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

Apple gets hit for e-book price fixing

A federal judge ruled this morning that Apple colluded with five major U.S. publishers to fix e-book prices.
Posted In: apple, ebooks, anti-trust

Christie's auctions off Apple 1 computer for $390,000

Christie's auctioned off one of the world's first Apple computers for $390,000 today. Why was the price so high?
Posted In: apple, macintosh, auctions

In Egypt, protests or coup? Wikipedia decides

The semantics debate on Wikipedia could have real world consequences.
Posted In: Egypt, morsi

Shazam gets $40 million from Carlos Slim

Slim's money will help the app, which was an early favorite for smartphone owners, grow its user base ahead of a rumored IPO.
Posted In: shazam, Carlos Slim, Music, apps

Pebble smartwatch hits the big time, or at least the Best Buy

The Pebble smartwatch goes on sale today at Best Buy. Will consumers actually want to read text messages and listen to music from their wrists?
Posted In: smartwatch, pebble, Best Buy, wearable tech

Daughter mines social media to track down father's killer

Joselyn Martinez says her own Internet legwork was the key to catching her father's escaped murderer over 25 years later.
Posted In: social media, Crime, big data, Internet

Upworthy aims to turn viral into meaningful

There's a new video website that wants you to stop watching cat videos and start paying attention to things that matter.
Posted In: social media, Internet, media

DIY planes in Kenya

In Kenya, a growing group of amateur aviation enthusiasts are building homemade flying machines out of everything from junk metal to old car engines.
Posted In: airplanes, DIY, Africa, Kenya

Fireworks Tech: Behind the scenes

Displays are getting more impressive thanks to new technologies like computerized electronic matches and synchronized music.
Posted In: Fourth of July, fireworks, Tech, New York

Jay-Z goes platinum on Samsung Galaxy

Rap Mogul Jay-Z releases one million copies of his new album "Magna Carta Holy Grail" today to one million Samsung Galaxy S4 owners.

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