Read Making Headlines by Chris Mitchell Online


As editor-in-chief of The Australian, Chris Mitchell ran the largest stable of journalists with the largest editorial budget in the country for more than twelve years. This entertaining and deeply revealing book offers readers riveting insights into the quirks and foibles of some of the most powerful politicians and media executives this country has produced.A controversiaAs editor-in-chief of The Australian, Chris Mitchell ran the largest stable of journalists with the largest editorial budget in the country for more than twelve years. This entertaining and deeply revealing book offers readers riveting insights into the quirks and foibles of some of the most powerful politicians and media executives this country has produced.A controversial figure throughout his quarter of a century as a daily editor, Chris Mitchell still maintains close regular contact with past prime ministers, editors and media CEOs. Making Headlines highlights the judgements and thinking that govern daily newspaper journalism at the highest level and the battles fought to publish tough stories about the rich and the powerful, the disenfranchised and the powerless.Making Headlines is compulsory reading for citizens who care, the political class inside the beltway and beyond, and wannabe journalists in search of a job....

Title : Making Headlines
Author :
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ISBN : 9780522870701
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 277 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Making Headlines Reviews

  • John Martin
    2019-06-05 10:55

    I hope the author of this book, Chris Mitchell, doesn't mind me plagiarising one of his ideas.He opens his acknowledgements with: "I would like to thank my four children, my ex-wives and my beautiful wife Cathy for supporting ..."I don't know how many former wives he's talking about? Has he accumulated as many ex-wives as his boss, Rupert Murdoch, for instance? Maybe it's a News Limited thing. All I know is the main comic character of my new novel, Major B.S. has had way more kids and has probably had many more wives, and I'd now like to amend my book so he has a segment to thank them too for their contributions over the years.Now that's off my chest, I'd like to give this book three stars. Having been around newspapers, news rooms and journalists for the past 58 years, I consider myself a bit of a student in the area of the media. As such, this book provided some of the anecdotes, and political and industry insight, I craved.The thing is though, how do I know anything at all in this book is accurate? I remember when The Australian reported things pretty much straight down the middle but Mitchell is the man who proudly takes the credit for moving the newspaper heavily to the right. He is quite critical in the book of most people left wing and I didn't see him taking even an eensie teensy bit of blame for the rise of the luny right in politics. I'll leave it to others to consider that.He derides Kevin Rudd for setting up a clandestine meeting in a disused sauna so he could dish dirt on Wayne Swan. If that's true, it's truly bizarre. But consider this: there were two men in that sauna. The other man swilling around the same cesspool was Chris Murphy, who gladly published the dirt he was dished up over a silver-service dinner.My final observation is about the blurbs by people on the front and back of the book. It was terribly nice of Noel Pearson, Paul Kelly and Greg Sheridan to say nice things about the book. Surprise of surprises, Murphy says nice things about the three of them inside the book too! Hey, I wonder if I can get Major BS to say nice things about himself on the front of my novel too?

  • 4triplezed
    2019-06-08 10:12

    (EFA) As editor-in-chief of The Australian Chris Mitchell ran into the ground this intellectually limited mouth piece owned by a US plutocrat. A loss making publication it has failed to make a cent even with the largest editorial budget in the country for more than twelve years. This complete fantasy, deeply reveals to the white mono cultured male over 55 reader who will read this drivel without thought, hardly anything insightful into the quirks and foibles of some of the most powerful politicians and phone hacking News Corp media executives that fit into it's limited world view. Though a controversial figure due to being derisively called The Order of Lenin Hunter by those who have known him throughout his quarter of a century as a daily editor, Chris Mitchell maintained close regular contact with past prime ministers, editors and media CEOs and with that has blown whatever credibility he ever had with any of them by revealing all private and confidential conversations. Making Headlines highlights his bad judgements and thinking that has caused a massive circulation drop of the only national daily newspaper, now nicknamed the Qantus Club times due to it being the only place one can find this garbage newspaper. His journalism is of such the poor level that he actually writes columns bitching about youth radio to the only readers he has, generally over 55 year old middle class males who have forgotten their own youth and also think that they have had a tough life. He really thinks he has fought battles to publish tough stories about not only youth radio but historians he dislikes and that toughest of all battles, defending his plutocratic boss's deranged world view.Making Headlines is compulsory reading for the only class that care about this rot, that being the political class who live in the rarefied air of never having worked hard in their life and wannabes of the lowest of the low in terms of employment, journalists.

  • Ian
    2019-05-21 04:01

    GrandioseSelf-opinionated; that's autobiography! Found this to be a one-sided rant about the rightist approach of The Oz and the failures of Aunty ABC. Not what I would describe as reflective or a contemplation about standards of journalism in Australia. Not quite "fake news"...

  • Augiemarch
    2019-06-14 11:16

    Without a doubt The Australian is a quality broadsheet, and so it should be, having the largest editorial budget and largest stable of journalist of any newspaper in Australia. Unfortunately Mitchell’s memoir of his time as editor of The Australian has a similar tone as the newspaper itself. Continued expressions of superiority, righteousness, bitchy comments and an ever-lasting justification of every thing he did. If Mitchell ever made a serious mistake in his professional life you will not find it in this book. A reviewer said that the book was “a love letter to himself.” I would describe it as a full on self-fellatio. Mitchell is Mr Perfect. He believes he has high standards and is dismissive of others who, in his eyes don’t meet these standards. I would argue that he is dismissive of anyone who disagrees with him.Mitchell never mentions the vindictiveness of his paper and how they would hound and crucify people who they disagreed with. Remember Duncan Storrar who had the audacity to ask a question on the ABC’s Q&A? Gillian Triggs?Mitchell mentions that he went to a party in Sydney’s inner-West and came away feeling vilified by the trendy, chardonnay sipping, smashed avocado eating, left wing sycophant! Oh my heart bled for him. I would have as a guess that he never ventures west of Norton Street.Mitchell’s relationship with Murdoch is similar to Murdoch’s relationship with his other senior executives in News Ltd. They are not subservient but they are certainly on the ‘same page’ as Murdoch on all major issues.What is worthwhile from this book is his relationship with recent Australian Prime Ministers. Mitchell and his paper upset all of them at sometime. Why they dignify what The Australian writes by contacting and berating Mitchell is beyond me. Surely they should live by the dictum that if they take the opposite view of The Australian then they would be undoubtedly closer to the true and correct view. Kevin Rudd come across as a complete fool, with Abbott not far behind.One little sideline I found interesting was when he touched on education. He would use the out dated term ‘headmaster.’ He writes that his present wife is a teacher. I wish she would tell him that no one in education uses that term, its ‘principal.’When people write memoirs and do not have lengthy diaries to qualify what they write how they can recall verbatim conversations that were held so long ago? But then again it was probably due to Mitchell’s super human powers of knowing the correct view about everything.I think many in Australia over estimate the impact that The Australian has on the lives of ordinary Australians. Most don’t read it and when you read the letters-to-the-editor it is just an echo chamber for its readers’ voices. They religiously agree with everything written in the paper.If you are a political junky then do go ahead and read Mitchell’s book. If your bias’ are strongly against Murdoch, News and The Australian then this book will only aggravate you even more.

  • Paul
    2019-05-25 12:05

    Newspapers are essential for lining the bottom of our bird's cage.I can tell you right now that journalists are not my favourite people and I feel far less depressed these days because I stopped reading newspapers years ago. So when a friend gave me a copy of Making Headlines, I was not jumping out of my skin to read it...even if it was written by the editor of Australia’s foremost newspaper.According to Chris Mitchell, politics, my least favourite subject, is almost all that newspaper editors live, eat and breathe. Politics fills about 70% of this book, and it is mostly concerned with, who I consider to be (with the exception of John Howard) Australia’s worst Prime Ministers ever. Mitchell gives a positive account of most of the PM’s, even Guillard whom I particularly despise, but I got the distinct impression he didn’t want to burn any bridges by badmouthing them. Maybe he's just a good bloke who loves everyone. He might have had a few slight tilts at Kevin Rudd, but I think everyone knows that guy was just plain weird.I’m afraid the excessive political content just bored me, but I did find the insights into Rupert Murdoch and his family very interesting. Murdoch is nothing like I imagined him to be and certainly not the monster some opposition media make him out to be. Mitchell does cover issues that made big headlines in recent history and he does drift away from political matters from time-to-time, but inevitably harks back to the boring goings-on in Canberra.I think the writing style is polished, as you would expect from someone whose living is writing, but ultimately, I found the book about as interesting as watching grass grow.

  • Maureen
    2019-05-28 10:11

    I am no fan of Murdoch newspapers but wanted to read this book to better understand their internal workings. Many people believe that Rupert has his hands on the day-to-day issues his papers editorialise, but it is much simpler than that. He simply employs editors like Mitchell who share his libertarian, free market world view and then leaves it largely to them.Chris Mitchell, like Rupert, believes an editor has a right, even responsibility, to steer the political discourse, and outcomes if possible, to these ends. The book is full of stories of every Prime Minister from John Howard to Tony Abbott, of restaurant dinners, dinners at The Lodge and Kirribilli House, drinking afternoons at Mitchell's home. The intention of all of these was to influence government towards his and his boss's political agenda. He is scathing of other papers whose editorials push a counter opinion, calling it 'activist journalism' and The Australian's is...............what exactly?? Mitchell believes he and his boss were knights in shining armour, saving us all from our elected representatives.Stories that particularly interested me were Tony Abbott's admission to Mitchell that he didn't put Joe Hockey on the field in their university rugby days because Joe ate too much, drank too much, got up late, was generally lazy and couldn't be counted on to arrive at the game on time. Not great characteristics for a treasurer it was pointed out, but it was excused on the grounds of Tony's 'loyalty' to old friends. Now he is eating, drinking and sleeping in Washington on the public payroll.Another piece of interest was that the only person who ever 'demanded' he sack a writer was not a politician, but Peta Credlin, demanding he sack Nikki Savva. To his credit he did not. Rupert and Mitchell told Abbott that he needed to dump both Hockey and Credlin to save himself, but he chose to keep both and the rest is history. When Mitchell became editor in 2002, he consciously took the paper further to the right, believing that it had drifted too far towards the left over asylum-seekers, a view in lockstep with Murdoch's.A worthwhile read, though a depressing one for those of my political and social persuasion.

  • Greg
    2019-05-23 11:55

    Hmmm, riveting in parts, but dragged badly in others. Worked in that environment for a number of years so enough to pique my interest but not sure of its mass appeal.

  • Kim Wingerei
    2019-05-28 09:10

    An interesting read, although fascinating that a man who has spent his whole working life editing and directing other people’s writing writes without much flair. It is the subject matter that kept me going, not the prose. It is also not an autobiography, it offers almost no insight into the man, only his work. Maybe to be expected as he seems to have been completely consumed by it.Chris Mitchell was no doubt very, very good at what he did. As editor of The Australian he would have had to be good to continue to please the Murdoch family and their henchmen, men like Ken Cowley and John Hartigan, hard and uncompromising task masters all. Disappointingly, it offers only limited insight into Rupert and Lachlan. Most instructive is an anecdote about a tennis match where Rupert insisted on being allowed more than two serves. As someone who has played tennis (poorly) against better tennis players all my life, I still find that an abhorrent notion. But then again I am neither ultra competitive, nor a billionaire.Where this book excels is in describing the close symbiosis between the senior journalists and editors of the major newspapers and the various prime ministers encountered on Mitchell’s watch. Howard, Rudd, Gillard and Abbott each get a chapter. Not surprisingly Howard comes out notionally “best”, Gillard more surprisingly not at all unflattering, either. It is a testament to Mitchell that even though he has been a close mate of Kevin Rudd all his adult life, he does not hold back in revealing his, ahem, idiosyncrasies in great detail. Tony Abbott comes out smelling like the metaphorical perfume of Peta Credlin, and he is rather scathing of them both, to say the least.Most revealing of this part of the book is how it depicts these senior politicians as having one dominant common characteristic, the need to be right rather than striving to do the right thing. Which, incidentally, is a trait clearly shared by Chris Mitchell himself. It goes without saying that he is a man of predominantly conservative leanings (otherwise he wouldn’t be working for Murdoch), but I still cannot help but being disappointed at how his own views of the world of media in general and journalism in particular completely dominates how he perceives the profession. The prevailing feeling after some 370 pages of a lot of self back-slapping is that pretty much anyone that doesn’t work for his paper, but for places like the ABC, Fairfax or the Guardian, are just not up to scratch.And maybe that does say a lot about the man after all.

  • Kym Jackson
    2019-05-21 05:06

    I enjoyed this book, though parts of it are very boring and will no doubt be of interest only to those whose business is media. I think The Australian is the only serious newspaper in Australia, and Chris Mitchell was in charge there for a long time. His paper shaped and contributed to many national debates and so this book is required reading for Australian intellectuals and decision-makers.Of interest is how Mitchell guided his paper to campaign on various topics... the papers really do make headlines, as the title suggests, rather than report on what happens. This is interesting, and I don't think Mitchell fully appreciates the implications of what he is saying, for reasons I will explain.Mitchell disdains being "schmoozed" by policitians, but he seems not to realise just how close he (and his journalists are) is to the whole thing. This is despite having to bring in an outsider (who doesn't have sources and contacts to keep on side) every time a difficult story has to be broken.One illustration: he defends Nikki Savva - who launched a blistering attack week after week on Tony Abbott and Abbott's chief of staff Peta Credlin - against bias. It turns out Savva is married to Malcom Turnbull's (Abbott's nemesis) chief of staff! Mitchell brushes off any perceived conflict of interest; but there is no way whatsoever we would tolerate such an obvious conflict in a politician, so why would we in a journalist? The journalists are, despite Mitchell's professed denials, unintentionally shown through his book to be players in the game - even the ones at The Australian (we already know those at the ABC and Fairfax are just cheerleaders for the green-left).The book is written in an informal conversational style and is an easy pleasant read overall, although as said parts will be boring unless you are a media-type yourself. Recommended.

  • The Hanged Man
    2019-06-12 08:05


  • Bialey
    2019-06-15 06:11

    I found the author's constant self aggrandising attitude somewhat irritating, but nevertheless there is a lot of political detail and gossip, such that if you're into Australian politics, it is well worth a read. The author is extremely hypocritical. After his pilloring of journalist Michael Brissenden and others over their having revealed a conversation with Peter Costello, the author does exactly that with his conversations with various Prime Ministers. Obviously written from a conservative viewpoint he covers Hawke, Keating, Howard, Rudd, Gillard, Abbott and Turnbull but IMO he is fair to them all. Rudd comes out not smelling of roses, to put it mildly.