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Chris began his career as a primary school teacher before moving into acting. He is now The Guardian’s Head of Editorial Innovation, having started out as the Audience Editor in the London newsroom, a role he originated.
Using data and disruption in digital journalism
Chris built and led the team responsible for finding the widest, most relevant audience for The Guardian’s outstanding digital journalism. He defined the concept of responsible reach – finding huge audiences by embracing core journalism rather than writing about cats and Kardashians – and has been critical in defining best digital practice at The Guardian. In the last few years he led the project to use data to help editors become more efficient and significantly reduce the number of unread stories, reinforcing the value of editorial curation and helping readers understand a complex world. His challenge is how to structure and present data in ways that make sense to journalists in a modern newsroom and that leads to positive, meaningful change in an industry under siege from disruptors.
Chris’ Role at The Guardian
He is the lead strategist and co-creator of Ophan, a hack day project that developed over five years into what is now The Guardian’s the most advanced real-time data analytics tool. It acts as a bedrock for newsroom digital strategy. This work has led to him being the bridge between Editorial and Product, and he is responsible for developing new products and features in a way that builds on the Guardian’s specific expertise and values, and differentiates them from competitors within the industry and platforms outside it.
He uses data in the newsroom to execute strategic projects like content reduction and identifying opportunities for new features and ideas that capture the unique voice and values of the Guardian.
Chris has also recently written about the impact of generative AI and ChatGPT on the Guardian.