EP4: Jonathan Franklin: An Award-Winning Journalist's Life-Altering Stories Behind The Scenes


In today’s episode I want to introduce you to someone that inspires me to stay outside of that box of normalcy as much as possible. Jonathan Franklin is an investigative journalist that has chronicled some of the most fascinating stories from the world of kidnappers to trauma survivors.

He is on a quest for not only positive narratives but also articulating the survivorship of people against all odds. I was so honored when he shared with me what it was like to spend a year with Salvador Elveringa trying to learn about him and write his story. This is the fisherman that survived 438 days lost at sea and I have to tell you that some of his takeaways from that encounter and writing that novel are deep truths we can all take into our own day to day lives.

“More often than we think, we’re going to make it through.” (Click to tweet!)

~ Jonathan Franklin

We spent time talking about the difference between those that make it through the most challenging events you can imagine, and those that don’t. He also recounted his time “camping with killers” and some of the most dangerous moments of his life.

My time with Jonathan, listening to his stories and what he has learned, left me breathless. I’m so looking forward to hearing what connects most for you. Please connect with me on Instagram to let me know what you thought of this conversation.

More About Jonathan Franklin

Jonathan is a veteran investigative reporter with 21 years writing for the Guardian, The New York Times, GQ and Esquire magazine. He is the author of the novel 438 Days: An Extraordinary True Story of Survival at Sea which Outside magazine called the best survival novel in a decade. He is also the author of the book 33 Men: Inside the Miraculous Survival and Dramatic Rescue of the Chilean Miners. To learn more about Jonathan you can visit his website and also follow him on Twitter.

Listen to Episode 4 Below:


In This Episode, We Talk About:

  • What happened in his life early on that put him on this path telling stories of survival

  • His time covering the drug war and how he felt like he was wasting energy and nothing was changing. That’s when he started seeking out good news stories

  • He shares his experience “camping with killers” and what he learned

  • Why he isn’t usually afraid

  • How Jonathan is able to listen without judgment

  • The idea that being a journalist puts your face to face with your prejudices

  • His experience interviewing Timothy McVeigh

  • The man behind the story of 438 - Salvador Elveringa and how Jonathan got Salvador to open up to him about his experience and the process of writing the book

  • How he witnessed Salvador opening up over the course of writing the book and process his own experience and trauma

  • How writing that book changed Jonathan’s life personally How Jonathan feels about witnessing people’s stories

  • What Jonathan’s 7 daughters think about what their dad does for a living

  • Jonathan’s appreciation of humor in survival and the idea that “a sense of humor deficit can be fatal”

  • That it’s easier to understand people if you go back into their history

  • The most dangerous moment of his life - still too dangerous to talk about

  • The toughest loss in his personal life

  • And so much more!

Things We Mention In This Episode


Here’s How To Subscribe & Leave A Review:

Do you want to get notified when I release new episodes so you don’t miss a thing? Click here to subscribe to the podcast in iTunes. Not on iTunes? No problem! The podcast is available on all of your favourite podcast apps like Stitcher, Spotify, Google Play and more.

And it would mean the world to me if you’d leave a rating and review on iTunes. I’d love to know what you think of the podcast and how I can make it better for you. Plus iTunes podcast reviews and ratings are really important to help get the podcast in front of more people to uplift and inspire them too, which is the ultimate goal. You can leave a review right here.

Please continue the conversation with me @christinarasmussen7 on Instagram.


NOTE: Please note, this episode contains adult themes, including talk of gun-related violence, terrorism and explicit talk of the realities of war. Please take good care of yourself if these topics are triggering or leave you feeling extra tender. If you’re struggling with mental health issues, support is available 24/7 through the Suicide Prevention Hotline, 1-800-273-8255.