Publishing giant News Corp has issued a statement against a former employee who put the company on blast today for what she alleges is a willingness to blatantly spread false information regarding climate change and the ongoing bushfire crisis.
In case you missed it, a bunch of leaked internal emails from News Corp HQ detailed the company’s not-great response to Australia’s bushfire crisis, as well as a reply-all email from a now-former employee which basically put the entire upper management team on blast.
In a statement provided to PEDESTRIAN.TV, News Corp executive chairman Michael Miller responded to former employee email.
“News Corp stands by its coverage of the bushfires. The dedication and professionalism of our journalists and photographers have kept the community – particularly those Australians affected directly – informed and supported.”
Throughout the statement, the company acknowledged that “Australia is having a serious conversation about climate change and how to respond to it.” But in the same breath, discussed how “the role of arsonists” and other policies “may have contributed to the spread of fire”, and are therefore “legitimate stories to report in the public interest.”
Arson and other policies, likely referring to hazard reductions burning, were discussed by RFS commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons at length in a recent press conference, where he essentially shut down the idea that either of these factors have a greater role than the impact of climate change on the country.
In a follow-up statement, Michael Miller disputed claims that News Corp are climate change deniers.
“Contrary to what some critics have argued, News Corp does not deny climate change or the gravity of its threat. However, we – as is the traditional role of a publisher- do report a variety of views and opinions on this issue and many others that are important in the public discourse on the fires. ”
The statement also confirmed that the employee was due to leave the company soon, after resigning from her position as a commercial finance manager back in December 2019.
News Corp respects the unnamed employee’s right to her own opinion, but Miller asserted that the company does not agree with them. Her “opinion” likely referring to her ferocious company-wide email, which frankly tore shreds off News Corp’s climate change and bushfire coverage.
“I find it unconscionable to continue working for this company, knowing I am contributing to the spread of climate change denial and lies. 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.”
According to news.com.au, a News Corp-owned publication, co-chairman Lachlan Murdoch and his wife Sarah have pledged $2M to recovery efforts.