Environmental Memo Pits Murdoch Against Fox News

Blog ››› ››› SARAH PAVLUS

Today, Rupert Murdoch issued a company-wide memo declaring News Corporation "has reached its first major sustainability milestone" -- becoming "carbon neutral across all ... global operations."

"We have provided leadership in our industry," Murdoch wrote in a memo posted on the News Corp. website this morning, adding: "Most important, throughout this endeavor we have continued to do what we do best: engage our audiences around the world with the most compelling content."

After highlighting "scientifically rigorous programs" the company offers and the "passionate environmental message" of News Corp. blockbuster Avatar, Murdoch laid out what News Corp.'s Global Energy Initiative describes as "a long-term vision to guide the Company's environmental sustainability efforts going forward."

That four-point plan includes "continu[ing] to engage our audiences on sustainability issues through partnerships and content of the highest caliber."

Murdoch's stated commitment to "high caliber" content on environmental issues and his apparent pride in "scientifically rigorous" programming stands in stark contrast to a top-down internal directive -- issued at Fox News by Washington managing editor Bill Sammon -- to news staff ordering them to call into question indisputable scientific fact in climate change reporting.

The director of News Corp.'s Global Energy Initiative reportedly attempted to explain away Fox News conflict:

The director of News Corp's Global Energy Initiative Liba Rubenstein said, "This has never been an editorial mandate, and there is a very strong division between our internal operations and our editorial and creative outlets."

"It's never been about trying to speak with one voice across our company," she added, emphasizing that while Fox is the most well-known News Corp entity in the U.S., it is just one of the company's many businesses across the globe.

But Sammon's email wasn't a matter of editorial opinion -- it was a matter of scientific fact.

If Murdoch is to be taken seriously on his company-wide commitment to "content of the highest caliber" on environmental issues, he cannot simply look the other way when his news staff is ordered to cast doubt on climate science.

Posted In
Environment & Science, Climate Change
Fox News Channel
Bill Sammon, Rupert Murdoch
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