Ben Johnson

Ben Johnson joined Marketplace in the summer of 2012 to re-launch and produce the then-named Tech Report, now called Marketplace Tech. He was officially hired as host in early 2014.

Johnson started his career in journalism in 2003, working as a features and general assignment reporter for The Day newspaper in New London, Connecticut. 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, Johnson 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. Johnson 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.

He doesn't like to brag about it but over the years, Johnson 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 and Neil Young. He enjoys and engages in 80s movie references, 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. 

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Features by Ben Johnson

Two cybersecurity agencies diverged in a wood...

The Obama administration's new cybersecurity agency versus the pre-existing one.
Posted In: cybersecurity, Barack Obama, cyberattacks

If you're happy and you know it, write a tweet

The "hedonometer" is a data-based meter that measures happiness in real time.
Posted In: happiness, Vermont, Twitter

Lending ones' eyes via smartphone

A new app helps the blind by connecting them to sighted volunteers.
Posted In: blind, app review, app
Recording artist Sia performs at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City.

Silicon Tally: Sia later

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

In prison, a cellphone is a dangerous weapon

For prison officials, blocking inmates' cellphone use is a top priority.
Posted In: cell phones, prisons, jail

How an algorithm is taught to be prejudiced

Algorithms may be learning stereotypes – and abetting data discrimination.
Posted In: algorithms, discrimination, algorithm

The movie (literally) in my mind

Virtual reality heads to Hollywood.
Posted In: virtual reality, Oculus VR, brendan iribe
An engineer inspects Roboy, a humanoid robot developed at the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory of the University of Zurich.

A responsible approach to artificial intelligence

Some say we need to understand how AI can be harmful, even if it isn’t right now.
Posted In: ai, artificial intelligence, Cortana

Silicon Tally: A bird? A plane? No, it's crystal meth!

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

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