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Watch > Episode > Jon Ronson - Gonzo Journalist For The Digital Age

Jon Ronson - Gonzo Journalist For The Digital Age


Gonzo journalist, author of “The Men Who Stare At Goats” and “The Psychopath Test”, Jon Ronson drops London Real’s studio by to talk about his latest screenwriting project “Frank” starring Michael Fassbender, how he squatted in an Islington flat in London when he was a teenager, and the advice he would give to the young Jon Ronson.

Born on May 10, 1967, in Cardiff, Wales, Jon Ronson began his career as a journalist in the late 1980s. His early work covered a range of topics, from music and popular culture to social and political issues. Ronson’s curiosity and affinity for the unusual set the stage for the distinctive style that would later define his journalistic endeavours.

One of Jon Ronson’s early breakthroughs was the publication of “The Men Who Stare at Goats” in 2004. The book, which investigated the U.S. military’s exploration of paranormal phenomena and unconventional warfare tactics, showcased Ronson’s ability to combine investigative journalism with a touch of humour and humanity. The book was later adapted into a film, further expanding Ronson’s reach to broader audiences.

What sets Jon Ronson apart in the world of journalism is his emphasis on empathy and the exploration of the human experience. Whether he’s investigating conspiracy theorists, exploring the world of psychopathy, or examining the impact of social media shaming, Ronson approaches his subjects with a genuine desire to understand their perspectives. This empathetic lens allows him to create nuanced and compelling narratives that resonate with readers.

In “The Psychopath Test,” published in 2011, Ronson delves into the world of psychiatry and the question of what defines a psychopath. The book explores the consequences of labelling individuals as psychopaths and the broader implications for society. Once again, Ronson’s storytelling is characterised by a delicate balance of humour, curiosity, and thought-provoking insights.

Continuing his exploration of contemporary issues, Jon Ronson turned his attention to the phenomenon of public shaming in the age of social media. “So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed,” published in 2015, investigates the consequences of online shaming and the impact it has on individuals’ lives. Ronson raises important questions about the nature of public discourse and accountability in the digital age.

Jon Ronson’s foray into documentary filmmaking has further extended his exploration of unique and thought-provoking subjects. “The Secret Rulers of the World” and “Jon Ronson: A Critical Film for our Times” are just two examples of Ronson’s ability to translate his journalistic style into visual storytelling, providing audiences with a deeper understanding of the issues he investigates.

Jon Ronson’s career is a testament to the power of insightful journalism that combines curiosity, empathy, and a unique storytelling voice. From books to podcasts and documentaries, Ronson’s work invites audiences to think critically about the world around them. By exploring the quirky, the unusual, and the sometimes uncomfortable aspects of society, Jon Ronson has carved out a distinctive niche in journalism that continues to captivate and challenge readers and viewers alike.


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