Rupert Murdoch’s Australian news outlets plan to change their approach to climate change.
Newspapers and TV channel Sky News have internally pledged to roll back climate change denial.
They will also push for net zero emissions by 2050, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
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After decades of dismissing the scientific consensus behind climate change and attacking measures to cut carbon emissions, Rupert Murdoch-owned news outlets in Australia will backtrack from mid-October, according to the New York Times and the Sydney Morning Herald.
The PR move will also include Murdoch Properties advocating for net-zero emissions from the world’s largest economies by 2050, first reported by the Morning Herald.
In 2019 and 2020, as wildfires ravaged large swathes of the continent, public outrage at the Murdoch newspapers and the 24-hour Sky News television channel grew on social media and grew. increasingly infiltrated the Australian political debate.
News Corp, where Murdoch is chairman after establishing 21st Century Fox and its major properties such as Fox News in the United States, had no comment to The Times or the Morning Herald. A News Corp spokesperson did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
The internal deliberations come ahead of November’s climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, according to the Morning Herald.
Starting Oct. 17, News Corp “will run a two-week campaign advocating for a net-zero carbon goal to be achieved by 2050, which is expected to focus heavily on jobs in a low-carbon economy, particularly blue-collar industries such as mining, resources and agriculture,” according to sources who spoke to the Morning Herald. Part of this campaign will involve tabloid mastheads showcasing the message of net zero emissions, reports the Morning Herald.
Climate change deniers and skeptics will be limited in their appearances, but change won’t amount to a “snout” of those conservative pundits, according to the Morning Herald.
News Corp outlets’ coverage of Australian wildfires became international news in its own right during 2019 and 2020, culminating with James Murdoch, one of Rupert’s sons, breaking ranks and blaming his family. to promote climate denial.
James then resigned from the News Corp board in August 2020, while his brother Lachlan continues to serve as executive chairman and CEO of Fox Corporation, owner of Fox News.
Sky News, Australia’s biggest Murdoch outlet, has received the most intense backlash for its climate coverage.
One of its hosts has called climate change a “fraudulent and dangerous cult” that has been “driven by unscrupulous and sinister interests”.
Sky News was also suspended from YouTube in August for breaching the website’s coronavirus misinformation policy.
Michael E. Mann, director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University, spoke to The Times about the change in public relations reported by News Corp and held his praise pending actual changes in coverage.
“Color me skeptical,” Mann said. “Until Rupert Murdoch and News Corp cancel their attack dogs at Fox News and the Wall Street Journal, which continue to promote climate change misinformation on a daily basis, these are empty promises that should be seen as a ploy desperate to rehabilitate the public image. of a prominent climate villain.