The thought that Rupert Murdoch influences Australian elections is simply a “myth” and acold removed from the behaviour of “the existent Rupert”, the media mogul’s planetary main executive, Robert Thomson, has told a parliamentary inquiry.
Thomson rejected a proposition by the enquiry chair, Sarah Hanson-Young, that the president and CEO of News Corp had a manus successful directing his paper editors connected which enactment should win.
“Senator, the doctrine is astir ideas,” Thomson told the media diverseness enquiry via video league from New York.
“I person to accidental determination is Murdoch the story ... and the existent Rupert.
“And there’s rather a favoritism betwixt the two. All societies look to request their myths – the Greeks, the Japanese. And the idea, the proposition you enactment is not accurate.”
Hanson-Young had earlier asked Thomson: “Mr Thomson, it’s been enactment to this committee that Rupert Murdoch likes to prime winners erstwhile it comes to Australian elections.
“At News Corp, you said, the institution intelligibly has a philosophy. Does that see being capable to find and backmost the victor erstwhile it comes to elections?”
Thomson revealed that his caller gathering with the Australian premier minister, Scott Morrison, successful New York was a post-dinner drinks astatine which they discussed planetary affairs, including the upcoming Glasgow clime summit, Afghanistan, France and China.
“We discussed concisely Glasgow successful wide terms, not our coverage,” Thomson said.
Questioned astir whether sum was dictated by the Murdoch family, Thomson said the co-chairman of News Corp, Lachlan Murdoch, had made it wide helium did not archer journalists what to write.
But Thomson did concede the institution had a “clear philosophy”.
“As a institution intelligibly we person a doctrine astir idiosyncratic freedom, astir the relation of the market, astir the size of government,” Thomson said. “And successful presumption of opinion, whether it’s the New York Post oregon immoderate of our papers, we consciousness escaped to explicit it.”
In 2018, as revealed by the ABC’s Four Corners, Lachlan Murdoch said: “What I bash do, moving a media organisation is obviously, you know, enactment intimately with the managers of those newsrooms and with the managers of those newspapers and it’s important that they get the ah, the ah, the positioning and the messaging right.”
Thomson said helium had extended acquisition arsenic an exertion and would occasionally connection communicative tips.
“Secondly, determination are discussions betwixt myself, and I tin lone talk for myself, and the editors, astir trade oregon astir issues.
“There is besides a ample magnitude of section autonomy.”
Thomson said the archetypal helium heard astir the Australian’s company’s Mission Zero campaign was erstwhile helium work it successful the Nine newspapers, and it wasn’t wholly accurate.
News Corp’s Australian editors had “collectively” made the determination to tally a run and helium denied suggestions from the committee that it was a “backflip” successful presumption of editorial policy.
Thomson said the institution had corporately “pursued a argumentation accordant with Rupert Murdoch’s connection successful 2006 that ‘the satellite deserves the payment of the doubt’”.
“What our section editors person done successful Australia is not dictated by maine oregon anyone else,” helium said. “So it was precise overmuch generated by our editors.”
Thomson said News was an “inherently diverse” institution successful presumption of its views and governmental positions, pointing to a quality successful the presumption connected Brexit taken by the Times and the Sunday Times successful the UK.
“The Times and the Wall Street Journal person wide differing argumentation positions, and, wrong the aforesaid London building, the Times and the Sunday Times often disagree with each other,” helium said. “The Times was powerfully successful favour of ‘Remain’ and the Sunday Times argued for Brexit.
“The 2 papers were ideologically astatine odds, which is surely grounds of a diverseness of views.”
Thomson denied the company’s caller propulsion for nett zero was the effect of a request to placate advertisers.
The invitation to beforehand the Senate enquiry was accepted by Thomson aft Lachlan Murdoch turned down a request to look past month.
Thomson said that the powerfulness of the integer platforms, successful peculiar Facebook, is of large interest arsenic they are acting similar publishers but they are not accountable similar accepted publishers are.
“There are truthful galore routes by which we tin beryllium held accountable,” Thomson said. “We intelligibly marque mistakes and we should beryllium held accountable for mistakes.” Thomson listed a standards editor, readers editor, corrections editor, a media regulator and libel laws arsenic mechanisms for accountability.
“The harsh information is that our accepted newspapers person go a importantly smaller proportionality of News Corp and the words “digital disruption” and “big digital” are some euphemisms. In Australia, people paper sales, unfortunately, person suffered a pronounced autumn successful the past decade. There has been a important displacement successful power, power and profitability from the creators of quality contented to the distributors of quality content.”