Lachlan Murdoch Rallying Call to Condemn Anti-Semitism

Australia must address rising anti-Semitism without equivocation following last month’s terror attack on Israel, News Corp co-chair Lachlan Murdoch has urged. “Let’s be very clear. When it comes to anti-Semitism there is no room for equivocation. There is no fence-sitting,” Mr. Murdoch said. “From Brisbane to Broome, from Launceston to Lakemba, anti-Semitism does not belong in Australia. It is our duty to address and tackle it, as it is to address and tackle all forms of hatred.” Mr. Murdoch, who addressed News Corp Australia journalists and executives at the company’s annual News Awards for excellence, called for more “courage” in the coverage of “difficult stories” such as the war in Gaza. ‘We cannot allow history to repeat itself’.  “Ours is a vital vocation that requires endless focus, reinvention and adaptability, as well as the standard journalistic prerequisites of curiosity and courage,” he said. “Courage to cover the most difficult stories. Courage to address distressing events such as the horrific October 7 terror attack on Israel. Courage to report on the ensuing war, and courage to expose the disturbing wave of hatred against Jews around the world and in our own communities.”

Mr. Murdoch presented the prestigious award for journalistic excellence named after his grandfather – the Sir Keith Murdoch Journalist of the Year award – to Sky News Australia’s Northern Australia correspondent Matt Cunningham for his coverage of the Indigenous voice to parliament campaign and unrest and violence in Alice Springs earlier this year. “Indigenous issues rose to the top of the agenda due to the voice referendum and News Corp provided more context, more facts and more diversity of opinion than any other media organisation. Our balanced approach fairly represented the nation’s differing perspectives,” Mr. Murdoch said. “As it nears its 60th birthday, The Australian led intellectual arguments for both sides and was the chosen vehicle for voice architects like Noel Pearson and Frank Brennan. “No other media organisation can boast such dynamism and whole-hearted embrace of the contest of ideas. Issues like these go to the very heart of who we are as a company, and as a country. They are not easy. Quality journalism is hard and requires unique individuals to craft it.”

He also criticised the Albanese government for its proposed “misinformation laws”. “It is ironic that at a time when our country is rightly vigilant and proactive in resisting foreign interference in our politics, media and communication infrastructure, the federal government is proposing misinformation laws that will position them – the government – as the arbiter of truth,” he said. “This comes after we learned that federal agencies, under both Coalition and Labor governments, secretly used such methods to suppress and censor debate during the pandemic.” He urged journalists and editors to continue to expose “these excesses” and hold politicians to account. He praised those who “report from war-zone frontlines where people physically defend their values with their lives” and those who cover “the critical debates about policies and laws that might censor free speech or seek to control thought”. “Many here share with us stories of tragedy and triumph, of dedication and despair, that make up our human condition and drive progress,” he said. Mr. Murdoch also cited “out-of-control cost-of-living pressures” as a critical issue confronting Australia and warned of the “political and social bias built into emerging AI-driven chatbots, like ChatGPT”.

Source: Compiled by APN from media reports

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