Assumptablog

Australia fires: Murdoch’s son criticises News Corp coverage

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

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

Media captionInaccurate reporting of police figures has fuelled arson claims around Australia’s fires

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.

The scale of the fires have been fairly consistent since November along Australia's northern coast, particularly the largely rural Cape York peninsula in northern Queensland. In recent weeks there have been more fires detected along the eastern coast, nearer to major cities like Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney.

Source: Nasa Firms. Map built using Carto

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.

Chart showing how Australia has been getting warmer

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