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20/02/2017
BBC Radio 4

    15:27. Closing the discussion, Jon and Laura play us moving clips from a feature about a woman misled for years by her husband who pretended to be a deep cover CIA operative until he was revealed to be a bigamist.

    15:07. Jon hates the kind of 'authoritarian' reporting that characterises mainstream media. He retains the capacity to believe the stories he covers, doesn't dismiss them.

    14:58. An audience member asks if Jon writes everything down in advance but we learn that he doesn't: "I won't plan. I love the fact that it's free flowing." He can do this because everything he does is pre-recorded.

    14:48. Interweaving a story about being thrown into a lake in Cardiff aged sixteen with a disquisition on memory - a clip of an interview with Graham Linehan.

    14:43. Jon celebrates the speed of making radio features but he and Laura slightly disagree about the time it takes to edit a radio programme. 2 days or 4-5 days?

    14:37. Now we're hearing a clip from David Shayler's press conference at which he announced that he is a messiah. Another example of Jon's readiness to keep quiet and let the story unfold.

    14:33. Now we're hearing a clip from Jon's conspiracy programme in which he swears at 7/7 conspiracy theorist David Shayler: a huge compliance issue at the time but a hit with listeners who thought it was a blow struck for rationality.

    14:28. On the key question of critical distance, Jon says you can't be too distant and critical: you have to be respectful of even the strangest opinions: even when interviewing Robbie Williams about aiens or David Icke about lizards.

    14:22. One of Jon's big worries is alienating contributors so he's happy that Robbie loved the programme. He also remembers making a programme with Ian Paisley and being told afterwards that both republicans and loyalists involved like the programme.

    14:20. Introducing a clip from his Robbie Williams alien abductee programme, Jon says he learnt an important lesson - when to keep quiet - by allowing Robbie to take over presenting the programme, for instance.

    14:15. Introducing 'Jon Ronson On', Jon tells us that he initially wanted to bring NPR favourite 'This American Life' to Britain...

    14:09. Jon Ronson and his producer Laura Parfitt have started with their workshop about making radio features with an anecdote about how they met - visiting a sex shop in France, apparently.

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