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
Deep Space Industries takes mining to infinity and beyond; The benefit of employee benefits at Google
18. You will mess up. I will take away your phone. We will sit down and talk about it. We will start over again. You & I, we are always learning. I am on your team. We are in this together.
Read the rest of the contract here.
Yes yes, we all know, the Pope will officially start tweeting today. But who does he follow? Not God -- not on Twitter at least. (Must...not...make..."direct messages from God" joke....here).
The Pope follows only seven people, which are actually seven other versions of himself. It's part of the Vatican's strategy -- explained in part to me for today's show by the company's Claire Diaz-Ortiz -- to get the message out in 8 different languages. Maybe the non Italian or non English-speaking versions of the Pope all retweet the original? Or they want people like me to look at the users that the Pope is following (which totally worked), and follow some of the Pople clones (which didn't work).
We can assume different popular Twitter users take entirely different approaches when it comes to choosing who to follow. I find it interesting that the Pope follows no one but other versions of himself. At least he's more discerning than President Barack Obama, right?
In all seriousness, it'll be interesting to watch how one of the most famous religious leaders of the world -- and his people -- take to the social media. I hope even the Holy Father gets to toss out some good Pope jokes in the stream.