Ben Brock Johnson

Ben Johnson is the host of Marketplace Tech and the digital-only podcast Codebreaker. He joined Marketplace in 2012 and officially became the host of Marketplace Tech in early 2014.

Ben started his career in journalism in 2003, working as a features and general assignment reporter for The Day newspaper in New London, Conn. While there, he won a regional award for feature writing and was recruited to write a weekly entertainment column for the Tribune Media Service wire service. In 2006, Ben relocated to New York City to be an entertainment and music reporter at the Staten Island Advance newspaper, where he soon moved into hard news, working the cops beat and as a weekend city desk editor.

In 2010, he began to work as a freelance web producer at The Takeaway, a national radio show produced out of New York’s WNYC Radio in partnership with WGBH, The New York Times and the BBC. Ben went on to be a freelance radio producer at WNYC, serving as the digital editor for The Takeaway while also doing live and features reporting for the station on everything from Occupy Wall Street to New York's last functioning ship graveyard. While working at WNYC, Ben started blogging for Slate Magazine's breaking news blog, The Slatest.

In 2012, Ben left WNYC to manage a partnership between Slate and YouTube, producing daily breaking news videos and other content for SlateV, the magazine's video department. He also wrote regularly for Slate's Future Tense blog and drew the extreme ire of his fellow Radiohead fans by asking the band to stop touring.

Ben doesn't like to brag about it, but over the years, he has interviewed Jay-Z, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Luciano Pavarotti, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, Josh Homme, Biz Stone, Guy Kawasaki, Col. Chris Hadfield, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Neil Young and more. He enjoys and engages in ’80s movie references, plus pie baking and high-fives. His Twitter feed has never been polluted by a subtweet. His interest in swimming knows no bounds, especially if there is a high-dive and a high-five involved. 



Features by Ben Johnson

Prisoners could be an untapped resource for startups

One former inmate uses coding to help those still in prison.
Posted In: prison, linkedin, jail

Connecting inmates with their children through books

The TeleStory program lets inmates read to their children through a video connection.

Video visitations gain popularity in prison system

But is it a suitable replacement for in-person visits?
Posted In: prisons, jail, video

Silicon Tally: Fashionably late to technology

How well have you kept up with the week in tech news?
Participants work at their their laptops at a computer hackers' congress.

Paul Ford on ‘What Is Code?’ and why we should care

Most users don't know about programming. Ford wants to fix that.
Posted In: computers, coding, software

Silicon Tally: These are not the fridges you're looking for

How well have you kept up with the week in tech news?
The Uber app is seen on a smartphone.

Silicon Tally: How many researchers does it take...

How well have you kept up with the week in tech news?

Silicon Tally: All of the Netflix

How well have you kept up with the week in tech news?
Posted In: silicon tally

Silicon Tally: Hashtag POTUS

How well have you kept up with the week in tech news?
Marketplace's Ben Johnson takes (virtual) flight using the simulator Birdly.

Taking virtual reality beyond video games

Marketplace Tech host Ben Johnson flew over New York and lived to tell us about it
Posted In: simulator, flying, technology


With Generous Support From...

Sustainability Coverage

  • The Kendeda Fund
  • Wealth & Poverty Coverage

  • The Ford Foundation