Page 43 - AdNews April 2020
P. 43

  On one front, News Corp has joined other media players to form the Your Right to Know campaign, pressuring the government for legal reform to protect journalists doing their job and increase transparency.
On another, some news media companies face low levels of trust from the public. News Corp, one of the largest media companies in Australia, has faced critics who accuse the publisher of bias or of ignoring scientific evidence in its reporting. This criticism has been coming from multiple directions; the public, other media outlets, the political class, within News Corp itself, and the Murdoch family.
Recently, the publisher was targeted for its coverage of the bushfire crises, during which Sky News presenters downplayed or rejected the idea that climate change was linked to the fires, although many prominent scientists agreed the two were connected.
But, for all the apparent differences between old and new media, Miller’s justification for covering these views isn’t that dissimilar to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s when he defends the proliferation of false or harmful content as the corollary of providing a free and open platform for everyone.
“We have to be open for debate and criticism, but equally our role of trusted media is to tackle tough conversations as well,” Miller says.
“So if there’s views that there’s other contributors to bushfires, we need to not be afraid to cover that, even though the climate is changing and there’s more we needed to be doing about it.”
Miller, who followed the rare path of marketers who have gone on to lead companies, also thinks that media can play a bigger role in growing the economy during sluggish times.
“I still say I’m a marketer. As I’ve said, we all need to do an element
Michael Miller in his Sydney office.
of selling what we do and having a bit of sales in your background is not a bad thing.
“But Australia is a country of entrepreneurs, of people who are prepared to take risks, who will be the last person standing, and have a lot of courage.
“I think we need to have more courage in backing our creativity. We have some of the best editors, writers, directors, actors who always apply their trade overseas, but I fear that we’re losing our com- petitiveness as a creative country. That’s an area I feel quite passionate about, coming back to storytelling.
“We’re also a country that increasingly is playing it safe, and while safety is something we all want equally, you want to be coura- geous and be able to express. So, I feel that with the balance and the ever-changing pendulum we need to ensure that while we’re being safe, we’re not equally inhibiting what’s unique about us.” | April 2020 43

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