About Khari Johnson

I’m a reporter, storyteller, and senior staff writer covering artificial intelligence for VentureBeat.

Before joining VentureBeat, I worked for publications like AOL’s Patch, Business 2.0 Magazine (now part of CNN Money), and San Diego News Network, and I’ve had my writing published by Real Future (now part of Univision), the San Francisco Chronicle, and Voice of San Diego.

In 2016, I was the first hire at VentureBeat to create what is now the AI Channel, a small reporting team that seeks to take a comprehensive look at the AI industry and the ways the technology is being integrated into businesses, society, and the lives of individuals. This work requires staying up to date on a range of subjects ranging from deep learning and robotics research to  semiconductors and cloud computing industry developments as well as understanding the ethical implications and societal impact of the negative ramifications of algorithmic bias. Doing this requires keeping up with academic research labs, AI startups, and Big Tech companies like Amazon, Facebook, and Google.

As part of my work at VentureBeat, I write the AI Weekly, a newsletter that taps into the zeitgeist of topics top of mind in the AI community.

When I’m not writing stories I jump into conversations at conferences. Before the COVID-19 pandemic I participated in or moderated conversations at conferences like C2 in Montreal, SXSW in Austin, Slush in Helsinki, TechBBQ in Copenhagen, and numerous VentureBeat-related events.

More recently, I’ve moderated panels about the evolution of facial recognition policy for the World Economic Forum, and the spread of misinformation in Black and Brown communities ahead of the 2020 election for a joint NABJ-NAHJ conference.

Prior to joining VentureBeat, in 2015 I worked with Wired cofounder John Battelle and former MIT Sloan Management Review executive editor Jimmy Guterman at NewCo to create an editorial voice and first editorial product, the NewCo Daily newsletter. NewCo builds community among businesses in cities around the world interested in both purpose and profit.

As an editor at Patch from 2010 to 2014 I built a relationship with the local community and worked alongside contributors on original reporting ranging from crime to politics to breaking news. To make local government more accessible to city residents, as editor of Imperial Beach Patch I wrote the Your Town column to explain upcoming city council agendas in plain English.

I’m also founder of Through the Cracks, a project started in 2014 to help bring underreported stories to light and empower media entrepreneurs around the world. Our stories and insights have been quoted or republished by Nieman Reports, Columbia Journalism Review,  Knight Digital Media Center, MediaShift, American Journalism Review, Global Investigative Journalism Network, and Nonprofit Quarterly, among others.

I’ve reported stories across California, Colorado Springs and South Florida. I’ve also reported from Mexico, Holland, Denmark, Italy, France, Turkey and as far east as the borders of Syria and Iraq. In 2008 I was one of two reporters sent to Denver to cover the Democratic National Convention for the South Florida Sun Sentinel’s politics blog. As part of the Europe in the World program in 2005-06 I joined students from eight countries across Europe to report stories across the continent.

I’m a member of Bay Area Storytellers of Color, the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) and the Online News Association (ONA).

If you’re a young writer interested in a career in tech journalism, feel free to DM me on Twitter if I can be of help in any way. If you’re interested in hearing more about my background you can take a look at my resume.