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News Corp CEO rails at 'dysfunctional' online environment

AFP  |  New York 

Corp's today took a swipe at and for fostering a "dysfunctional" and "debased" environment which harms the media and responsible journalism.

Robert Thompson, of Rupert Murdoch's media empire, stepped up his criticism of the giants as the company released its quarterly earnings.

Thompson said the steps announced by and to stem misinformation and improve the quality of were "modest steps toward changing a digital environment that is dysfunctional at its core."

"The bot-infested badlands are hardly a safe space for advertisers, whose brands are being tainted by association with the extreme, the violent and the repulsive."

Thompson said is seeing growth in online visits and subscriptions to its such as the Wall Street Journal and of Britain, but added that "the potential returns for our journalism would be far higher in a less chaotic, less debased digital environment."

A longtime of the dominant online companies, Thompson said he welcomed the decision by to end a "first click free" requirement for news items in search queries, and Facebook's efforts to enable readers to know more about sources of articles on its news feed.

But he noted that the "are in the midst of a particularly disruptive period, commercially, socially and politically."

For the quarter ending in December, reported a USD 66 million loss, as it set aside USD 174 million for recalculated taxes following the passage of a US fiscal reform measure.

Total revenue for the fiscal second quarter rose three per cent to USD 2.18 billion, with operating profits showing modest changes at its divisions for newspapers, book publishing and

Revenues for its News UK, Australia and Dow Jones units grew seven per cent, four per cent and one per cent, respectively.

Advertising revenues declined six per cent from a year ago, in part due to weakness in the and the decision to end publication of the Wall Street Journal's international print editions.

Circulation and subscription revenues increased six per cent, as saw a 10 per cent bump in revenues fuelled by gains from digital subscriber growth at the Wall Street Journal.

Digital subscriptions for rose to 1.39 million in the final three months of the year from 1.08 million a year earlier.

The company also reported gains in digital subscribers to its Australian newspapers, and of Britain and

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, February 09 2018. 17:35 IST