Australia’s media outlets clash over bushfire coverage

Various prominent media outlets and journalists are hitting out at each other over how Australia’s ongoing bushfire crisis is being covered.

News Corp in particular is at the centre of the storm, attracting criticism for both attacking the ABC, and for a perceived climate change denying agenda.

Front pages from around the world with The Australian highlighted (Source: The Guardian)

News Corp’s The Australian has been accused of downplaying the severity of the fires, and not giving front-page prominence to the disaster.

On New Year’s Eve, The Australian ran an opinion piece from embattled energy minister Angus Taylor, which declared the country should be proud of its climate change efforts. The Guardian subsequently fact-checked Taylor’s claims.

The paper’s editor John Lehmann told The Guardian, however, that its readers have been fully informed via the online and print editions throughout the week.

ABC’s News Breakfast host Michael Rowland has also taken issue with The Australian criticising the ABC at a time that he says the national broadcaster has been instrumental in keeping people informed and safe.

The war of words has gone both ways, with former editorial network director of News Corp Alan Oakley – who also spent time as editor of The Sunday Age and The Sydney Morning Herald – taking to Twitter to tell journos and media outlets to look beyond the ‘Twittersphere’.

“How about the media ditches the barbs – and also the self-congratulation – and gets on with the vital job,” he said.

News Corp’s founder and chairman Rupert Murdoch has previously dismissed claims the media behemoth is a climate change denier, saying “there are no change climate change deniers around, I can assure you”.

News Corp columnist and Sky News host Andrew Bolt, however, regularly calls climate change reports “a scam”, and attacks the ABC for “committing crimes against journalism” and says it has been “hijacked by global warming extremists”.

If you’d like to assist with bushfire recovery, relief and rescue efforts, please explore the options below: 


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