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

Will Stringwire be a game changer for NBC News?

NBC News just bought a new startup that aims to revolutionize news gathering.
Posted In: NBC Universal, NBC, startups, streaming video

Hacking the doors of the future

"Smart homes" that can be unlocked by smart phones are around the corner, but so are hacks that will unlock the front door.
Posted In: smartphones, 3D printing, computer security

BlackBerry for sale?

The Canadian smartphone maker considers putting itself up for sale.
Posted In: Blackberry

Wikimania 2013: What's next for Wikipedia?

The online, crowd-sourced encyclopedia is thinking about a more social, inclusive future.
Posted In: Wikipedia, diversity, crowdsourcing

Should you be concerned about the NSA's surveillance programs?

Government surveillance, shifting opinions, and the end of email.
Posted In: surveillance, nsa, online privacy, email

Silent Circle's Phil Zimmermann on why it's shuttering its encrypted email service

Following Lavabit's lead, Silent Circle ends its encrypted email service so clients can avoid government scrutiny.
Posted In: online privacy, encryption, Edward Snowden

How close are we to a real-life 'Elysium'?

In anticipation of this weekend's big sci-fi epic, a look at how close we are to building a real-life space colony.
Posted In: space, movies

The spread of 'Gamification'

Major corporations and the government are creating apps and games to make non-game activities more game-like -- and they're collecting a lot of data.
Posted In: Volkswagen, Google, apps, gamification

Jeff Price's Audiam helps musicians make money from YouTube

The SpinArt Records and TuneCore co-founder's has a new company that's generating a lot of buzz.
Posted In: Music, YouTube

LG unveils the G2 smartphone

LG's flagship smartphone has features that could make it stand out in a crowded market.
Posted In: lg, smartphones


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