I have to say it: “I have a grudging respect for Chris Mitchell, the former editor-in-chief of The Australian.”
Under Mitchell’s leadership from 2002 to 2015 The Australian cemented its place as the go-to source of news and opinion from the centre-right perspective.
Mitchell’s ‘take no prisoners’ editorial style and his willingness to pick fights with anyone to his left (that’s a lot of people) has helped The Australian to survive for many more years than it should have.
Apart from a brief period in the 1980s and 1990s, The Oz has been a loss-making paper for most of its life. As early as 1975 Murdoch complained bitterly about the cost of producing a national daily broadsheet. The printing, transport, newsprint costs and the wages of journalists were all out of control in those days.
It’s not much different today. But, ever optimistic, Chris Mitchell was bravely spinning the line that all is well at The Australian. According to Mitchell’s latest comments, The Oz is still making money on its subsidised sales to hotel guests and airline customers and News Corp is committed to keeping the title alive, even though it appears to be shrinking before our eyes.