The Fifth Estate: Behind the Broadsheet
Last year, when Chris Mitchell released his memoir, Making Headlines, much was made of the book’s more gossipy elements: the fancy dinners, brazen ultimatums and the sometimes bitter quarrels with various powerful figures. In this conversation, Fifth Estate host Sally Warhaft goes deeper with the former editor-in-chief of the Australian.
Mitchell was at the helm of Australia’s only national daily newspaper for 12 years; a period of seismic change in the media landscape. How does he see the future of the Australian specifically, and the role of daily newspapers in Australia more broadly? What does he make of criticisms of ‘crusading journalism’ and the increasing partisanship of major news sources? And how might our current crop of political leaders perform better in today’s perilous media environment?
Join this towering figure in Australian journalism for a discussion broaching the relationship between sources and journalists, the revolving door of political leaders and the mysterious nexus of power in Australia today.
Chris Mitchell retired at the end of 2015 after more than 12 years as editor-in-chief of the Australian and 24 years as a daily newspaper editor at the Australian, the Courier Mail and Sunday Mail. He also had editorial oversight of the Cairns Post, Townsville Bulletin and Gold Coast Bulletin. Chris began his career at The Telegraph in Brisbane.
Sally Warhaft is a Melbourne broadcaster, anthropologist and writer. She is the host of The Fifth Estate, the Wheeler Centre’s live series focusing on journalism, politics, media, and international relations, and The Leap Year, a Wheeler Centre podcast about Australians' lives in the fog of the Covid-19 pandemic. She is a former editor of the Monthly magazine and the author of the bestselling book Well May We Say: The Speeches that Made Australia.
Sally is a regular host and commentator on ABC radio and has a PhD in anthropology. She did her fieldwork in Mumbai, India, living by the seashore with the local fishing community.