BBC World Service and CBC Podcasts partner on true crime podcast

by | Jan 18, 2023 | News

The BBC World Service and CBC Podcasts are launching a true crime podcast called Love, Janessa on January 23. Available via BBC Sounds, CBC Listen and podcast apps, the eight-part series delves into the murky world of online romance scams to find an adult entertainment star who is the unwitting human face of a digital con.

Hosted by journalist Hannah Ajala, the subject of the podcast is Janessa Brazil, whose stolen images are being used as part of global catfishing schemes. The series explore who Brazil is and asks whether she has any idea that her image is being exploited.

The investigation takes listeners from the UK to Italy, West Africa and the US. Ajala asks how and why Janessa’s images have been misused to con people out of so much money and speaks to victims who have fallen prey, as well as individuals who run romance scams. Jon Manel, Podcast commissioning editor, BBC World Service, said: “In this immersive podcast, Hannah Ajala draws in listeners, taking them down one unexpected path after another and explores the many layers of a serious online crime.”

Love Janessa is produced by Antica Productions and Telltale Industries. It is the first of three planned projects involving the UK’s BBC World Service and Canada’s CBC Podcasts.

Arif Noorani, director of CBC Podcasts, says: “Love, Janessa – the first in our collaboration with the BBC World Service – exemplifies best-in-class when it comes to reporting, storytelling and overall sound design. This world-spanning, in-depth investigative series is a clear demonstration of our commitment to rich narrative storytelling and creating work for global audiences. We’re excited for people to listen!”

Hannah Ajala has spent the past two years in West Africa working on a range of stories and broadcasting for organisations such as the BBC. She also runs the platform “We Are Black Journos”. A trailer for Love, Janessa is available now on BBC Sounds.

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