News Corp co-chairman Lachlan Murdoch has championed the growth of the company’s businesses in Australia, while arguing technology platforms should face increased scrutiny, reports News Corp’s European correspondent Stephen Drill, reporting from the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity.
Murdoch was speaking in Cannes at an event with Mark Read, chief executive officer of global advertising and public relations agency WPP, about the future of the media.
The 47-year-old said Fox Corporation would be a growth business, with the recently completed $A100 billion deal to sell US entertainment assets to Disney providing access to capital either to buy new businesses or to invest in existing assets.
Online subscriptions for news sites in the group were growing and the company was diversifying its revenue, he said.
“We are a very different company sitting here today than we were sitting here three or four years ago,” he said.
Murdoch said audiences of the mastheads were still strong and provided opportunities to leverage new businesses from them.
“You still have the trust of the mastheads, whether it’s The Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Australian, The Sun. You have the trust and engagement that our readers have built over a lifetime with the added benefits of the digital age,” he said.
Murdoch added: “Investing in journalism, breaking stories and moving the news cycle ahead is important to us, journalism is at the core of all we do.”
Murdoch said there were threats to journalism from plagiarism.
He said that internet search platforms needed to be aware of online sites copying news stories and argued they should promote news articles from companies that invested in journalism.
“So many online news sites and purported online newspapers copy other people’s work and the search algorithms can, and really should, take that into consideration,” he said.
“Copying a story is much cheaper than investigating it.”
Photo: Ella Pellegrini/News Corp Australia