Sam Harnett is a reporter who covers technology and work. His reporting focuses how technology and capitalism are changing the way we think about ourselves and what it means to work. Currently, Harnett is a reporter for the PBS station KQED, and he is the co-creator of the podcast "The World According to Sound." Previously, Harnett was a freelance reporter, and his work has appeared on "The California Report," "Marketplace," "The World," and other NPR programs. Harnett received his B.A. in English from Middlebury College.
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Companies like Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash have always argued that their workers are independent contractors, not employees. This distinction has been crucial in their rise from startups to multi-billion-dollar companies.On Tuesday, Californians sided with these companies by approving Prop 22, a ballot measure that enshrines workers’ non-employee status. Why did progressive Californians side with Big Tech? And will the rest of the country follow California’s lead?Guest: Sam Harnett, Tech and Labor reporter at KQEDHostLizzie O’Leary Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Step 1: Find a comfortable place to sit. Step 2: Make sure you’re free from interruption. Step 3: Put on headphones. Step 4: Place a mask over your eyes (or just close them). Step 5: Listen to Sam Harnett and Chris Hoff of The World According to Sound take you behind the scenes of the online audio event they produced during the pandemic.
Paris Marx is joined by Sam Harnett to talk about how the flaws in tech journalism provide a distorted view of what “tech” companies are actually doing and why it looks like California will finally force ride-hail drivers to be recognized as employees (without Uber and Lyft).Sam Harnett is a reporter covering labor and tech at KQED in the Bay Area. He recently made a radio series called “How We Got to Here” and is the co-creator of The World According to Sound. Sam has an essay about the problems with tech journalism in “Beyond the Algorithm: Qualitative Insights for Gig Work Regulation.” Follow Sam on Twitter as @SamWHarnett.For more related articles, see Sam’s article about how Uber and Lyft evaded regulations for eight years, Paris’ article on why California should kick them out if they won’t comply with labor law, and Veena Dubal’s criticism of the franchise model they’re now considering.Tech Won't Save Us offers a critical perspective on tech, its worldview, and wider society with the goal of inspiring people to demand better tech and a better world. Follow the podcast (@techwontsaveus) and host Paris Marx (@parismarx) on Twitter.Support the show (
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Creator Details

San Francisco, California, United States of America
Episode Count
Podcast Count
Total Airtime
9 hours, 32 minutes
Podchaser Creator ID logo 392105