Australia fires: Murdoch’s son criticises News Corp coverage

Australia fires: Murdoch’s son criticises News Corp coverage

Lachlan, Rupert and James Murdoch outside St Bride's Church in London (March 2016)

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James Murdoch (at right) sits on the News Corp board but his brother Lachlan (left) has a bigger role in the family business

Rupert Murdoch’s son James has said he is “disappointed” with the ongoing “denial” in his father’s news outlets as Australia’s wildfires burn.

James and his wife Kathryn Murdoch told The Daily Beast of their frustration with News Corp and Fox coverage of the climate issue.

Murdoch columnists have described linking the fires to climate change as “hysterical” and “silly”.

Rupert Murdoch has described himself as a climate sceptic.

He denies employing climate deniers.

But critics of News Corp have pointed to its comment articles and reporting of the alleged role of arson in the wildfires as minimising the impact of a changing climate.

Murdoch-owned titles account for about 70% of newspaper circulation in Australia’s major cities.

Last week a News Corp employee in Australia lashed out at the company’s “irresponsible” coverage of the bushfire crisis.

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Media captionSocial media claims that arson was a significant factor in the fires have proved inaccurate

On Monday News Corp announced it was donating A$5m (£2.7m; $3.5m) to bushfire relief. The pledge is in addition to donations from members of the Murdoch family personally.

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James Murdoch remains on the board of News Corp but is not otherwise employed by his father’s businesses. He runs a private investment company.

On Monday Kathryn Murdoch, a longstanding environmental advocate, tweeted a link to an article on Vice which criticised the Murdoch outlets for attempting to blame arsonists for the fires.

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