Christopher John Mitchell AO is an Australian journalist. He was the editor-in-chief of The Australian from 2002 to 2015.

Journalism career

In 1973 Mitchell began his career as a 17-year-old cadet on the former afternoon Brisbane tabloid, The Telegraph. After working at the Townsville Bulletin, The Daily Telegraph and The Australian Financial Review, he joined The Australian in 1984.[1] He turned down a dentistry scholarship to pursue a career in newspapers.[2]

In 1992, aged 35, Mitchell was appointed editor of The Australian. In 1995 he became editor-in-chief of Queensland Newspapers. In the role, he had editorial oversight of The Cairns Post, Townsville Bulletin and Gold Coast Bulletin.[3]

In 2002 he returned to The Australian as editor-in-chief. Mitchell retired from the position in December 2015.[1]

Prior to his retirement, Mitchell had completed 42 years as a journalist with 24 of those years as an editor. Rupert Murdoch praised his contributions as News Corporation's longest serving editor worldwide.[1]

In 2016, a book of Mitchell's memoirs entitled Making Headlines was published by Melbourne University Press.[3] Speaking at its launch, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull described the book as containing "a crisp plain English account of the dynamics of politics and the media in Australia".[2]


In 1996, the newspaper Mitchell edited at the time, The Courier-Mail, claimed that the prominent Australian historian Manning Clark had been awarded the Order of Lenin. This claim was later shown to be false.[4]

Climate change

Mitchell was named by academic Clive Hamilton as one of Australia's "Dirty Dozen", a list people he believed to be "doing the most to block action on climate change in Australia".[5] He featured in editions of the list published in 2006,[6] 2009[7] and 2014.[5] In 2010, Mitchell claimed that he had been defamed by academic Julie Posetti in a series of tweets she posted from a journalism conference claiming that reporter Asa Wahlquist had said Mitchell controlled election coverage of climate change issues. Posetti refused to apologise when tapes of the conference seemed to back her version of events.[8]

In 2017, Mitchell wrote an opinion piece entitled "Climate hysteria hits 'peak stupid' in hurricane season".[9]

Other roles

As of November 2020 he is an Ambassador for the Australian Indigenous Education Foundation.[10]

Awards and recognition

In the 2019 Australia Day Honours Mitchell was made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for "distinguished service to the print media through senior editorial roles, as a journalist, and to Indigenous education programs".[11]


  1. ^ a b c Davidson, Darren (2 December 2015). "Chris Mitchell retires, Paul Whittaker new editor-in-chief of The Australian". The Australian. Archived from the original on 16 April 2019. Retrieved 4 January 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Remarks - Launch of Making Headlines, by Chris Mitchell". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 30 September 2016. Retrieved 18 September 2017.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ a b "Making Headlines, Chris Mitchell". Melbourne University Publishing. Archived from the original on 12 October 2017. Retrieved 18 September 2017.
  4. ^ "Media Watch | I Spy With My FOI". Archived from the original on 27 April 2005. Retrieved 7 July 2011.
  5. ^ a b "The Dirty Dozen: Australia's biggest climate foes, part 1". Crikey. 15 April 2014. Archived from the original on 8 October 2016. Retrieved 18 September 2017.
  6. ^ Hamilton, Clive (20 February 2006). "The Dirty Politics of Climate Change" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 January 2007. Retrieved 19 September 2017.
  7. ^ "Meet the new dirty dozen". Crikey. 16 June 2009. Archived from the original on 3 February 2016. Retrieved 18 September 2017.
  8. ^ "Posetti receives letter of demand from Chris Mitchell, and a special invitation". Crikey. Archived from the original on 6 December 2010. Retrieved 7 July 2011.
  9. ^ "Climate hysteria hits 'peak stupid' in hurricane season". The Australian. 18 September 2017. Archived from the original on 21 April 2019.
  10. ^ "Ambassadors - About". Australian Indigenous Education Foundation. Retrieved 4 November 2020.
  11. ^ "Christopher John Mitchell". Archived from the original on 27 January 2019. Retrieved 26 January 2019.

Further reading

This article is in the category Category:Australian monarchists, but no reliable sources are cited to verify its inclusion. Please help by adding references that support its inclusion, or remove the category if none exist. (June 2019) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)