Andrew Phelps

Product director, New York Times

Andrew PhelpsTwitter: @andrewphelps
Andrew Phelps has made a career of agitating for change in media. At The New York Times, he was a co-author of the “Innovation Report,” a searing self-examination of the newsroom that led to major investments in strategy, data and audience development. Harvard’s Nieman Lab called the report “one of the key documents of this media age.” It has been downloaded more than a million times.

Phelps helped build a mobile-first culture while most people were still fixated on the desktop, and secured significant investments in mobile hiring. He led a cross-functional team to relaunch their mobile home page (40 million MAUs) in just six months. He launched a news app for Apple Watch called “One-Sentence Stories” that was celebrated by customers and featured on the front of the App Store on Day 1.

As product lead for messaging, he drove efforts to make their journalism more personal. In a year they doubled their mobile push audience, to 30 million devices. They broke ground in “conversational journalism” with coverage of the Rio Olympics via text message and an election bot for Facebook Messenger. Their cross-functional team became an internal model for collaboration.

Previously, as a reporter for Nieman Lab, he covered the intersection of news, technology, and business. His work included a data-driven analysis of Gawker’s editorial strategy that Poynter called “a piece every modern media writer should aspire to producing.” He also learned to code and developed an open-source bot called Fuego, which surfaces trending stories on Twitter.

Before that, he reported and edited for public radio in Boston and San Diego. In 2007, his reporting from the front lines of the Southern California wildfires was a daily fixture on NPR’s “Morning Edition.”

Phelps is a panelist for “Conversational journalism: How bots and artificial intelligence can get us there” at ISOJ 2017 (April 21 at 3:40 p.m.)

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