadful.
The first episode has been released in a Saturday publishing of "The Daily" a New York Times podcast, and is really quite compelling. I would suggest you check it out, but now this episode just came out today here. So, I've only listened to the prologue and one episode so far, but I'm hooked. Editing, production, sound engineering is top notch and very compelling journalism. I'd highly recommend giving this a listen.
Tried lecturing me recently about the costs of the "war on terror" and was demonstrably off by a few trillion dollars.
I have only listened to the first two episodes but I’m really looking forward to hearing he while series
A courageous investigation! Wonderful insight! Love the work of these journalist!
Incredible podcast so far. Love the concept and the sound design is wonderful.
Thanks NY Times for important content delivered in a way that makes for an intriguing and suspenseful listening experience. I recommend!
Generally speaking, I find myself to be predisposed to skepticism and/or ambivalence when the Back Door Pilot episode tactic is used to build interest in new shows. Despite my tendency, Caliphate was undeniably gripping from the start. If the first two episodes that previewed on Up First are any indication, I’d say Caliphate has the potential to be one of the best podcast productions of all time. I don’t often write reviews for podcasts, but the fact that people have been leaving spiteful one-star reviews out of ignorance of the advanced release for NYT subscribers prompted me to rate and review Caliphate, and most importantly, it is a truly phenomenal production.
I am a NYT subscriber so I was able to listen to Chapter 2 early. So naturally my opinion is officially valid ;). This is phenomenal reporting. Seamless, thorough and captivating. Thank you!
I’ve only heard the first three episodes but I’m really impressed with the style, candor, and informative nature of this podcast. I’m looking forward to the remainder and I recommend this podcast based on the quality of what I’ve heard so far.
This is a well-produced podcast that holds my attention with tension, facts, and a well-told narrative story.
I heard the first two episodes on The Daily. Captivating and I can’t wait for more
I just listened to the first episode, not expecting to like this podcast, but it is done in a compelling way, so I have now subscribed
I've lsitened to the first two episodes. Mad props to Rukmini Callimachi.
My teacher reccomended this podcast, but I hate that there is basically one episode...I NEED MORE!
This reporter set the standard for covering ISIS. It is a must listen to for anyone trying to understand its roots and power.
This is great! When does the next one come out?
Really NYT? “Not a Mad Man Glenn Beck Conspiracy Theory” What will the NYT claim next? “ISIS has been throwing gays off roof tops.” Geez, those pesky Glenn Beck Predictions!!
Riveting. This woman is an inspiration I want to BE her. Ahhhh!!! The reporting and production on this podcast are phenomenal. Giving Serial a run for its money. I’m obsessed!!!!
RC is an incredible reporter and this podcast grabs your attention and never lets go. Beautiful use of soundscapes to create mental scenarios.
I love hearing how Rukmini does her work behind the scenes, she's amazing! I'm sure it'll get plenty of one-star reviews from left-leaning people who are upset to learn Islam has something to do with establishing a caliphate, but that's unavoidable. It'll probably also get some one-star reviews from right-leaning people who are upset to learn that US presence in the region has greatly compounded the problem, but that's unavoidable. Hopefully the editors just let Rukmini speak and don't try to put their thumb on the scale.
Huge fan of this reporter’s work, however this podcast so far looks poorly produced and released. I hope to be proven wrong, but so far we are teased with an ill-conceived release schedule (and I am a NYT subscriber) and watered down, overly produced content.
This is excellent investigative journalism. Truly. I had a feeling this would be just another ignorant perspective on a culture that’s so poorly understood and stigmatized, but this reporter clearly has done her homework and put her life at risk endlessly to bring you TRUTHFUL, REAL journalism and answers the one question on everyone’s mind: “who are they?”. 5 stars for Caliphate & looking forward to new episodes!!!!
I’ve only listened to the first two episodes... but I have finally found something that has made me feel like Serial first did. I can’t wait for more to come!!
The journalist is on the ground at the front line looking for one answer: Who is ISIS? The stories are shocking, painful and important for us to hear. Thank you for your work. (p.s. those giving 1 star because they couldn’t access the first episode should respectfully go back now and update your review)
pretty disappointed after the first couple of “episodes”, which were basically pointless and obviously meant to just drag out the series. not sure if this is the best strategy to attract new subscribers.
I need to hear more. Just release them and let us binge! Keep up the amazing work.
Just listened to chapter 1 and I am totally hooked.
Interesting content but her voice is nerve grating. Just use your regular voice. Quit trying the sultry thing. Just talk.
Rukmini Callimachi is a gift - very grateful that her work is getting this level of promotion.
I heard the first episode on the daily and am intrigued!!!great reporting !
Such an important and difficult task: Understanding hate and violence from the context of the hated and targeted. Thank you.
I found this podcast riveting, heartbreaking and very revealing of how violence begets violence. The courage of the journalist undertaking this project astounds me. She dives into the soul of the caliphate. Another top notch production by the NYTs. Note that NYTs subscribers get advanced access to the episodes. I have listened to two.
Loved the first episode. The reporter is engrossing. The topic frighteningly fascinating. Thank you for doing this.
Very interesting podcast!!! I can’t wait for the next podcast!! Kudos to the journalist very brave. Thanks
I had to subscribe as soon as I listened to the first episode on The Daily.
A fascinating incite into a complex subject. Highly suggested if you think you understand ISIS. Just the first episode blew my mind with content I otherwise never would have experienced.
Rukmini and the team have done a great job with this one. I just listened to the first episode and I was on the edge of my seat! 5 stars!
I thought this podcast was about ISIS. It is just a self flattering look at how this journalist works. I don't know why they Times thinks that we have the time or should be interested in this self-congratulatory show whose sole purpose seems to be to convince the public that Rukmini is so fantastic. I imagine it will be interesting to aspiring journalists - but not to people who want to learn more about ISIS. I won't be listening. BTW - Rukmini also likes to talk in a whisper, which means that someone like me who lives in the city needs to close the windows to hear the podcast.
I wish to correct an assumption by a previous reviewer that the high rating given to this podcast was based upon zero episodes. You should know that this podcast is available a week early for those who have a subscription to the New York Times. Therefore, I am sure that these reviews were produced by those who have already heard the first two episodes, as I have now. This is an extremely eye-opening production, and the woman who is spearheading the reporting of this information is, I gather, also herself a Muslim. She is extremely brave, and her eye-witness and boots on the ground reporting is gripping.
I didn't want to listen to this podcast when I heard the advertisement on The Daily, but they tricked me with making a Daily episode the first episode of this podcast. The narrator is captivating. It's dark subject matter, but I am excited to keep listening. I'm glad The Daily snuck an episode into their show!
Even though I have only listened to the one available episode I’m pretty excited for the rest!
Wow that was amazing! I want to hear more! My only complaint is having to wait for the next episode. Netflix wouldn’t ensnare me with a riveting story then make me wait a week for more! (Side note: for the people who were “suspicious” of the 5 star reviews when only the trailer had been released- NY Times subscribers had early access to the podcast before it was released to the rest of us. So it’s not a conspiracy or fake news, so relax...AND LISTEN TO THIS POD, ITS FRIGGIN GRRRREAT!)
The best new podcast since Serial.
Really interesting first episode on The Daily. Looking forward to the rest of the series.
Heard the first two episodes on The Daily today (April 19). Note to those looking for more episodes—Thursday’s, or get them early as a NYTimes subscriber. Love the perspective they take, love the interview style. As a side note about perspective, they present it as a chronicle of one reporter’s experience following them. By focusing on one person’s story, they’re clearly trying not to make any blanket political statements; it seems more like the listener is welcome to draw their own opinions based on the facts of this reporter’s experience. Definitely worth a listen.
Can’t wait for the next episode to drop!
If you’re a fan of Lawrence Wright and the Looming Tower or the Terror Years, this podcast is an excellent addition to a library of coverage on a topic from a standpoint typically not covered. The one star reviews are garbage, given because they were trying to review a series based off a one minute trailer. Ignore the trolls.
The preview on The Daily had me hanging on her every word. Cannot wait to hear more.
Rukmini is an absolutely extraordinary reporter. I've heard the first 2 episodes (since I'm a NY Times subcriber) and they are brilliant.
It was released to people who have a NYT subscription
The show is super interesting! I cannot wait to listen to the rest of it. Note: the New York Times gave its subscribers early access to two episodes of the show.
(Posted as a response to the random 1 star review)
This podcast is coming out next week, and based on Rukmini Callimachi’s reporting on The Daily podcast, I am sure this podcast will be excellent! Podcasts are posted prior to their first episode so that you can subscribe and then be notified once the first episode is available. Maybe you should save your one-star ratings until you can actually make an informed decision.
If you’re going to have a subscribers only podcast, great. But learn how to set it up in Apple Podcasts so that subscribers can access it. So far the only way I can find to listen to this is through the NYTimes website, which is clumsy. I listen to another paid subscriber only podcast through this app and it works fine. Why can’t an organization as big and as savvy as the Times figure out how to do it?
I appreciate that she is humanely going to play her interviews with those persuaded to become part of Isis. I also appreciate the viewpoint there are now more terrorists and not fewer post 9/11. I’m wondering when Iraq was bombed and the hospitals destroyed if that impoverishment drove fear into people to join Isis. I don’t know. I will have to follow the reporter because I am not even a neophyte on this subject.
Just heard the first episode via NYTimes preview for subscribers and was blown away. I want to hear more of this story and I want to hear more about the journalist- she seems amazing.
Fascinated by this already. Just finished the prologue and twice during it I got goosebumps. So glad I got to hear this early as a NYT subscriber, can’t wait for more, and can’t wait for others to hear.
The first episode became available to NYT subscribers. It’s brilliantly told, I can’t wait to hear more.
In response to an earlier comment, New York Times subscribers get early access to Caliphate episodes, which likely explains the five star reviews the presumably non-subscribing commenter finds specious.
Absolutely amazing reporting and sound editing. Only the best from the NYT. Im listening as a subscriber so my 5 star rating is based off actually listening to the first two episodes.
The reason there are 5 star ratings but episodes have not been released is due to the fact that NYT subscribers were given early access. It is an amazing series and I highly recommend it!
Did this journalist get kidnapped by those fundamentalist or what? What’s the hold up?