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

Why your cell phone battery life still stinks

Unlike massive leaps in computing technology, batteries are tough to improve.
Posted In: batteries, battery, smart phones, apple watch

Ex Machina imagines a robot indistinguishable from man

Questioning the implications of an autonomous robot with director Alex Garland.
Posted In: Ex Machina, ai, robots
Apple Watches are seen on display during an Apple media event at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, California on March 09, 2015.

Watching the Apple Watch

To get or not to get?
Posted In: apple watch, apple

Matt Walsh on politics, comedy and 'Veep'

The actor and comedian talks about how the Internet has changed comedy.

A group of Atlanta educators caught cheating

It's being called the largest cheating scandal in American history.
Posted In: Education

Should weapons have a kill switch?

...or a "not kill" switch, rather.
Posted In: weapons, kill switch, terrorism

Is this the most elaborate Easter egg ever?

Just in time for Easter, an egg hunt through the show Archer.
Posted In: FX, Easter eggs, secrets
Jay Z, onstage at the Tidal launch event #TIDALforALL on March 30, 2015 in New York City.

Silicon Tally: $19.99 problems, but low-def aint one

How well have you kept up with the week in tech news?

Algorithm as Art

Imagine an auction where you could buy algorithms...
Posted In: algorithms, algorithm, art


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