Podcast Extra: A conversation with Jon Ronson

The British journalist will give a free talk on Tuesday, February 23 at the Wisconsin Union Theater.

Photo by Emli Bendixen.

Photo by Emli Bendixen.

British journalist Jon Ronson is best known for plunging readers into the lives of bizarre real-life characters and often providing grim laughs at their expense, especially in his 2000 book Them: Adventures With Extremists and the many shorter pieces collected in 2013's Lost At Sea. But when he talked with me by phone Friday afternoon from his current home base in New York City, we mostly ended up talking about empathy and vulnerability. A lot of that has to do with his 2015 book So You've Been Publicly Shamed—an indictment of what Ronson calls social media's tendency to turn people into "playthings"—but we also discussed his recent experiences living in New York, his impressions of Making A Murderer, and the adventures he shares on Instagram.

Listen to our conversation here. Ronson will give a talk on Tuesday, February 23 at the Wisconsin Union Theater, as part of the Distinguished Lecture Series. The talk is free and open to the public.

Don't forget to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes and catch WORT-FM's weeknight news show In Our Backyard, which partners with us to produce these. Thanks to Dylan Brogan for producing this interview.