Outlet Spotlight: The Children in the Pictures
"Australian police were leading the world in fighting these types of crimes against children”
Since their emergence in the first decade of the 21st century, online social networks have become perhaps the defining feature of our modern existence. Through their reach and power they enable the transmission of ideas and information in ways that would have been thought impossible just a generation ago. But the capacity of these systems to enable the sexual exploitation of children at scale is a topic rarely discussed in such harrowing detail as it is in LiSTNR’s The Children In The Pictures, an 8-part podcast series hosted by documentary maker Akhim Dev.
The episodes focus on Taskforce Argos, an elite team within the Queensland Police Force as they investigate and infiltrate one of the Dark Web’s most secretive child exploitation networks known as The Love Zone. They’re considered an authority in combating this so their level of expertise and insight was hugely valuable,” says Jennifer Goggin, LiSTNR Original Podcasts’ Head of Factual and Drama. “They educate law enforcement agencies globally on what they have learnt about the reality of these networks.”
The team wanted to ensure that their telling of the story was sensitive to the victims discussed and would not impact any pending convictions. “To do this we engaged trauma specialists, psychologists, and engaged police forces around the world who had worked on investigations related to The Love Zone. All of whom can be heard in the series and helped ensure we were being respectful,” says Jennifer. The team behind the podcast have also worked hard to ensure that all information presented is accurate. “We worked with law enforcement agencies, courts, journalists, legal teams, conducted fact-checks, and consulted with regards to both the victim impact side and perpetrator psychology side.”
“When Simon Nasht and Akhim Dev pitched a podcast about the growth and sophistication of this horrific crime, as well as documenting the Australian police who were leading the world in fighting it felt like a perfect fit for us to collaborate on,” says Jennifer. “We hope that the insights into the growth and sophistication of this type of crime, how the perpetrators operate and how victims are affected for the rest of their lives will drive listeners to take action.”
New episodes of The Children In The Pictures are released Thursdays. The podcast can be heard on the LiSTNR app.