Biography of Ben Smith (Journalist)

Biography of Ben Smith

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Who is Ben Smith?

Ben Smith is a distinguished American journalist best known as the co-founder of global news organisation “Semaphore“.

He has served as editor-in-chief at BuzzFeed News (2011-2020) and media columnist at The New York Times (2020-2022).

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Ben Smith has been honoured with several awards for his valuable contributions to journalism, including the George Polk Award (2014), the Gerald Loeb Award (2013), and the Scripps Howard Award (2018).

Physical Stats

Full name:Benjamin Eli Smith
Born:4 November 1976, Manhattan, New York, United States
Profession:American Journalist
Year Active: 2000- Present
Best Known For:Editor-in-chief at BuzzFeed News (2011-2020) and Media Columnist at The New York Times (2020-2022)
Education:Graduate- Yale University 1998
Age:47 Years
Height:5 feet 11 inches (185 cm)
Weight: 80 kg Around
Parents:Robert S. Smith and Dian G. Smith
Siblings:Rosemary Szanyi and Emlen Smith
Marital Status:Married
Spouse: Lina Zagare (m.2002)
Children: 3 (2 Daughter and 1 Son)
Net Worth: $10 million

What is the early life and family background of Ben Smith?

Ben Smith was born on 4 November 1976 in Manhattan, New York, United States. His father’s name is Robert S. Smith is a lawyer (Associate Judge Advocate of the New York Court of Appeals) and his mother, Dianne (née Goldston) (Jewish), is an author. His grandfather was also a novelist.

Smith’s childhood was spent on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. He received his primary education from Trinity School located here. He then earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Yale University in 1998.

Smith, who has been interested in journalism since childhood, first wrote for “The Yale Herald” and “The New Journal” in 1999 during his studies at Yale University.

When did Ben Smith start his career?

Ben Smith began his career as a crime reporter for “The Indianapolis Star.” He then moved to Latvia to work as a reporter for “The Baltic Times”.

In 2000, Smith returned to the United States to work for The Wall Street Journal Europe. He then worked for The New York Sun (2002–2003), The New York Observer (2003–2006), and the New York Daily News (2006–2007).

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While working at the New York Daily News, Smith founded “The Politico” in 2006, a political blog covering political turmoil in New York City. This blog gradually became famous throughout New York City.

Smith then joined BuzzFeed News as editor in chief in 2011, where he served for nearly nine years and helped transform a listserv-driven website into a respected news organisation. 

Under his leadership, “BuzzFeed News” won numerous awards, including the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.

While working at “BuzzFeed News”, he published a 35-page Steele Dossier on Donald Trump’s ties to Russia. He interviewed Barack Obama in early 2015 for BuzzFeed’s first presidential interview.

In 2020, Smith left BuzzFeed News to join The New York Times as a media columnist, where he served until 2022. He was included in place of Jim Rutenberg.

As a media columnist for “The New York Times”, he wrote about the changing media landscape and the challenges facing journalism. He also interviews some of the biggest names in the news business. He then founded his own news company “Semaphore” in 2022.

Who is the founder of Semaphore news organisation?

Ben Smith is a talented journalist who left “The New York Times” in 2022 to establish his own news company “Semaphore”.

The “Semaphore” is a new news organisation still in its early stages. At present there are more than 100 employees in this news organisation.

It publishes stories on a variety of topics including: politics, business, technology and culture. The organisation is moving to provide in-depth reporting on the Internet and technology.

According to this organisation, its official website or app has not been launched yet, but in the coming days, Semaphore will focus on producing high-quality journalism.

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What achievements has Ben Smith achieved?

Ben Smith is a respected journalist who has received numerous awards and honours during his career.

Notable awards won by him are as follows:

  • Sidney Hillman Award 2013 – For Journalism
  • Gerald Loeb Award 2014 – For Breaking News
  • National Press Foundation’s Sol Taishoff Award 2015 – For Excellence in Broadcast Journalism
  • Shorty Award 2016 – For Best Media Journalist
  • Online Journalism Award 2016 – For Explanatory Reporting
  • Pulitzer Prize 2018 – For Public Service
  • George Polk Award 2018 – For National Reporting
  • Gerald Loeb Award 2018 – For Breaking News
  • Ben Smith was included in the “100 Most Creative” list by Fast Company in 2012.
  • In 2016, Ben Smith and Jonah Peretti (co-founders of BuzzFeed) were listed by The Hollywood Reporter as the two most powerful people in media.
  • In 2017, Ben Smith and Jewish journalist Andrea Mitchell were awarded the prestigious Journalism Award of “The Jewish Daily Forward”.

How much is Ben Smith’s net worth?

Currently, Ben Smith’s net worth is estimated to be around US$10 million. Apart from being a journalist, he is also a successful entrepreneur. He is the co-founder of a “venture capital firm” in which he has invested in several startups.

Ben Smith has amassed wealth in his career as a journalist, author, and podcast host. He has worked for several major news companies during his career, including The New York Times, BuzzFeed News, and Politico. He is currently the CEO of the news organisation “Semaphore”, which he co-founded in 2022.

Who is Ben Smith’s wife and how many children does he have?

Ben Smith was married to Latvian publisher Lina Zagare in 2002. They have three children (two daughters and a son) and live in Brooklyn.

Smith and Zagare first met while working at “The New York Sun” in the early 2000s. After this both of them got married.


Overall, Ben Smith is a respected and influential journalist in the American journalism community. He has made significant contributions to American media. He is a rising star in the media industry.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is Ben Smith’s full name?

Answer: Benjamin Eli Smith

2. Where was Ben Smith born?

Answer: Manhattan, New York City, New York, United States

3. When was Ben Smith born?

Answer: 4 November 1976

4. What is Ben Smith’s alma mater?

Answer: Graduated -Yale University 1998

5. What is Ben Smith’s occupation?

Answer: Journalism

6. What is Ben Smith’s Twitter handle?

Answer: @BenjySarlin

7. What is Ben Smith’s net worth?

Answer: USD $10 Million (2023)

8. What is Ben Smith’s wife’s name?

Answer: Lina Zagare (m.2002)

9. How many children does Ben Smith have?

Answer: 3, Two Daughters and one Son

10. What is Ben Smith’s favourite book?

Answer: Ben Smith’s favorite book is “The Bonfire of the Vanities” by Tom Wolfe.

11. What is Ben Smith’s favourite movie?

Answer: “The Godfather” by Francis Ford Coppola

12. What is Ben Smith’s favourite sport?

Answer: Basketball

13. What is Ben Smith’s favourite food?

Answer: Pizza

14. What is Ben Smith’s favourite place to travel?

Answer: Italy

15. What is Ben Smith’s Height?

Answer: 5 Feet 11 inches

16. What is Ben Smith’s Nationality?

Answer: American

17. What is Ben Smith’s Weight?

Answer: 80kg

18. What is Ben Smith’s Parents Name?

Answer: Robert S. Smith and Dian G. Smith

19. How old is Ben Smith?

Answer: 47 Years

20. Who is Ben Smith?

Answer: American Journalist