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

The Chicago Tribune's kitty exclusive

Don't worry guys, the Internet has no memory, unless there's a kitten involved or something.
Posted In: newspaper, media, news

Smart houses vulnerable to virtual intruders

As the web of Internet-connected devices expands, so do the security risks.
Posted In: Internet, smart grid, cybersecurity

French man one-ups couch fort with 737 cockpit simulator

France's best dad? Laurent Aigon, a waiter in France, has built a giant 737 simulator, complete with the airplane's full cockpit, in his son's bedroom.
Posted In: France, airplanes, 737

A tale of two hacking conferences: Black Hat vs. Defcon

The biggest difference between the two? This year Defcon organizers disinvited the Feds in the wake of NSA surveillance revelations. While Black Hat's keynote speaker will be none other than NSA Director General Keith Alexander.
Posted In: hacking, NSA leaks, surveillance, malware

Channeling Nikola Tesla's electric currents today

The inventor has been cast as Thomas Edison's more magical nemesis and contemporary -- and he's currently being celebrated at the New York Hall of Science.
Posted In: inventions, electricity, New York City

Facebook cheers mobile success

Facebook's latest business results have the company and investors in high spirits today. Sales rose significantly and the mobile advertising efforts seem to be working.
Posted In: Facebook, mobile, stock, social media

Google algorithm inadvertently takes down ring of Chinese car thieves

Machines are becoming alarmingly intelligent, smart enough to root out crime.
Posted In: Google, China, scams, spam

Startup lets fans tell bands where to play

For musicians these days hitting the road is where the real money is at, as long as people actually show up to see you play. That's where tech startup Rabbl hopes to come in.
Posted In: Music, music industry, concerts, crowdsourcing

When it comes to Tumblr, sex doesn't sell

Yahoo wants blogging site Tumblr to make money, and to do that, Tumblr needs to weed out pornography.
Posted In: tumblr, Yahoo, porn, Internet, censorship

Apple keeps its shine

Investors are happy with Apple's latest business performance, but the big question is what happens when the company runs out of buyers for its high-end phones and tablets?
Posted In: apple, iPhone, iPad


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