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

Former AOL CEO Steve Case on the web's 'third wave'

The venture capitalist discusses how the web has changed 30 years from AOL's start
Posted In: aol, sxsw interactive, sxsw 2015, Internet

Silicon Tally: SXSW Edition

How well have you kept up with the week in tech news?
Posted In: sxsw 2015, sxsw interactive
Drones need to be able to carry more and fly farther before they'll be a viable replacement for ground shipping.

Drones have still got a long way to go

A Swiss company is looking to the air to cut transportation costs in Africa.
Posted In: drones, Africa, infrastructure, bbc world service
CEO Riley Eynon-Lynch pitches his education technology startup Pear Deck at the SXSWedu Launch event Tuesday, March 10, 2015 in Austin, Texas

Social and emotional learning emerges at SXSWedu

LearningCurve's Adriene Hill explains a growing trend at this year's conference.
Posted In: sxsw, sxsw 2015, south by, Education, technology, social learning, emotional learning, edtech, SXSWedu

Oh, the panels you'll see!

#fakeSXSW strikes again.
Posted In: sxsw 2015, sxsw interactive, sxsw

Why you might want to wait for Apple Watch 2

First generation products are about convincing you that the product is cool.
Posted In: apple watch, Apple Store
Google is looking to make the big move to Mountain Valley.

Google’s new Googley Office

And why Mountain View, CA is not exactly thrilled.
Posted In: Google, office, Silicon Valley

Silicon Tally: Love me Tinder, Love me Sweet

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

Building a private email server

...and why it is such a difficult process.
Posted In: email, hillary clinton, online privacy

The Sound of Computers

Matt Parker, a sound artist, collects audio from the early days of computing.
Posted In: Playing with Machines, digital music, computers


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  • The Ford Foundation