Ben Brock Johnson

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


Features by Ben Johnson

New treatment center helps shed misconceptions about Internet addiction

The nation's first inpatient treatment center for Internet addiction opens in Pennsylvania.
Posted In: Internet addiction, treatment center, Internet, Health

'Liking' something on Facebook is now protected by the First Amendment

Now when you 'like' something on Facebook, you're exercising your First Amendment rights.
Posted In: Facebook, first amendment, free speech

Apple's operating system aims to shift the way we interact with our devices

No major changes in functionality, but the look and feel of the phone will bring a dramatic change to how we interact with electronics.
Posted In: apple, iOS 7, iPhone, iPad

A change to the email inbox means marketers need to adapt

Retailers and email marketers are upset that Gmail's new updates are hurting their sales.
Posted In: email, Gmail, Google, inbox, marketing, advertising

New Miss America gets the crown with some online racism on the side

A flurry of intolerant tweets flooded Twitter after the crowning of the first Indian-American Miss America.

Grand Theft Auto 5 ships to some Amazon customers before release date

The company behind the game is not happy about the break of embargo.
Posted In: video game, grand theft auto, Tech, Amazon, embargo

The USB Condom: unfortunate name, important innovation

With all the recent talk about surveillance and online security...this is an interesting idea: A USB Condom. It's a piece of tech that makes sure you are protected from viruses when you have to plug your smartphone USB cord into an unfamiliar computer or charging station for a little juice after your battery has died. The problem being solved even has its own term: juice jacking. This issue is that USB cables connect for both power and data. The USB Condom puts up a wall so the data bits from the phone and its partner never touch. 

Want to catch a criminal? There's an app for that.

A new app built by the Homeland Security Investigations unit is designed to catch criminals through crowd sourcing.
Posted In: criminals, Crime, sexual predators, apps, cell phones, Homeland Security


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