After graduating with degrees in Arts & Law (Hons) from the University of Melbourne, he was awarded an Owen Fellowship to study at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, where he co-edited The Jacqueline Rose Reader (Duke University Press).
Naparstek was editor of the current affairs magazine The Monthly from May 2009 until February 2012. A collection of his magazine profiles was published by Scribe in 2009 as In Conversation and translated into Portuguese and Chinese.
From February 2012 until August 2015, he edited Good Weekend, which is inserted weekly in The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. He then moved to Special Broadcasting Service, where for two years he was head of editorial, online and emerging platforms. In May 2017, Naparstek was recruited by PR firm Edelman Australia as their content and digital director. He also sits on the board of Yourtown, an Australian not-for-profit organisation to help disadvantaged young people.
In 2013, Naparstek was publicly criticised by John van Tiggelen who became the editor of The Monthly after Naparstek's departure. Van Tiggelen accused Naparstek of underpaying female writers, and of attempts to poach writers from The Monthly.
In 2015, Naparstek's editorial conduct was publicly criticised by actress Caitlin Stasey. Emails revealed by Stasey showed Naparstek commissioned nude photos of her to accompany an interview about female empowerment she gave to Good Weekend, the publication Naparstek headed at the time. Stasey refused, and consequently had her story canned.
- The Jacqueline Rose Reader, publication details
- Coslovich, Gabriella. "Ben who?", The Age, 27 May 2009.
- "Naparstek the new editor of Good Weekend", The Sydney Morning Herald (15 December 2011)
- Bodey, Michael "Fairfax's Good Weekend editor Ben Naparstek moves to SBS", The Australian. September 3, 2015
- "SBS' online specialist Ben Naparstek to join Edelman as content and digital director". Mumbrella. 10 May 2017.
- "Our Team – Board". yourtown.com.au.
- "Naparstek, Ben's profile". Winston Churchill Memorial Trust. Retrieved 2016-11-29.
- "Monthly editor John van Tiggelen's letter to Good Weekend magazine editor Ben Naparstek". Herald Sun. Retrieved 2016-11-29.
- "Plus ca change ... The Monthly turns 10". Crikey. 2015-04-24. Retrieved 2016-11-29.
- "Caitlin Stasey lashes out at Fairfax over nude photo shoot request". ABC News. 2015-07-16. Retrieved 2016-11-29.
- Stasey, Caitlin. "When a Magazine Only Wants You If You're Willing to Pose Nude". Jezebel. Retrieved 2016-11-29.
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