News Corp executive chairman Michael Miller has responded to an email blast by a senior News Corp employee which attacked the Rupert Murdoch-owned papers for its “irresponsible, dangerous and damaging” coverage of the bushfires currently ravaging Australia.
On Friday 10 January, an email from News Corp commercial finance manager Emily Townsend was leaked to Business Insider in which she criticised the coverage of the bushfires, calling it an irresponsible misinformation campaign.
Townsend sent the blast to the entire News Corp staff in response to an email that Miller had sent, outlining the ways the company had helped support the bushfire affected communities.
See a screenshot of the email below.
According to The Sydney Morning Herald, the email was deleted from all staffs’ inboxes within an hour of being sent.
In a statement, Miller said News Corp stands by its coverage of the bushfires” and that will it respects Townsend’s views, does “not agree with them”.
He also argued News Corp does not deny climate change.
“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,” he said.
Miller added News Corps’ coverage of the fires has recognised Australia is having a serious conversation about climate change, and how to respond to it.
However, he said it has also reflected there are a variety of views and opinions about the current fire crisis.
“The role of arsonists and policies that may have contributed to the spread of fire are, therefore, legitimate stories to report in the public interest,” he said.
“We will continue to cover the fires thoroughly and provide information that informs the community including how we as a nation can rebuild and better prepare in the future.”