James Murdoch is fed up with his father's companies' climate denial in News Corp and Fox's coverage of the Australian bushfires

mmark@businessinsider.com (Michelle Mark)
James murdoch

Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for National Geographic

  • Rupert Murdoch's son and daughter-in-law issued a sharp condemnation of Murdoch-owned publications, telling The Daily Beast they were disappointed in the climate-change denialism amid the deadly bushfire crisis in Australia.
  • "Kathryn and James' views on climate are well established and their frustration with some of the News Corp and Fox coverage of the topic is also well known," a spokesperson for the couple told The Daily Beast.
  • The fires have destroyed millions of acres and are thought to have killed nearly one billion animals in recent weeks and months. Critics have seized on Murdoch-owned news publications, accusing them of fueling misinformation on the crisis.
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The son of the global media tycoon Rupert Murdoch has issued a statement decrying coverage from News Corp and Fox News on the role climate change has played in the deadly Australian bushfires.

James Murdoch and his wife Kathryn Murdoch released a statement through a spokesperson condemning largely conservative, Murdoch-owned media outlets that have downplayed or avoided covering the effects of climate change.

"Kathryn and James' views on climate are well established and their frustration with some of the News Corp and Fox coverage of the topic is also well known," the spokesperson told The Daily Beast. "They are particularly disappointed with the ongoing denial among the news outlets in Australia given obvious evidence to the contrary."

The Australian bushfires have ripped through millions of acres and are thought to have killed an estimated one billion animals in recent weeks and months, while scientists and activists have sought to highlight the role climate change has played in the increasing temperatures and severe drought conditions across Australia.

News Corp Australia publications saturate the country's media market with more than 140 newspapers and 3,000 journalists, according to The Daily Beast. The news outlet reported that other members of the Murdoch family declined to comment on the issue.

But Kathryn and James Murdoch are not the only to speak out about News Corp's coverage of the bushfires. A recent analysis published in The New York Times found that Murdoch-owned news publications have propelled misinformation on the crisis, exaggerating the role arsonists played in the blazes and downplaying the effects of climate change.

Leaked emails from a News Corp Australia employee also revealed discontent within the company over its coverage of the crisis.

A commercial finance manager for the company, Emily Townsend, sent an all-staff email condemning the publications' "misinformation campaign."

"I find it unconscionable to continue working for this company, knowing I am contributing to the spread of climate change denial and lies," Townsend wrote. "The reporting I have witnessed in The Australian, The Daily Telegraph and Herald Sun is not only irresponsible, but dangerous and damaging to our communities and beautiful planet that needs us more than ever now to acknowledge the destruction we have caused and start doing something about it."

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