Written by Brendan O’Meara
“Surprise is one of the biggest weapons you have as a journalist to affect people emotionally.” — Brin-Jonathan Butler
“The juice for me with journalism is not money or recognition. My ego is tied into access.” — Brin-Jonathan Butler
Two pics? Whaaaaaaat? His photos rival Eva Holland’s irreverent, dare I say, get-the-fuck-out-of-my-face pic from Episode 15.
Butler is one of the smartest people I’ve ever spoken with. There’s a level of thinking and depth you don’t often hear from someone who’s in their mid-30s. You expect it from, say, George Saunders, but listening to Butler speak was a treasure for me and I hope so for you.
Like Holland, Glenn Stout, and Charles Bethea, Butler never studied journalism, yet he’s one of the best at his craft. I sense a theme that some of the best at this craft aren’t journalists by trade, but people who have a keen sense for language, are widely read, and think long and hard about the work. They aim for impact, not a sound bite.
You should also listen to him on the Longform Podcast from back in 2014. Pairing that interview with mine will give you tremendous insight into Butler’s mind.
Here’s a bunch of links to Butler’s work:
Buffalo and Wide Right, Broken Hearts and No Illusions
Myths Made Flesh: Last Breaths in a Spanish Bullring
The Poison Oasis
The Kindle Singles Interview with Mike Tyson
Errol Morris: The Kindle Singles Interview
The Domino Diaries
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