Ben 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, 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.
In summer 2012 Ben joined Marketplace to relaunch and produce the Tech Report, now called Marketplace Tech. When David Brancaccio became the host of Marketplace Morning Report in 2013, Ben started hosting Marketplace Tech and was hired officially as host in early 2014.
He doesn't like to brag about it but over the years, Ben 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. Ben 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
Prone to spilling on yourself? A new spray-on substance called NeverWet may just be for you. The industrial liquid repellant is a few years old, but a consumer version hits shelves this week. Click on the video below to see it in action.
And tell us, would you use NeverWet and what for? Marketplace Tech host Ben Johnson suggests turning tuxedo pants into a really stylish swimsuit.
Ford Motors just released a video of what it claims is an automotive industry first: succesfully test-driving trucks with robots. Check out the video below to see their robot putting it into gear.
Medical machinery has come a long way -- and now robots are getting in on the action. Click on the video below to watch a robotic nurse bathe a bed-ridden patient autonomously.
It may move slow, but it seems to do the job. Healthcare Robotics, the company who makes the robot, reports its efficacy as such:
In our experiments, the robot removed most of the debris (>96%) on four parts of the limbs. In addition, the robot performed the wiping task using relatively low force.